Archive for Thursday, June 23, 2005

Local groups set celebration for holiday

Fireworks, parade planned for July 4

June 23, 2005

Basehor Chamber of Commerce officials met Thursday afternoon to discuss nominations the organization has received for the city's Outstanding Citizen of the Year.

The good news is organization members selected one of those nominees from a handful of ballots. The rub is, however, that you won't know who was chosen until the city's annual Fourth of July celebration in two weeks.

This year marks the 16th consecutive year the award has been given to a member of the Basehor community.

The award presentation will take place during a host of other activities at Basehor-Linwood High School on the holiday. The Basehor PRIDE organization is one of the event's co-sponsors and group spokesperson Chuck Wilderson said members have ironed out final details for the celebration.

The theme of this year's parade will be "Basehor Supports Our Military Families," which coincides with an on-going PRIDE project to lend financial aid to families with loved ones serving overseas.

"We just decided to roll the theme into that project," Wilderson said.

The city's annual Fourth of July parade will begin slightly earlier this year, approximately 5:30 p.m., than it's normal 6 p.m. start time of years past. Fred Box, commander of the Basehor Veterans of Foreign Wars organization, will serve as parade grand marshal.

Box will pull dual duty on July 4. His band, the Gospel Trailblazers, will provide the musical act at the high school following the parade. They will perform from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

PRIDE has reached an agreement with an area company to provide inflatable toys such as a moonwalk, slide and other equipment during the celebration. The toys will be available for children beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The VFW and Basehor-Linwood High School Booster Club will serve as food vendors for the event.

Later in the evening, BLHS graduate Hannah Brown will sing the national anthem. Former Basehor City Council president Julian Espinoza will serve as master of ceremonies. He will announce the Citizen of the Year winner about 8:30 p.m.

Members of the VFW will raise the flag and play taps.

The PRIDE group's fireworks display will begin shortly after dark.

Wilderson said the organization spent $3,300 for this year's display, roughly 10 percent more than last year, and that residents should expect a grand show to celebrate America's birthday.

"We think it will be equal to or better than last as far as a fireworks display," he said.

Contingency plans call for the Fourth of July celebration to occur a week later if inclement weather cancels the regularly scheduled date.

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