The patriotic partying to commemorate America’s independence kicks off this weekend in the area, with more than a dozen events happening in Wichita and neighboring communities over the next week.
Of course, the biggest day for celebrating is the Fourth of July itself, with activities ranging from a morning Revolutionary War memorial dedication and two evening fireworks shows in Wichita to parades and daylong celebrations in nearby towns.
Here are events happening this weekend and between July 3-5. Most events have free admission. In case of inclement weather, be sure to check the event’s Facebook page or website to check the status of activities.
Saturday, June 29
Celebrate America! 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 Museum Blvd. in Riverside
The annual celebration at Old Cowtown always promises good old-fashioned fun, with vintage baseball, horseshoes and carnival games and even sack races and a medicine show. Central Standard Brewing will serve beer (despite a 12:30 p.m. temperance rally and march) and food trucks will also be on hand. Other entertainment includes dance performances and gunfights.
Regular admission applies: $9 adults, $8 for 62 and older, $7 for ages 12-17, $6 for ages 5-11 and free for kids 4 and younger and for active duty military and their families. More info: www.oldcowtown.org
Sunday, June 30
Freedom Festival, 3-10 p.m., Whispering Winds Camp, 9601 W. 73rd St. N., Valley Center
For a small, park picnic-type event, head to this festival where the pools will be open from 3-8 p.m., live music will play and the family can play various games and activities. A playground and sports courts are also available at this camp started in the 1950s by the First Presbyterian Church in Wichita. Bring a side dish or dessert to share for the evening meal; barbecue meat, hamburgers and hot dogs along with lemonade and water are provided. This is the fourth year for the festival and generally about 100-150 people attend, organizers said. The 5 p.m. evening vespers service will include patriotic songs, and then families can shoot fireworks they’ve brought. The evening concludes with a fire dance performance by Phlox, a local troupe. Alcohol beverages are not allowed. Free.
More info: Go to the Whispering Winds Camp Facebook page.
Let Freedom Ring, 6:30-10:30 p.m. Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 600 N. Greenwich, Wichita.
Billed as a musical salute to the troops, this event features an 80-voice community choir singing Americana songs as well as music by a German polka band, a children’s choir and the Sweet Adelines. The community choir will be accompanied by the Wichita Grand Opera Symphony.
The military part of the festival includes an honor guard from McConnell Air Force Base, recognition of military personnel and veterans in the audience during the playing of an armed forces anthem medley, artillery cannons firing during the “1812 Overture,” skydivers bringing in a flag, a flyover by a Stearman biplane and a Pentagon-approved flyover by one of the Air Force’s new KC-46 Pegasus tanker, which will lower its boom (the external gas refueling arm of the plan) as it flies over the crowd.
The free barbecue meal starts at 6:30 p.m. — with enough food to feed about 1,500 people or more, said Dennis Ross, chair of the organizing committee. The concerts begin at 7 p.m. There will also be a children’s play area. Fireworks conclude the event around 9:45 p.m. Alcohol beverages are not allowed.
Park at the Textron Aviation plant lots south of the church off of Greenwich and ride buses to the event. More info: holycrosslutheran.net/news-events/let-freedom-ring
Wichita events on July 4
Veterans Memorial Park A 10 a.m. Independence Day program at Veterans Memorial Park, 339 Veterans Parkway, includes the dedication of American Revolutionary War Memorial. Bring lawn chairs if you want a seat.
Red, White & Boom! The Wichita Parks Foundation hosts the 5th Annual Red, White & BOOM! from 5-10:30 p.m. in front of Hyatt Regency Hotel, 400 W. Waterman, The event includes food trucks, a local band and fireworks. The free concert by Groove 42 starts at 7:30 p.m. and the fireworks show starts around 9:50 p.m. More info: wichitaparksfoundation.org/red-white-and-boom
Celebrate America - Enjoy the last concert of the 2019 Bradley Fair Jazz series at 7:30 p.m. and stay for the fireworks show immediately after. Singer, jazz saxophonist and songwriter Grace Kelly closes the concert series that takes place in the plaza and fountain area of Bradley Fair, 2000 N. Rock Road. You can set up your lawn chairs as early as 6 a.m. Free. More info: bradleyfair.com/special-events/thursday-summer-concerts
Park City starts its two-day Salute to Freedom at sunset on the evening of July 3 with an outdoor screening of “The Secret Life of Pets” in Hap McLean Park, 6801 N. Hydraulic, Park City. Activities on July Fourth at the park run from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. and include a car show, parade, stage events, kids activities and water carnival, bingo, ice cream social, an evening concert and then fireworks. Festivities are free. More info: www.parkcityks4th.com or www.facebook.com/parkcityks4th
El Dorado has two days of festivities planned at the El Dorado’s East Park, 100 S. Woodland St. El Dorado’s festivities kick off at 6 p.m. July 3 with an adult wiffle ball tournament. Games and activities begin at 9 a.m.-2 p.m. July 4 at the East park and continue through the day with a hot dog lunch and public swimming. The fireworks show will be after the 7 p.m. Broncos Baseball game at McDonald Stadium, 398 N. Griffith St. All events are free. More info: www.eldoks.com or www.facebook.com/eldoradorec
Derby - Get a running start on Fourth of July activities with the 38th annual Firecracker Run at High Park, 2801 E. James St. There are two distances to choose from: a 4-mile race starting at 7:30 a.m. and a 1-mile run at 8:30 a.m.
Derby’s 150th anniversary, along with Independence Day, will be celebrated during the 10 a.m. parade on the 4th. Several activities happen at various locations throughout the day, from tours of Derby’s new fire station at 715 E. Madison Ave., to a “Party in the Park,” bingo games and a toy train exhibit at Madison Avenue Central Park facilities, 512 E. Madison Ave., to an evening baseball game followed by fireworks show. More info: www.derbyweb.com/475/July-4-in-Derby
Haysville Things will be jumping at Haysville where frog races are among the many activities planned for the 4th. The festivities kick off with an 8 a.m. parade, followed by a fishing derby, frog and raft races, a water carnival, a family hot dog feed and more. Rock with The Banned at a 7:30 p.m. concert, and stay for the fireworks around 9:45 p.m. All activities, except a coed sand volleyball tournament, are free. More info: Search Facebook for Haysville 4th of July Celebration.
McPherson - Called the the Fourth of July Extravaganza, the 7:30-10:30 p.m. event in Wall Park, 500 S. Park St. features live music by King Midas & the Muflers, followed by fireworks. Free.
North Newton - The 7 p.m. event on the 4th at Kidron Bethel Village, 2001 Ivy Drive, includes live music, children’s games, a bake sale and a raffle. Fireworks are expected to start at dusk. No admission charge. .
Rose Hill The Rose Hill Recreation Commission, 400 S. Rose Hill Road, is providing ice cream and music by Bob Allison of Allison Sounds starting at 8 p.m., followed by a fireworks show at dusk. Free.
Goddard - Goddard will celebrate on July 5. The annual Independence Day celebration hosted by the Goddard Lions is at a new location this year: the ball fields just north of Clark Davidson Elementary, 333 S. Walnut. The event starts at 7 p.m. July 5, with free hot dogs, chips, water, watermelon and ice cream being served. Bring baseball and softball gear to play on the fields. Free swimming at the Goddard pool takes place after the fireworks show. Free.