Fourth of July activities scheduled


Josh Saxton

Fourth of July Committee member Betty Coffrin collects money from players during the Harold Hackett Memorial Bingo Game June 28 in Morton Park. Players were charged 25 cents per bingo board and could purchase as many as they like.

Destiny Bell, Staff Reporter

Less than a month away, the Charleston Red, White and Blue Committee is already making preparations for the Fourth of July celebration. Betty Coffrin, a member of the committee, said the committee was started 25 years ago in 1990 and is made up of local people.

According to the Charleston Red, White, and Blue Days website, “the committee was created as a way to bring fun and entertainment to the City of Charleston while celebrating our nations’ freedom.”

Coffrin said that organizing the event takes a lot of work.

“We start meeting the first part of May, and all the entertainers, we usually line that up as soon as they are available and we get their pricing. Mike Ziebka lines up our entertainment for us and has done a phenomenal job down through the years,” she said.

Coffrin said the committee gets funding from the Charleston Charitable Trust, tourism, and donations from various businesses throughout the city.

“Each years’ event, with all of the entertainment and the services – we’re talking about the entertainers, the stage, the support that they have to have, the catering, advertising and the additional facilities at the park like the port-a-potties, I’d say close to $40 thousand to $45 thousand each year,” she said. “That is a really rough estimate.”

Often one person will focus on one part of the event, and help in that area every year for years. For example, one committee member will take care of the all you can eat ice cream offered for $2 on the day of the Fourth. Another will take care of the parade. They send out entries and line it up. One part of the committee will take care of the memorial bingo game, which helps raise funds. Another person on the committee takes care of the t-shirts and another takes care of the inflatables for the kids.

“Each person in the committee has their area of expertise after this many years and we all work together,” she said.

All entertainment is free to the public with the schedule of events is outlined:

  • Sunday, June 26 from 2-5 p.m. in Morton Park will be Harold Hackett Memorial Bingo, which is named after Hackett in honor of his years of service overseeing past Bingo in the Park events. This event helps raise funds for the fourth of July and will include snacks, cash and prizes according to Charleston Red, White and Blue Days site.
  • Thursday, June 30 at 7: 30 p.m. in Kiwanis Park is the Community Band Patriotic Concert. The Community Band Patriotic Concert is made up of retired band members and people in the community who like to get together and play. “It’s always nice, very patriotic, and uplifting,” Coffrin said.
  • Saturday, July 2 from 7-9 p.m. in Kiwanis Park, Charleston American Legion Post 93 Color Guard will open the evening’s event followed by a Benefit Concert “featuring Country, Old Rock, Blues, & some Gospel Music” according to the Red, White and Blue website.
  • During the July 2 event, tickets for the AYCE Pancake & Sausage Breakfast will be on sale as well as Raffle Tickets. The Raffle prize is a four Burner Gas Grill.
  • Sunday, July 3 from 1-4 p.m., Inflatable Games will be available followed by Joyful Bubbles from 4-8 p.m. Vendors will open at 3 p.m. Entertainment will start at 6:30 p.m. with Country singers Nestor Andress and at 8 p.m., Brothers Osborne. Additionally, the Award to Farmer of the Year and the Crowning of Little Mr. and Miss Firecracker will be presented between 6:30 and 8 p.m.
  • Monday on the Fourth of July, the Red, White and Blue Celebration will open with a pancake breakfast from 6-11 a.m. in Morton Park. Registration for the four-mile run/walk starts at 6:30 a.m. and requires an entry fee. The entry fee is $20 if received by June 20 and $25 if received after. Pre-registration will guarantee the participant a T-Shirt. The run starts at 7:30 a.m.
    • Activities will be available all day including inflatables and inflatable games, a foam pit, a chalk-in where participants draw patriotic artwork on Pierce St, a parade, various forms of entertainment including the musical group Captain Rat and the Blind Rivets. At Dusk at Coles County Airport, Fireworks will commence.


Destiny Bell can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]