Pastor Kelly Payne said everything is free at his church’s Third of July celebration.
“It’s a way to reach out to the community,” Payne said. “A family can come without spending a penny.”
Timothy Baptist Church has been celebrating Independence Day with the community for more than 10 years.
Estimating just how many people attend the annual event is difficult, but in terms of food, it’s in the thousands.
“Last year, we gave away about 1,600 hamburgers and 800 hot dogs,” Payne said. “We ran out of food.”
Free hot dogs and hamburgers will be back again this year as well as snow cones, cotton candy, and popcorn.
“Homemade cookies will go along with dessert,” Payne said.
Face painting, inflatables, and water games will be available for children’s entertainment. At least 100 volunteers help to make the event possible. Payne said the work by the volunteers, the prize giveaways, and the free food are ways to show the community the love of Christ.
The fun begins at 7 p.m., and the fireworks show will begin around 9:15. Payne said not to forget lawn chairs and blankets.
“We sit on the east side of the church, and it’s shaded from the evening sun,” Payne said.
Prizes will be given away every 15 minutes starting at 7:15 p.m. Registration is required in order to win. Four different registration tables will be located at the event.
“We are giving away a lot, but the big one is the gas card,” Payne said.
The grand prize is a $150 gas card. Parking will be available in the church parking lot and the empty 17 acres behind the building. Payne said the Muskogee Police Department will be assisting vehicles as they exit after the fireworks are finished.
Reach E.I. Hillin at (918) 684-2926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
WHAT: Community Wide Independence Day Celebration.
WHEN: Starts at 7 p.m. today. Fireworks will begin at dark.
WHERE: Timothy Baptist Church, 5530 W. Okmulgee Ave.
INFORMATION: (918) 869-9855.