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Archive for Saturday, June 27, 1992

PARADE WILL START HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES

June 27, 1992

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A parade, music and fireworks are in store for Lawrence residents during Independence Day festivities July 4.

The United Veterans Organization of Douglas County will hold its second annual parade and concert with the theme, "An old-fashioned 4th of July."

The parade will get rolling at 10 a.m., traveling down Massachusetts Street from Eighth Street to South Park, where a variety of bands and entertainers will perform until 5 p.m.

The concert will feature the 621 Illinois Blues Band, Erich Timkar, Harmony, the Haverty Dancers, Celebrity Jazz, comedian Mike Whalen, Cimarron, Renegade Driver, Poetic Justice. Danny Robins will emcee the event with guest host Barry Barnes.

Organizers also will raffle prizes, and food will be available.

In case of rain, the concert will go on at the Lawrence Riverfront Plaza.

After the South Park festivities, visitors can head to Burcham Park, where the Lawrence Jaycees will provide a band and fireworks show.

Mark Lehmann, president of the Jaycees, said the band "Prairie Fire" will perform in the park from 6 p.m. until the fireworks start exploding, around 9:20 p.m.

Although the fireworks show will feature a 250-round grand finale, "it will be primarily a low-level display so it will be best seen from the park," said Lehmann. The Jaycees will charge $3.50 for entrance to the park, or $3 when tickets are purchased in advance at a Dillon Store, Alvin's IGA, or Bum Steer Barbecue.

The organization also will operate a large concession stand with food and drinks.

The Jaycees are on record as sponsoring the annual fireworks show for the last 36 years, although Lehmann said members believe it's been closer to 50 years since they first put on the show. However, he worries that a lack of funds could put an end to the tradition.

Lehmann and Gary Saathoff initiated fund-raising for the project in January to cover the $14,000 cost of the Fourth of July event, including $9,000 for fireworks.

"We've raised about $3,000 so far," said Lehmann. "We need funding desperately. It really helps us if everybody would come to the park and buy a ticket to watch the fireworks."

Those who decide to take in the 35- to 40-minute show from other viewing spots probably will be approached by the Jaycees' "bucket brigade," which will ask for donations to help defray the cost of the event.

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