Remainder of Red, White, Blue Days festivities to begin this week

Logan Raschke, Editor-in-Chief

People can celebrate Independence Day with the rest of the Charleston community over food, live entertainment, fireworks and more at the rest of the Red, White and Blue Days festivities this week.

The rest of the Red, White and Blue Days will take place at Morton Park on Wednesday (July 3) and Thursday (July 4).

Things happening on July 3

Betty Coffrin, an organizer for the Red, White and Blue Days, said the Hussey Brothers and John Michael Montgomery will perform live for free.

The Hussey Brothers (Quinn and Sean) perform “praise and worship music,” according to their Facebook page. Coffrin said they will perform at 6 p.m.

Following their performance, the Annual Farmer of the Year award will be given out.

Coffrin said this award has been given every year for about 25 or 26 years now, courtesy of the Charleston Chamber of Commerce and Farm Bureau.

Country musician Montgomery will perform live at 8 p.m., Coffrin said.

Before the live entertainment, Coffrin said food vendors will open at 3 p.m., and joyful bubbles, a family friendly event where people blow big bubbles, will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Things happening on July 4

Coffrin said the pancake breakfast, hosted by the American Legion, will go from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the east Pavilion at Morton Park. It costs $6 per adult and $3 for children ages five through 12.

“The pancakes are good, the sausage is amazing; it’s a great way to start this whole day on July 4,” Coffrin said.

At 6:30 a.m., registration for Habitat for Humanity’s Four-Mile Run/Walk begins; it officially starts at 7:30 a.m.

At 9 a.m., artists will cover sidewalks and concrete with their work for the Chalk-In.

Coffrin said the artists will draw on Pierce Avenue and have their work judged by the Coles County Arts Council. After the judges finish, artists will be ranked for their work in different categories.

Also at 9 a.m., registration for the Pet Parade begins; it officially starts at 9:30 a.m.

Coffrin said dogs, pygmy goats and even turtles in buckets can be seen in the Pet Parade. She said anyone who has a pet is welcome to bring it; pets do not have to be dressed to participate in the parade.

After the parade is finished, judges will select pets for different categorical awards, she said.

From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Inflatable Games and Fire House Fun will take place.

Coffrin said different inflatables are made and handed out for the Inflatable Games; the Charleston Fire Department sprays down Division Street during Fire House Fun.

Additionally, people can pay $2 for All You Can Eat Ice Cream, which lasts all day long, Coffrin said.

“Basically, you spend $2 and get your hand stamped, and you get your hand stamped and you can go through the ice cream stand as many times as you can,” she said. “We have people go from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.”

Ginger Stanfield, director of the Charleston Community Band, said the ice cream is especially refreshing after the parade.

The parade, led by the Community Band, will begin at 1 p.m.; the parade will begin at the Square, go south on Sixth Street, go west on Polk Avenue and finish along the west side of Morton Park on Division Street, Coffrin said.

There will be no parking allowed on the parade route from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Vehicles that are parked on this route between these times are subject to towing, according to the Charleston Police Department.

Stanfield said about 40 members of the band will go on a 40-foot flatbed semi truck and playing patriotic march songs as they lead the parade.

Coffrin said local businesses, politicians, clubs and churches will also participate in the parade.

The Bell Ringing Ceremony will take place at 2:15 p.m., Coffrin said.

Every year, different groups or organizations do the honor of ringing the liberty bell. This year, Coffrin said the Charleston Fire Department and Police Department will ring the bell for the first time ever for this year’s Red, White and Blue Days.

At 2:30 p.m., the Sawyer Brothers, a country rock band, will perform live for free.

Coffrin said the Sawyer Brothers also performed for the Red, White and Blue Days for the celebration’s first year.

Fireworks on July 4

Manager Andrew Fearn said Independence Day fireworks will go off around 9:15 p.m. at the Coles County Memorial Airport.

He said the best place to view the fireworks will be at the ramp at the airport.

The Coles County Memorial Airport is located at 432 Airport Rd. in Mattoon.

Parking Information

There will be no parking allowed on the parade route from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Vehicles that are parked anywhere on this route during these times could be towed.

The parade route starts at the Square, then goes south on Sixth Street, west on Polk Avenue and along the west side of Morton Park on Division Street.

A printable schedule of events for the Red, White and Blue Days can be found on the city’s website.

Logan Raschke can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].