Even with this summer affected by the pandemic, much of the region’s Independence Day schedule is still on as scheduled.
The Mitchell Exchange Club is sponsoring the annual Lake Mitchell fireworks show, which will be fired from the Windy Point area at the northwest end of the lake. The show is slated to begin at 10 p.m. on Saturday and is expected to last 22 minutes, according to the city fireworks permit. West Harmon Drive will be temporarily closed during the show. Lew’s Fireworks, of Watertown, will once again be shooting the fireworks.
While President Donald Trump's appearance and the return of Mount Rushmore's fireworks display on July 3 has gotten the bulk of the state's attention, South Dakota’s large communities have taken a mixed approach to fireworks displays during COVID-19. Mitchell, Aberdeen, Brookings and Huron are among the communities still having large-scale fireworks displays, and local sponsors in Sioux Falls took over plans after the Sioux Falls Jaycees decided not to sponsor a show over health concerns. Watertown canceled its traditional show at the Terry Redlin Art Center and Yankton’s fireworks at Riverside Park have been postponed, with hopes of having a show this fall.
Other events in Mitchell will surround the holiday weekend. The community will cut the ribbon on the recently completed Corn Palace Plaza at 3 p.m. Thursday, and musician Lizzy Morrison will break in the newly constructed stage as part of Mitchell Main Street and Beyond’s First Friday on Main event, which starts at 5 p.m. Friday. Attendees wishing to enjoy the music are encouraged to bring their own blankets and chairs. Food trucks will be set up near the plaza and vendors will be serving hot dogs, lemonade and apple pie.
The Starlite Drive-In will be showing nightly movies through July 5. On Wednesday and Thursday, the 1984 comedy Ghostbusters will be shown, with the kid-friendly movie Trolls World Tour being shown on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Gates open 8 p.m. and the movies begin roughly 20 minutes after sunset. On Sunday, the Kiwanis Club of Mitchell will sponsor Kids Night at the Starlite Drive-In, with free admission to the first 100 kids ages 5 to 11 (ages 4 and under are free), and free giveaways to all children age 11 and under.
Here’s a look at other area events taking place around the July 4 holiday:
Friday, July 3: Carthage Firemen’s Supper is from 5-7 p.m. at the Carthage Fire Hall (Drive-thru, indoor seating and call-in orders welcome at 772-4173.). Fireworks at dark at Lake Carthage.
Saturday, July 4: Patriotic parade, 10:30 a.m., on Main Street to observe Independence Day. (Line-up begins at 9:45 a.m. at Avenue of Flags on South Main Street, entries are open to all vehicles.) A community lunch will follow the parade at Veterans Memorial Park. Rock the Bluffs fireworks show at 10:20 p.m., with fireworks shot off from the Missouri River causeway and available to be seen around Chamberlain and Oacoma.
Friday, July 3: Amateur baseball game with Platte at Corsica/Stickney, 7:30 p.m., with fireworks to follow. There will also be a candy giveaway for children.
Saturday, July 4: Ethan American Legion Post 261 will be celebrating its 75th anniversary with a potluck dinner at 6 p.m. at the Legion building on Main Street. Fireworks will be held at dark.
Sunday, July 5: Chislic stand opens at Freeman Baseball Park at noon. Youth baseball and softball games will be held, starting at noon and throughout the afternoon. The Freeman Black Sox amateur baseball team will play Tabor at 7:30 p.m., with fireworks to follow at 10 p.m.
Weekend events: Scavenger hunt, starting July 2, with the first clues posted at Sunshine Park. A dance and karaoke will be held from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Gregory Lanes nightly from July 2 to 4.
Thursday, July 2: The Benson Family Singers and ventriloquist Taylor Mason will perform at 6 p.m. at the Park Performance Center. (Tickets at the gate are $25 for adults, $20 for ages 11-18 and ages 10 and under free. Advance tickets available by calling 830-1545 or visiting itickets.com.) Teener and Legion baseball against Winner/Colome at 6 and 8 p.m.
Friday, July 3: Junior teener baseball doubleheader against Winner, 4 p.m. Java Jives concert, 5 p.m, at the Park Performance Center.
