Aqua Jays postpone Fourth of July festivities

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Shelly Birkelo
Saturday, June 29, 2013

— The Independence Day on the Rock celebration scheduled for Thursday, July 4, has been postponed due to flooding in Traxler Park.

Board members of the Rock Aqua Jays Water Ski Show Team, which coordinates and hosts the annual holiday event, made the decision Thursday night.

"As of right now, we're postponing Independence Day on the Rock to Sunday, Sept. 1," said Josh Fox, event chairman.

Water continues to rise after recent heavy rains despite already being underneath bleachers at the team's show site along the Rock River. That means the team wouldn't have been able to perform its show or host the "Anything That Floats" race because conditions on the river would be too dangerous, Fox said.

The Janesville Idol Contest, which was scheduled to take place on the main stage, also would have been canceled due to flooding. And use of most grassy areas in the park was out of the question because of standing water, Fox added.

If the Aqua Jays had proceeded with Thursday's festivities they would only have been able to have food vendors, inflatables for kids and the fireworks. That would have required the food and inflatables to be staged in the main parking lot, meaning most people wouldn't have been able to go into the main part of the park and sit down for the fireworks, Fox said.

Delaying the celebration also means the Aqua Jays must extend their Independence Day raffle. Tickets sell for $5 each or five for $20 and will be on sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at Wal-Mart.

The Aqua Jays have contracted to spend $15,000 for this year's fireworks display. Thanks to community support, the team is within $3,000 of meeting that obligation.

Last updated: 8:00 am Monday, July 29, 2013

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