Janesville and local communities celebrate independence
Although the site of this year’s Fourth of July festivities won’t be new, plenty of other highlights will be.
Festivities will be held at the Youth Sports Complex on Wuthering Hills Drive for the second year.
Firsts include the event host and a family youth night without beer. Another highlight will be a much bigger—more than twice the size—carnival than last year.
The local Independent Order of Odd Fellows Wisconsin Lodge 14 and its sister group Janesville Rebekah Lodge No. 14 will host the three-day Rock ‘N’ Thunder starting Thursday.
“We’re doing this because our members didn’t want to see it go along the wayside,’’ said Dale Stevenson, noble grand.
The Janesville Jaycees ended its recent struggles to host the event last year, after nearly a quarter of a century as the organizing group.
The Odd Fellows are hoping to create an affordable event for everyone in the community to attend during this troubling economic times, Stevenson said.
Family Youth Night on Thursday will kick off the three-day celebration.
Thursday, July 2
Gates open at 6 p.m. and close at 10 p.m. The beer tent will be closed.
This night is oriented toward young families. Local youth organizations will be featured, with demonstrations by some groups, including 4-H, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, youth basketball, Karate America and Black Bridge Bowl. It will be wrist band day, when discounts will be given to the carnival, said Cathy Comstock, event co-chair with Barry Golden.
“We’re trying to put together a program for the kids to know there are other things to do besides sit around the computer and text message all day long and give parents an opportunity to get kids out of the house,”’ Golden said.
Also featured will be Kid Moore DJ, including some karaoke and Elvis tribute artist Shawn Sharp.
Friday, July 3
Gates open at 5 p.m. and close at 10 p.m.
This day’s activities will open with Nothing But Trouble, who play classic rock from the 1950s-70s plus outlaw country Southern rock until 7 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., Band Bop Ritual will entertain the crowd with jazz and blues numbers until 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 4
Gates open at 2:30 p.m. and close at 11 p.m.
Music resumes at 3 p.m. Saturday when the country band Cherokee takes the stage. Those who prefer a mix of classic country and rock will want to hear Stoned Pony perform from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. And those who want some rockabilly shouldn’t miss Scrap Yard Daddy from 8 to 10:30 p.m.
Members of the Vietnam Veterans of America Rock River Chapter 236 will post the colors before fireworks begin at dusk.
While Janesville firefighters cook brats and hot dogs, the Niedermeier food trailer will sell snow cones, popcorn, cotton candy, nachos, sliced apples with caramel, slushes and cold cheese sandwiches. The Odd Fellows will serve up pulled pork sandwiches. Other choices includes Gray’s root beer and root beer floats, Cold Stone Creamery ice cream, Elmer Scott’s kettle corn, Youth Sports Complex concession stand food and snacks plus carnival food, such as funnel cakes and Pepsi products.
Miller and Bud products will be sold in the beer tent. The $1 admission fee to the beer garden will be waived for those who donate supplies for the Rock County Humane Society.
More than fireworks will punctuate the Independence Day celebrations in Rock and Walworth counties. Festivals start as early as Thursday. Parades, music and food will abound, with many activities running through Sunday. Here’s a list of some of the fun.
Pops on the Rock is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Harry Moore Pavilion in Riverside Park. The performance features the Beloit Memorial High School Jazz Band.
Fireworks are at dusk. Food will be for sale.
A parade begins at noon Saturday at the intersection of North Lake Shore, Orchid and Thistle drives and proceeds to the Bloomfield Town Hall, 1100 Town Hall Road. The parade will honor World War II and Korean War veterans.
Food and games will be available at the town hall after the parade.
Fireworks are at dusk.
The Brodhead Fire Department 125th anniversary celebration is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at Brodhead Farm and Home, 105 23rd St. The event includes food, an aerial platform display and a drawing at 1 p.m.
A parade begins at noon Saturday and is followed by the sports booster’s chicken barbecue at Veterans Memorial Park, 1111 W. Second Ave.
The fire department open house is from 2 to 4 p.m. The event includes the Wisconsin State Patrol seat belt simulator, React helicopter, water fights and rides on the aerial platform.
Favorite Old Friends Band will play at 5 p.m. on the south end of town. Fireworks are at dusk.
The Independence Day celebration starts with pancakes from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Delavan Fire Department, 222 S. Seventh St.
A parade begins at 3 p.m. downtown. Fireworks are at dusk at Veterans Park on Highway 11.
Fireworks are at dusk at Community Park on Highway 50.