Saturday, July 4: Kiddie parade at Krotter’s Corner, 10:30 a.m. Big parade at 11 a.m., theme of “The Power of Hope.” Bean bag tournament at Gregory Lanes after the parade, limited to 32 teams (call 835-8131 to register). A smoked pork sandwich feed held from noon to 2 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church. Bingo from 2 to 10 p.m. at the Gregory American Legion. South Central Storm amateur baseball game against area “Old Timers” (open to any who wish to play), 6 p.m. Fireworks at 10 p.m. at Gregory Municipal Airport.
Saturday, July 4: Firemen’s Celebration at the Howard softball diamonds. Games start at 3 p.m., followed by food at 5:30 p.m. Coolers are welcome and individuals are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and bug spray. Fireworks at dark. Event benefits the Howard Volunteer Fire Department, with donations being accepted.
Friday, July 3: Menno Mad Frogs bean bag tournament, 3 p.m. on Fifth Street (Main Street), two-person teams, double-elimination with a cost of $30 per team. Registration is open until 2 p.m., rules meeting at 2:30 p.m., play begins at 3 p.m. Call 999-4990 to pre-register. Street dance from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Fifth Street.
Saturday, July 4: Road race, 7:30 a.m., with registration at the Menno Fire Hall. Parade at 11 a.m., with a kiddie parade at 10:50 a.m. Theme is “Freedom is not free.” The parade route begins at the Menno City/School Auditorium and runs primarily on Fifth Street and Heil Street. The parade will also travel east on Poplar Street and on Pine Street past the Menno Olivet Care Center. The Menno FFA (pork/barbecue) and American Legion (chislic/brats) will each serve meals after the parade. At 7:30 p.m., Menno hosts Freeman in amateur baseball, with fireworks to follow the game.
Sunday, July 5: Patriotic community worship service, 10 a.m., at the Menno City/School Auditorium.
Saturday, July 4: Amateur baseball game with Dimock/Emery at Parkston, 7 p.m. Fireworks to follow.
Saturday, July 4: 5K Fun Run/Walk, 8 a.m., at Tom Brokaw Park. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., and a freewill donation is encouraged for participation. A parade is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., with the theme of “Happy Birthday, America.” (Parade route will run from the Pickstown Post Office and will follow Abdnor Street and Missouri Drive before ending at Tom Brokaw Park. All entries and types of entries are welcome.) Dinner at the park will follow, with hot dogs, chips and root beer floats available for a freewill donation. Individuals are encouraged to bring their own chairs to abide by social distancing. The donations will go toward new park equipment.
Saturday, July 4: Amateur baseball game with Corsica/Stickney at Platte, 7:30 p.m., with fireworks from the Platte Fire Department to follow.
Friday, July 3: Bull-O-Rama, 7:30 p.m., at Springfield Rodeo Grounds (three miles west of Springfield). Main Street Dance featuring The Kaul Boys, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. ($10 admission)
Saturday, July 4: Virtual Firecracker 5K run-walk. Games at College Memorial Park (co-ed volleyball, horseshoes, bean bag tournaments) at 11 a.m. Marina celebration at 5 p.m., $10 wristband for unlimited inflatables from 5-8 p.m. Crowning of frog queen and frog jump at 8 p.m. Fireworks display at dusk.
Saturday, July 4: Parade at 2 p.m., starting on College Avenue, traveling south toward Main Street. The theme is “Rockin’ in the USA.” Old Settler’s games and turtle races, 4 p.m., at David Jost Field. (Games will be focused on family competitions and social distancing.) Fireworks at dusk at City Park.
Woonsocket Water Festival’s theme is “Freedom is essential,” celebrating essential workers and professions.
Friday, July 3: Lake Prior kids fishing derby at 6 p.m. 5K fun run at 7 p.m. (Contact 354-0498 to register.) Outdoor DJ on the open lot next to Post Office building, 9 p.m., with freewill donation being collected for the Woonsocket Fire Department.
Saturday, July 4: Parade, 11 a.m., registration at the City Offices on Dumont Avenue. Bring your own picnic at the lake at noon. Bean bag tournament, 1:30 p.m. near the school. Fireworks over Lake Prior, 10 p.m.