Communities plan celebrations

Mark Dobbins tosses candy during last year's Boardman Thunder Fourth of July parade.<BR><I>File photo</I>

From a rockin' blues festival to an old-fashioned street fair and everything in between, many Eastern Oregon communities are celebrating the Fourth of July with parades, children's games, food and music. Several of the events will crescendo at dusk as fireworks light up the night sky.

BOARDMANA booming Fourth of July celebration is planned in the north Morrow County town. Boardman Thunder includes a 5K and 10K run and a 5K walk, with participants leaving the starting gate at 8 a.m.

The parade, which heads down Front and Main streets as it winds its way to Boardman Avenue, begins at 11 a.m.

"We want to make this the biggest little parade that Boardman has ever seen," Chamber Director Diane Wolfe said.

After the parade, the activities kick into high gear at Boardman Marina Park - food and vendor booths, kids' games, a horseshoe tournament are all part of the fun planned.

For more information or for registration forms, contact the chamber at 541-481-3014 or go to www.boardmanchamber. org.

HERMISTONThe gates at the Umatilla County Fairgrounds open at 6 p.m., with live entertainment beginning on the Coke Stage at 8 p.m.

Before the music fills the air, family fun includes free carnival games and bouncy houses. Patriotic type prizes will be handed out.

"They're just fun, active games," said Ivan Anderholm, Parks and Recreation director.

and food available at the Eagles' Food Booth. People are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and enjoy the outdoors.

Design, a Portland-based band will play a variety of music from the 50s to present.

"They put on a good show," Anderholm said.

The dusk fireworks show should last about 20 minutes, Anderholm said.

The event is sponsored by the city of Hermiston through the transient room tax. Contact the city at 541-667-5018 for more information.

IONEThe small south Morrow County town does the Fourth of July in a big way. The Red, White and Blues Celebration begins with a firemen's breakfast from 7-10 a.m. And the fund doesn't stop until the night skies light up at dusk.

A 5K run/walk begins at 7:30 a.m. and things get kicked into gear as the parade and Blues Cruise makes its way into town at 1 p.m. The cars will then be on display during the Cruisin' to the Blues Classic Car Show.

Activities at the Ione City Park include frog jumping, a fish pond, straw money pile, dunk tank, pie throwing, ducky races, horseshoes, volleyball.

Additionally, the Paintball Palace will set up at Ione Community School from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. will provide an adrenaline rush. Also, a paintball shooting gallery will be set up at the park. To cool down, people can enjoy free swimming from 2-4 p.m.

The festival settles into music mode around 3 p.m. as Woodbrain, The Texas Troublemakers, Kolvane and Ione All Starrs play into the night. There is no cost to groove to the tunes, as the Morrow County Unified Recreation District sponsors the groups.

For more information, contact gatesarlynda@hotmail.com or 541-422-7534.

MILTON-FREEWATERAn old-fashioned street fair and festival is planning for Milton-Freewater.

"We're trying to provide a fun, family activity that doesn't cost a lot," said Geri Honn, one of the organizers of the event.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., food and craft vendors will take up residence on North Main Street. The activities wil spill over into Freewater Park, including a Car show and shine from 12 noon to 3 p.m. Bingo and children's games will be available at the park from 1-4 p.m.

Musical entertainment will include Coyote Joe and the Western Trio and American Indian drumming.

Also, a car smash fundraiser begins at 11 a.m. Honn said it would last until the car is sufficiently smashed.

A quilt show, which includes displays in several Mian Street businesses will conclude with a people's choice vote on the Fourth of July. For more information, head to Three Divas Beads at 610 1/2 N. Main St.

PENDLETONCornerstone Community Church is continuing the recent tradition of setting off fireworks at McKay Community Park

"We provide the best show on a budget that can be had," the Rev. Arron Swenson said.

Also serving as the head pyrotechnician, he said donations are still being accepted for the free show.

Swenson wasn't aware of other activities in the park, but encouraged people to bring a picnic or blankets and enjoy the evening in the park as the sun goes down.

"We'll light them off around 10 o'clock," Swenson said. "We'll let them rip."

For more information, contact the church at 541-276-3987.

StanfieldA firemen's breakfast will get things cooked up at Bard Park beginning at 7 a.m. Don't wait too long to claim a seat along Highway 395, as 10 a.m. rolls around the parade will make its way down the street. Then it's back to bard Park where the celebration takes off with a chance to grab some cash. Tickets will be drawn for the lucky person who gets to step into the money vault for a chance to grab at $500 while it's swirling around.

A magician's show at 12 noon, a tae kwon do demonstration at 1 p.m. Other entertainment includes a fireman's water fight, a milking machine a derby car race and pie baking contest.

"We're just trying to make it a real hometown event," said Davide Stephens, one of the organizers.

Fireworks will fill the air at dusk.

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