A July Fourth celebration, sponsored by the East Troy Lions Club, is Friday to Sunday. The celebration includes food, a midway and live music, as well as a car show and a tractor pull.
Fireworks are at dusk Friday.
A softball tournament is at 8 a.m. Saturday at St. Peter’s Field, 3001 Elm St. A children’s parade begins at 1 p.m. at the grandstand in Amusement Park, 3094 Graydon Ave.
A parade begins at 1 p.m. Sunday. It features the Celtic Nations Pipes and Drums and the Shamrock Color Guard Pipes and Drums.
Go to www.easttroylions.org/fourthofjuly.html
for a schedule of activities, or call (262) 648-5047.
The annual July Fourth celebration, sponsored by the Edgerton Lions Club, is Friday and Saturday at Racetrack Park, 1006 Stoughton Road.
The events Friday include a tractor pull at 5 p.m. and live music.
The events Saturday run from 6 a.m. to midnight and include a pancake breakfast, a car show, baseball, a horse-pulling competition and live music. Fireworks are at dusk.
The Star Spangled Celebration is Friday at Sunset Park on Devendorf Street. Wilson Farm Meats will sell food from 4 to 8 p.m., and the Holton Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks are at dusk.
The annual Fourth of July celebration is at Lake Leota Park.
The Lake Leota grand reopening ceremony is at 7 p.m. Thursday. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, Sens. Jon Erpenbach and Brett Davis and Mayor Sandy Decker will speak. Several community members and construction workers who were essential in dredging the lake last winter will join them for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. A canoe and paddleboat parade will follow the event.
The festival tent opens at 6 p.m., and Rochelle and the Red Hot Rattlers will perform at 8 p.m.
Youth Day is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. The Evansville Jays baseball game starts at 7:30 p.m. The festival tent opens at 6 p.m., and Cold Sweat and the Brew City Horns will perform at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 6 p.m.
Aunt Leota’s Grove Chase run starts at 8 a.m. Saturday. A parade follows at 9:45 a.m. Children’s activities run from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Ducky Derby is at 1 p.m., and the Lunker Lob is from 1 to 5 p.m.
Mattom Pipestorm will play from 1 to 4 p.m. The festival tent opens at 6 p.m., and West Side Andy and the Mel Ford Band will perform from 5 to 9 p.m. Fireworks are at dusk.
Historic trolley tours are offered from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The festival tent opens at noon. Children’s activities run from noon to 4 p.m. A euchre tournament is from noon to 3 p.m., a car show is from noon to 5 p.m., and a quilt show is from 1 to 4 p.m.
The ECT “The King & I” program is at 2:45 p.m. Evansville Idol karaoke runs from 3 to 7 p.m., followed by open karaoke and a DJ from 7 to 9 p.m.
Go to www.evansville-wi.net for a complete schedule of activities, or call (608) 882-0598 for more information.
The Big Foot Lions Club will have food for sale starting at noon Saturday in the beach parking lot.
There will be live music from 4 to 9 p.m. in the Reid Park gazebo. Fireworks are at dusk.
A children’s parade, sponsored by American Legion Auxiliary Unit 24, begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Eastview Elementary School, 507 Sage St., and proceeds north to the American Legion Hall, 735 Henry St. Children dressed in patriotic costumes will be judged and awarded prizes in three age groups. Mayor Bill Chesen and Auxiliary President Ann Berndt will speak.
The annual Independence Day celebration is Friday at Grand Geneva Resort. The celebration features food, carnival games and music, as well as face painting, balloon artist and water ski show. Activities at the resort start at 6:30 a.m. and end at 2 a.m. Fireworks are at dusk.
Go to www.grandgeneva.com/specials/fourth-of-july.asp
A July Fourth celebration, sponsored by the Milton FFA Alumni, is Thursday to Sunday in Schilberg Park. Activities run from 6 to 11 p.m. Thursday, 4 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The event includes basketball and softball tournaments, a carnival, an Optimist fun run and live music.
Thursday is “Back to GM Night,” with free admission to all GM employees.
A parade begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lamar Park and proceeds to Hilltop Drive near the post office. Fireworks are at dusk.
The annual Whitewater Fourth of July Festival is Friday to Sunday in Cravath Lakefront Park. The festival features food, a midway and live music, as well as a petting zoo, car show and water ski show. Gates are open from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Fireworks are at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The parade, sponsored by the Whitewater Lions Club, begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Lincoln Elementary School, 242 S. Prince St., proceeds east along Main Street to Whitewater Street and ends at Fremont Street. The parade will honor Vietnam War veterans.
Go to www.ww4th.com for a complete schedule of activities.