Small town life.
It's one of the things I love about living in Delaware County. It's one of the reasons (ok there were several) I no longer live in a big city like Little Rock.
While I miss my daily dose of
A variety of events including fireworks will take place this holiday weekend in celebration of America's 241st birthday.
Here's a look at what's on tap throughout the Grand Lake region.
Friday, June 30
• Vinita Fireworks
The Bob McSpadden Memorial Fireworks Show will take place on Friday, June 30, at the High School football field, 801 North Adair Street, in Vinita. The show runs from 8 to 10 p.m., with fireworks taking place at dusk.
It's sponsored by the Vinita Chamber of Commerce. The event is free, however a variety of concessions provided by various organizations will be available. For more information, persons interested may call 918-256-7133.
Saturday, July 1
• RFC Music Fest
This weekend's RFC Music Fest include fireworks at 9:30 p.m., Saturday, July 1.
While admission is charged for the music festival, organizers said the fireworks will be on view for miles - including many locations inside of Jay. People attending the carnival on Saturday evening will also be able to see the show from the center's parking lot.
• Faith & Freedom Concert
Volunteers from LifePoint Fellowship in Kansas, will host the Faith and Freedom Concert, beginning at 3 p.m., Saturday, July 1, at the church. The event includes Stars Go Dim, We are Messengers, Sarah Reeves, DaMar, Delco Boys and Beautiful Feet.
The free event will conclude with fireworks at dusk. The church is located on Mason Street in Kansas. For more information, persons interested may call 918-868-4160.
• South Grand Lake Fireworks
The sixth annual Cliff Elliott Memorial "Spectacular Fireworks Show" sponsored by the Grand Lake Fireworks, Inc., will take place at approximately 9 p.m. Saturday, July 1, on south Grand Lake.
The show will be simulcast on 99.3 FM beginning at 5 p.m. The show can be viewed at the GRDA Visitors Center in Langley, the Pensacola Dam, 3 Cherokee State Parks near the Spillways, on the water in the main channel of Grand Lake, and all along the shores of South Grand Lake. The fireworks will be launched between the two Disney spillways on the water.
• Horse Creek Fireworks
The Horse Creek Fireworks will take place at dusk, approximately 9 p.m., on Saturday, July 1, at the unfinished bridge in Grand Lake, on the east side of Bernice bridge.
The fireworks can be viewed from the Horse Creek Campground, located near the intersection of Horse Creek and 260 Road. From Littlefield's Corner, take Highway 85A to 550 Road, turn north (right) at Pride Storage. Go north to 260 Road, turn left. The campground will be down the hill from the intersection.
Sunday, July 2
• Monkey Island Fireworks
The annual fireworks display at Monkey Island will take place on Sunday, July 2, at the Grand Lake Regional Airport on Monkey Island.
Events kick off at 11 a.m., with the George Brothers Band taking the stage from 6 to 9 p.m., cars are invited for a car show, the bounce houses will be available for children, and a fly over will take place before the fireworks. The show will start at approximately 9:30 p.m. 3-D glasses will be available for sale for the fireworks show.
Monday, July 3
• Green Country Giggers
The Green Country Giggers' annual fireworks show will take place at 9:30 p.m., Monday, July 3. Organizers say the best seats are those along the Lake Eucha Bridge.
• Third of July in Grove
The City of Grove's Third of July Celebration will take place on Monday, July 3, on the grounds of the Wolf Creek Park. It will include a variety of entertainment and activities. Events will begin at approximately 5 p.m. with an assortment of children's games with fireworks at dusk. Shuttles will be available for drivers who choose to park at the Grove Civic Center beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Members of the Grove Police Department will begin directing traffic at 4 p.m., which will include limited entrance and exits from the park.
The schedule of events includes 6 p.m. - Welcome by Darrell Mastin, master of ceremonies and event organizer.
The group, Borderline Bluegrass with special guest Homer Lee, will provide the entertainment. The intermission will also include a fly-over by local physician and pilot John Swartz.
At 9 p.m. local entertainer and former Broadway star Ron Young will sing the Star Spangled Banner. The fireworks, shot over Wolf Creek Park, will begin shortly after his performance.
While participants can bring in coolers, no alcoholic beverages will be allowed. Participants are asked to leave fireworks at home, keep all pets on a leash and bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on during the event.
• Duck Creek Fireworks
Billed as one of the largest fireworks displays in the area, activities in and around south Grand Lake and Duck Creek will take place on Monday, July 3.
At 7 p.m. KGVE 99.3 FM will begin to broadcast the show, which highlights the evening's events at Duck Creek.
At 7:30 p.m., the pilots will begin to prepare for the flyover of Duck Creek. The F-16 flyover by the U.S. Air Force Flags Up! will begin at 8:45 p.m.
The 2017 Duck Creek Fireworks Show over Duck Creek will launch at approximately 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 4
• Huckleberry Fireworks
The 50th Annual Huckleberry Festival fireworks display will take place at 9:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 4, at the RFC Center, in Jay.
The event will include country and gospel music from 6 to 9:30 p.m., with the fireworks set to launch at 9:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
(yes, other coffee shops will do), and access to a Whole Foods / Fresh Market salad bar, for the most part the benefits of living in a rural area outweigh the negative factors.
This weekend is one of the shining examples of what makes a small town great.
This will be my fifth Huckleberry festival, but my first as the editor of the Delaware County Journal. I've loved coming into town on this holiday weekend in the past to help shoot the fun events.
My favorites always include the parade. You can't beat a great parade. I've also loved shooting the fireworks as they burst overhead.
I still have the image of Eric Gibe crossing the finish line in heels - in the 2013 High Heel race (anyone want the photo for blackmail?), and I love capturing the smiles of children taking part in the frog jump or fireman's spray.
There's always something fun to do at Huckleberry festival. This year's schedule is packed full of items.
Wanna run in a 5K - there's a race on Saturday. Want to bake up your favorite fruit or huckleberry pie? Remember to enter it during Saturday's contest as well.
Have a car to show off? The annual car show is the place to be Saturday. Want to check out an assortment of arts and crafts? I hear the Delaware County Community Building is going to be overflowing with arts and craft goodness.
I often hear the lament, there's nothing to do in a small town. This weekend's Huckleberry Festival should blow that theory out of the water.
Thanks to all of the volunteers for making this a spectacular festival. Your hard work may go on behind the scenes, but it's not unnoticed. We know without your hours of sweat equity, we would not be celebrating the 50th anniversary this weekend.
So here's to the Huckleberry festival. May your berries be blue (or is it purple), and may your joy be so contagious that it lasts until next year's celebration.
Kaylea M. Hutson-Miller is the managing editor of The Grove Sun and Delaware County Journal. Have an idea for a column or story? She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-786-2228.