Basehor prepares to “Boom with Pride”
Chuck Wilderson of Basehor PRIDE says “Booming with PRIDE,” the theme for this year’s 4th of July activities in Basehor, refers to more than just civic support and national patriotism — it’s also about how the city has grown.
“Our theme has a double meaning: We’re booming with pride as our organization, pride in the community, but there’s also been a construction boom in Basehor,” he said of the theme, which was suggested by Gene Myracle, Basehor’s director of public works.
And there will, of course, be the traditional Independence Day firework “booms,” all set to follow a 7:30 p.m. parade down 155th Street from Leavenworth Road to Basehor-Linwood High School, where the Basehor VFW will offer hot dogs and nachos along with drinks and treats. At 9 p.m., a 21-Gun Salute and National Anthem will precede the free fireworks display.
Wilderson explained that there are a few small changes to this year’s event. First of all, the Chamber of Commerce will announce its Citizen of the Year later in the year rather than at the 4th of July event. USD 458 Superintendent David Howard, the 2014 Citizen of the Year, will still ride in the parade.
This year’s Grand Marshall will be BLHS government history teacher Tim Johnson, who was nominated by the Basehor VFW for the National Citizenship Educator Award and earned first place at the state level, going on to be considered for the award at the national level.
Johnson currently teaches US Government, US History, Street Law and Reading at the high school, but he was in the field of criminal justice for 31 years prior to taking up teaching.
Johnson is also the father of two active duty Army officers and finds ways to support our troops through letters and packages from home. His own patriotism spreads outside of his family as well through activities such as teaching flag etiquette classes and having his students run a voter registration drive.
Wilderson said anyone who would like to take part in the parade may arrive half an hour in advance at the line-up location, Holy Angels Catholic Church, 15408 Leavenworth Rd.
Also this year, the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Department will not provide the Color Guard at the flag ceremony prior to the fireworks display. Wilderson said Basehor PRIDE was working with the Basehor VFW and local Boy Scouts to arrange a Color Guard.
BLHS graduate Lauren Jackson will once again sing national anthem.
Wilderson noted this year would mark the 25th year for the fireworks display and the 20th year that the event was coordinated by Basehor PRIDE. He said the nearly $5,000 display was less expensive thanks to Basehor PRIDE members who are professionally licensed to shoot off the fireworks.
The display is largely funded by a $3,500 donation from the city, in addition to donations from the chamber and other businesses as well as from attendees.
In other Independence Day news, the BLHS bands will be running their fireworks tents leading up to the holiday to raise funds for equipment, travel and other expenses. The tents are located under the Basehor water tower on 155th Street near the First Baptist Church of Basehor, and at the Buggy Bath, 395 N. 130th St., Bonner Springs. Both tents are open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.