Get set for fireworks, festivities and fun

Wanda English Burnett

As America celebrates her 233rd birthday, the Fourth of July in Ripley County will be celebrated in style with lots of fireworks, festivities and fun for the whole family.

Each year the Ripley County Fairgrounds Park in Osgood, the Town of Milan, and the Versailles State Park, are the settings for a variety of activities including spectacular fireworks. This year will be even better.

Ripley County Fairgrounds Park activities:

The Ripley County Chamber of Commerce will again be sponsoring their “United We Stand” event on Friday, July 3 beginning at noon. This is the ninth year for the event that offers fun for the whole family.

There will be a variety of booths, flea markets, crafters, and this year jumping inflatables from SpaceWalk of SEI for the children to enjoy.

The grandstands will be the scene for the Osgood Grub Company Open Wheel Spectacular. If you want to see the fire breathing 700 plus HP SCORA non-wing sprint cars, midgets and more, don’t miss this event. The pits open at 4 p.m. with the grandstands opening at 5 p.m. Hot laps will be at 6:30 p.m. followed by racing at 7:30 p.m.

For more race information you can call 689-1046 or 812-871-7728. For additional general information about the event call 812-593-4001. All race fans and drivers are invited to an After Race Party at the Grub Co. Restaurant in Osgood, following the event.

Various local musicians will perform in the park Friday night with a spectacular fireworks explosion at dark. The fireworks are provided through a grant from the Gilmore and Golda Reynolds Foundation and are detonated with precision by the Osgood Volunteer Fire Department.

For free booth space or additional information you can contact the chamber office at 812-689-6654.

Milan Celebration:

New this year will be the Festival in the Park at the Daren Baker Memorial Park in Milan. The event, sponsored by the Milan Park Board, will showcase many booths featuring games, great food, and more including a beer garden offered by The Milan American Legion.

The first time festival will feature a dunking booth, corn hole tournament, youth baseball tournament and super raffles throughout the day.

Highlighting the festival will be three live bands beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the park. The Wildwood Valley Boys, featuring bluegrass, includes Milan resident, Tony Holt. Also playing will be the Renegades, a country-rock band, and Five Star Bash, is from Indianapolis featuring former members of Schoolboy Crush and Speed City Rockers.

All of the bands are top notch and offer “something for everyone” according to Milan Lions Club President Stormy Scherer-Berry.

Milan really celebrates the holiday beginning with an Ice Cream Social with homemade ice cream and more at the First Baptist Church from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, July 3.

Bright and early on July 4, the first order of the day is breakfast from 7:30 to 10:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church where you can “eat all you can” before beginning the day’s festivities.
The Milan Lions Club will again sponsor a parade at 11:00 a.m., an event that continues to grow each year. This year the Lions Club will revive the practice of awarding trophies to the top three floats, according to Scherer-Berry. The Grand Marshal of this year’s parade has been selected. Ron Myers has been chosen for his quiet service to the community for years.

Immediately following the parade the Milan Volunteer Fire Department is the place to be to get a lunch of pulled pork with all the fixin’s! Proceeds from the meal support the efforts of the all volunteer department.

The day is not over by any means when lunch has been served. The Milan VFW Post #6234 is offering a Classic Car Cruise-In beginning at noon where all cars, trucks, and bikes are welcome. The VFW will also be serving their famous New York Strip Special beginning at 12:30. There is also the Milan ’54 Museum, located in the former Nichols’ Barber Shop of “Hoosiers” fame. And, don’t forget the festival in the park, which will be going on all afternoon.

The Fourth of July celebration dates back to the 1960s when the Lions Club first began a small celebration that has grown to the two-day event it is today.

The day will culminate with the traditional fireworks display at 10:00 p.m. at the high school. The fireworks, sponsored by the Milan Town Council, can be viewed from many spots in the park and in front of the school and as always, is free to the public. “Milan’s Fourth of July bash is designed with everyone in mind, from young children to the very elderly,” concluded Scherer-Berry, who encourages everyone to celebrate Independence Day in Milan.

Versailles State Park:

Fireworks will have an altogether different look from the Versailles State Park Lake area as they sparkle into the sky and reflect onto the water below.

Bring your lawn chairs or blankets on Saturday night, July 4 and set up on the lawn at the lake area at the park located just east of Versailles on US 50. There is free entry to the park beginning at 8 p.m. that night with the fireworks show being free of charge as well.

According to park officials, it’s best to come early to get your favorite spot for the fireworks show that will begin at 10:00 p.m. The fireworks, sponsored by the Versailles State Park, will be displayed by firemen from the Versailles Volunteer Fire Department.