Summer send-off to rock Traxler Park on Sept. 1

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Shelly Birkelo
Friday, August 23, 2013

JANESVILLE—Even though the Rock Aqua Jays are hosting a Fourth of July celebration two months late, they promise no less bang in the Sunday, Sept. 1, event.

"There will be fireworks, ski shows and just a lot of family fun for a day in the park," said Josh Fox, event chairman.

July flooding in Traxler Park forced the Aqua Jays to postponed their Independence Day on the Rock celebration.

The flooding would have barred the Anything That Floats race because conditions on the river were too dangerous. The Janesville Idol Contest, which was scheduled for the main stage, also would have been canceled. Use of most grassy areas in the park was out of the question because of standing water, Fox said.

Instead, the Aqua Jays picked a new celebration date and a new event name: Summer Send Off on the Rock.

"It's Labor Day weekend, the traditional last weekend of summer, and we're trying to provide some hometown entertainment for people before they have to go back to school," Fox said.

The event will compete with other festivities in the area, including the Rock River Thresheree and LaborFest.

Fox and club members weren't sure what that will do to attendance.

“We don't know what to expect.” he said. “I'm hoping we have the same crowd or bigger as we would have had on the Fourth (of July)."

During the previous three years, the Fourth of July crowd has been estimated at between 5,000 and 6,000, Fox said.

The Aqua Jays raised $15,000 to pay for the fireworks, and as far as Fox knows, nobody asked that their donations be returned after the event was rescheduled.

The day's activities include:

-- 1:30 p.m.: Anything That Floats race registration at the park boat launch with a maximum of 20 entries.

-- 2 p.m. Anything That Floats race.

-- 2:15 p.m.: Idol Contest registrations at the main stage with a maximum of 10 contestants.

-- 2:30 p.m.: Idol Contest.

-- 3 to 8 p.m.: Inflatable bounce houses for children.

-- 3 to 10 p.m.: Beer tent.

-- 3 p.m.: Food vendors open, including the Aqua Jays concessions stand.

-- 4:30 p.m.: B (junior) Aqua Jays team show.

-- 6:30 p.m.: Main Aqua Jays team performance.

-- Dusk: Fireworks.

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