The Independence Holiday will light up the night, or several nights, in Stephens County beginning Friday and lasting until next week.
Duncan, Marlow, Comanche and Velma each have plans in celebration of Fourth of July, though there may be some slight changes this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Below are some of the events going on in Stephens County in honor of the Independence Holiday.
In Duncan, the yearly firework show will continue as planned, according to Chamber President and CEO Chris Deal.
Deal said Duncan Machine Products helped purchase the fireworks for the display, which is set to shine at dark on July 3 at Abe Raizen Par.
“It was an interesting walk (planning the event) because of the COVID-19 and the Chinese ports being shutdown,” Deal said of receiving the fireworks. “But we’ll open the park if people want to come out with their families and sit by their car and bring some food.”
Social distancing will have to take place, though, according to Deal.
“Because of COVID-19 and social distancing and masks, we are not having any festival activity so those bounce houses and rides won’t be there this year, but we hope they’ll be back next year.”
Deal said they expanded parking this year and included restroom facilities, but with social distancing practice in place, if a family comes, they should try to “have fun on your own.”
In Comanche, the firework show tradition will continue as in the previous years on July 4, according to City Manager Chuck Ralls.
Ralls said the display will take place at sunset at The Field of Dreams in Comanche.
Sponsored by The Comanche Electric Department and put on by The Comanche Fire Department, the show will last around 40 minutes.
“There will not be any other events in conjunction with the show,” Ralls said.
Attendees should adhere to the CDC guidelines for social distancing protocols and safety precautions.
Attendees are encouraged “to stay in cars and practice safe social distancing,” Ralls said. Although, “no firm restrictions other than no individual fireworks” are in place.
In Marlow, the annual fireworks celebration will begin at 9 a.m. July 4 with a parade which kicks of the events in Redbud Park.
The theme is an “Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration.”
According to a press release, all groups who would like to participate with their organizations are encouraged to be in the parade, and individual entries are also invited to enter.
The parade line up will begin at 7:45 a.m. in the area surrounding Marlow High School, with the exception of the horses and horse drawn entries. They will line up in the parking lot of the City Hall building, at 119 S. 2nd. Motorcycles, if any, should line up with the automobiles on Seminole.
The Chamber officials ask that all off road vehicles be decorated with the Fourth of July holiday theme.
Prizes awards for floats include $75 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place.
Also featured in the parade will be antique vehicles, with trophies going to the Best Original, Best Modified, Best Decorated and Best Truck, as well as Best Original Tractor and Most Unique Tractor and best Decorated Off-Road Vehicle. There will also be first and second place trophies awarded in the Individual Horse Division and in the Horse Drawn Division.
Redbud Park will open for the celebration at 10 a.m.
As stated in a press release, the event will feature live entertainment throughout the day, arts and crafts, food and game booths, along with other activities, including a wide variety of inflatables.
The First Baptist Church Marlow will host children’s activities in the park for part of the day, with unlimited play on attractions for $2. Proceeds from the event will go to the Marlow Samaritans.
On the center stage at the park is where performers will provide entertainment throughout the day.
Throughout the evening the entertainment will begin at the north stage at 6:30 p.m. with Jack Tidwell performing, followed by Chance Anderson beginning at 8 p.m.
The grand finale of the celebration will begin at 9:30 p.m. with one of the largest free fireworks displays in southwest Oklahoma.
For more information about the exact lineup locations for entries in the parade and any further questions, contact the Chamber of Commerce by calling 580-658-2212 or 580-641-0440.
While the celebration isn’t until next weekend, Town of Velma leaders said fireworks can be discharged in city limits from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. both July 3-4.
This year, the Velma Summer Fest is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, July 10 at the Velma Picnic Grounds.
The family friendly event will include free live music from both Dylan Wheeler and Trenton Fletcher and free activities for the kids. The event will also include a fireworks display. Vendors will also be available on site.
For more information, contact Velma Town Hall by dialing 580-444-3393.