In July 4 IssueBy Derek AaronRussell County News Editor
Russell County’s Independence Day Celebration is underway at Veteran’s Fairgrounds in Russell Springs and Russell Springs Mayor Hollis DeHart is inviting everyone out to take part in the festivities.
“Everything has gone real well,” the mayor said. “We’ve got great volunteers and everyone we’ve asked to donate financially has obliged.”
The celebration was organized the past month by 25-30 county volunteers after the cancellation of Jamestown’s longstanding Lakefest celebration in late May.
“The only problem we may face now is the weather,” DeHart said. The mayor said the celebration’s volunteers held their final meeting on Tuesday evening to finalize all plans.
“We’ve got plenty of vendors lined up,” DeHart said. “We’ve actually got all we can handle.”
He said both food vendors as well as vendors selling other items, such as toys or clothing, will be set up at various locations in the grove.
DeHart also said the organizers have also received a lot of registration forms for the various events and were anticipating more additions later in the week.
The events are taking place in the grove and therefore there will be no grove parking, except for handicapped individuals, vendors and celebration staff, according to the mayor. Parking will be available on the grounds’ midway and surrounding area.
“We want to keep that area open for children to play and not worry about traffic going in and out,” DeHart said. The mayor said he was excited to see the events underway and believes everyone will be “reasonably pleased” with the celebration.
“We’re looking forward to it,” he said. “We’ve had to get it together in a short period of time but I believe everyone will have a good time, we’re going to have some really good fireworks.”
Also, the second annual Cumberland Crushers Coach Pitch Classic baseball tournament will be taking place at the Russell Springs City Park on Saturday with 12 teams Clay, Mercer, Marion, Pulaski, Green, Laurel, and Adair Counties as well as other teams from Somerset, Campbellsville and Burkesville participating.
The mayor said he anticipates many of the “out-of-towners” will trickle over to the celebration at some point, an excellent way to get the word of the celebration out in the state.
“I’m sure some of them will come over,” he said. “We anticipate that.”
The celebration kicked off on July 3 at with the ESPN Radio 1060 golf scramble at Lakewood Country Club with an $800 prize for first place. That evening the pre-teen, teen, Miss and Mrs. beauty contests were held under the shelter in the grove.
On Sat. July 4, the events begin bright and early at 8 a.m. with the opening ceremonies, a welcome by Mayor DeHart, the singing of the National Anthem and the raising of the flag by the Russell County High School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.
At 8:15 a.m., the mini-marathon sponsored by Jamestown Health Care, Lake Cumberland State Park, Duo County Telephone and Forward Motion will begin at the fairgrounds.
The children’s patriotic parade and contest begins at 9 a.m. with former Jamestown mayor June McGaha overseeing the event.
Also at 9 a.m., the fancy car and tractor display is slated to begin with Matthew Thomas overseeing.
At 9:30 a.m., the baby show, tiny miss and mister and little miss and mister will begin under the shelter in the grove. The pet show begins at 10 a.m. in the covered shed at the fairground. Awards and prizes will be given for the tallest, shortest, most patriotic, best trick, best costume, longest ears, best tail wagger, most unusual and owner-pet lookalike.
From 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. a quilt show will be ongoing at the Floral Hall. Entrants must bring their quilts and a short history of the quilt into the hall by Friday between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Children’s games begin at 11 a.m. with Shawna Wallace in charge. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Luke Burton Memorial Cruise-in featuring Another Level and various low riders begins. The kid’s pedal tractor pull begins at 1 p.m. under the covered shed.
Up next will be the lip sync and talent show. The lip sync begins at 1 p.m. while the talent show will start at 2:30 p.m. under the shelter in the grove. The night’s musical entertainment will begin at 6 p.m. on the stage, which will be placed on the track in front of the bleachers. The winners of the lip sync and talent contests will perform as well as a comedic performance by the Moron Brothers. The music will be capped off for the night by the Wrangler Band. At 10 p.m., the fireworks show caps off the first-ever Russell County Independence Day Celebration.
Admission is free to all.