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July 4th promises fun-filled affair

Lake County Fairgrounds will have a variety of activities to entertain all ages during 4th of July celebrations, starting at 4 p.m.

The Fairgrounds are assuming control of the fireworks and festivities following recent budget cuts from the Chamber of Commerce, providing a vast mix of activities, live entertainment, food and refreshments and fireworks starting around 9 p.m.

Kids activities will start at 4 p.m., with a 30-foot slide and bounce house provided free of charge. Anna’s Clownworks will be on site, providing face-painting and balloon animals.

A dunk tank with local celebrities should provide plenty of opportunities for revenge. One dollar will buy three throws for a chance to dunk local figures such as Mayor Mike Patrick, Commissioner Ken Kestner, District Attorney Ulys Stapleton, Fire Chief Dennis Morrill, Dan Henderson of True Value, LHS softball/basketball player Tori Crumrine, June Albertson and Lake County Examiner’s own Kurt Liedtke.

A flag raising ceremony will take place at 5 p.m., with local 8-year-old talent Jaila Jackson singing the national anthem. Boy scouts and V.A. Color Guard will be present for the ceremony.

A plethora of food options will be available as well to fill stomachs, with tacos, hamburgers and hot dogs provided by Veterans Services supporting the local VFW, Donna Kness’ Bread Wagon cotton candy and more. A beer garden will open at 6 p.m. with live music until 11 p.m.

At 7 p.m. the regional competition of the 33rd annual Country Showdown will begin. While admission is free to the 4th of July festivities, tickets for the Country Showdown are $12, with veterans receiving a $2 discount and children under five admitted free. Ticket purchases to the Country Showdown also provides grandstand seating for the fireworks display.  All proceeds raised from ticket sales and the dunk tank will go towards next year’s fireworks display.

Contestants in the Country Showdown are judged on a variety of criteria, with the winner sent to the next level of competition in Coos Bay, followed by a western regional competition and finals in Nashville. The winner of the Country Showdown nationals will receive $100,000 and a recording contract. Music entertainment will continue until 11 p.m., with Dream Chasers performing.

Western Fireworks is donating a portion of the materials for the fireworks, having to reshuffle personnel to ensure operation of the best possible show.

“They (Western Fireworks) put out a big effort to make it all come together, they went out of their way to guarantee that the show will go on,” said Don Moore, Lake County Fairgrounds manager.

Funding for fireworks has been a community effort, the cost being covered through donations from VFW Post 4070, VFW Auxiliary, Lakeview Town Hall, Lake County, Lakeview Fire Department, Lake County Historical Society and Tonya and Marissa Menchinella. A “Fill the Boot” donation campaign led by the fire department at the June 8 pool re-dedication and other events raised $2,251 for the fireworks display.

The Lake County Fairgrounds are located at 1900 N. 4th St. in Lakeview. For more information on the 4th of July events, please contact Don Moore at 541-947-2925.

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