MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Features

July 3, 2014

Festivities for the Fourth

Fireworks shows, other activities for families planned throughout holiday

Whether it’s watching fireworks from a boat or a fold-out chair, there’s a celebration for everyone this weekend in the greater Muskogee area.

In Muskogee, one fireworks display continues to reign above the rest on the Fourth.

“There is no way to estimate the thousands of people who come,” said Steve Rose, the pastor of First Assembly of God. “It’s Muskogee’s finest.”

The church has had the community celebration since 2001.

More than 300 children attend the church’s summer program, Smart School, Rose said.

“Two-hundred and fifty of them at 6:30 will perform for the community,” he said. “The thousand-seat auditorium will be packed.”

A patriotic show with music will take place at 8 p.m. and again at 8:45 p.m. There will be water inflatables and pony rides for children. Everything will be free except for the food.

Rose said the event cost $25,000, with $12,000 of that provided by sponsors.

“It’s truly a community event in all its essence,” he said.

Rose put the total cost for fireworks at $10,000.

“It’s the most spectacular thing you’ve ever seen,” he said.

Visitors may want to show up a little earlier because of parking lot construction.

At 1 p.m., the Fort Gibson Historical Site will offer a chance for the community to hear the Declaration of Independence and watch a traditional flag presentation.

“It puts everything in perspective, to hear the words of our forefathers,” Correy Twilley said.

Twilley is a historical interpreter for the Historical Site. He said refreshments will be served and there will be seating for at least 75. The event is free and will last an hour.

When night falls in Fort Gibson, a fireworks show will take place at the high school’s Tiger Stadium. Gary Perkins, Fort Gibson Chamber of Commerce director, said the show is free and will last about 20 minutes.

“For our little town, it’s a very nice show,” Perkins said.

Guests can bring lawn chairs or sit on the west side of the stadium.

Tonight in Wagoner, fireworks can be seen from the high school football stadium. City Superintendent Larry Morgan said the celebration begins at 7 p.m. with music from the Real Band, which will play a variety of light rock music.

Fireworks will begin to light up the sky around 9:30 p.m.

“We have a good show every year,” Morgan said. “It lasts about 30 minutes.”

Guests can bring lawn chairs and blankets and sit in Maple Park or sit in the stadium, Morgan said.

For those who prefer watching fireworks a little closer to the water, there will be several opportunities. On Saturday night at Sequoyah State Park, fireworks will explode over Fort Gibson Lake. Guests can park at the park’s lodge. There will be a $5 entrance fee after 2 p.m.

Tonight at Tenkiller State Park in Vian, the Greater Tenkiller Area Association will sponsor a fireworks display over the lake.

On Saturday, Tenkiller Park Partners will have a family fun day at the Driftwood Nature Center. There will be archery, arts and crafts, face painting, a bean bag toss, water bottle rockets, and a seed-spitting contest.

Tonight in Eufaula, the city and Chamber of Commerce are putting on a $12,000 fireworks display, said Mayor Selina Jayne-Dornan.

Tonight in Oktaha the American Legion Post 403 will celebrate with a fireworks show across from the town’s new fire station. Hot dogs will be served at 5:30 p.m., and fireworks will begin at sundown.   

Residents in the Porum area can celebrate the day at the Porum Landing Fire Station. Hamburgers and ice cream will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. Proceeds benefit the volunteer fire department, and everyone is welcome.

Reach E.I. Hillin at (918) 684-2926 or ehillin@muskogeephoenix.com.    

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