Festivities to turn communities into ‘boom’ towns


Daily Reporter Staff Reporters

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GREENFIELD — Two weekends packed with Independence Day festivities will keep Hancock County booming this Fourth of July.

Celebrations and public fireworks displays are scheduled in New Palestine on June 27 and in Greenfield and Fortville on July 4.

First up, the New Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Blue Star Independence Day Celebration at New Palestine High School.

The fourth annual Dragon Dash, a 5K walk/run, will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the high school. The cost to participate is $25 per runner or $20 per person for a group of four.

This year, organizers have added a kid’s run. For $10, youngsters ages 4 to 10 will be able to circle the school’s track.

Visitors will be able to see a tractor exhibit from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. near the New Palestine History Museum.

Entertainment is planned for before the fireworks display at dusk. The announcement of the Citizen of the Year Award is planned for shortly after 8 p.m.

A rain date has been set for June 28, with a 10 p.m. fireworks display only.

Sugar Creek Township paid for the $5,000 firework show, chamber spokeswoman Caralee Griffith said, while chamber members and sponsors picked up the rest of the cost. The day’s activities cost the chamber an estimated $10,000, Griffith said.

Greenfield and Fortville are scheduled to blast off on the holiday itself.

Greenfield’s firework display, sponsored by Dellen Automotive, will begin at dusk at Greenfield Central Junior High School. The show is expected to last until 10:30 p.m., organizers said.

Those hoping to catch the show are encouraged to park on the school grounds for the best view.

Dellen Automotive has sponsored the fireworks display for the past three years; the company stepped up after local chamber of commerce funds no longer could cover the cost of the annual celebration.

Dellen Automotive has been in Greenfield for more than 35 years, and paying for the $7,000 fireworks display is just one way the company can give back to its neighbors, said Nick Dellen, the dealership’s owner.

“Greenfield has been good to us,” he said. “We were glad to do it, and we certainly plan to do it for many years to come.”

Rainy weather will move the Greenfield fireworks show to July 5 at the same time and location.

The Fortville-McCordsville Area Chamber of Commerce is planning a large Fourth of July celebration to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the town’s incorporation. Events featuring volunteers dressed in late-19th century costumes will take place from 4 to 11 p.m. July 4.

“It should just be a good turnout for the community,” said Ron Stafford, town councilman and one of several event co-organizers. “The goal is to bring the community together.”

The annual parade will begin at about 4 p.m., starting in Landmark Park and continuing along Leland, Staat, Noel, Pearl and Main streets.

Children are invited to decorate bikes, trikes, scooters, skateboards and more to ride in the parade. Prizes will be awarded in several categories.

Old-fashioned children’s games, including single and doubles sack races, stilt walking and tug-o’-war, will be set up in Landmark Park. Other activities for all ages include a croquet tournament for $2 per person and an outdoor painting class starting at 6 p.m. for $5 per person.

Food, drink and craft vendors will be set up around the park. Walker and Associates Insurance is the main event sponsor.

A band and street dance will start at 8 p.m., continuing until the fireworks show, which will take place about 10 p.m.

“It’s all centered around Landmark Park, so you don’t have to go anywhere else,” Stafford said.