Maumelle has big plans for next week’s celebration called Fourthfest, which starts at 5 p.m. July 4, and begins with a parade down Millwood Circle and Club Manor Drive.
There is no fee for participating in the parade and late entries are expected, Philip Raborn, city Parks and Recreation Department director, said Tuesday.
He said the department would appreciate a call to let organizers know if someone plans on being a part of the parade.
Last year’s event included floats decorated by businesses and organizations, antique cars and small vehicles of all types from a motorized wheelchair to lawn mowers.
Floats with cheerleaders or other teams often throw candy to observers, who line the streets for the short distance the parade lasts.
Local politicians also will participate, and most will give away candy as well.
Raborn urged those throwing candy to be sure and get it out of the vehicle’s way because the young children who line the streets often will dart out for the candy before their parents can restrain them.
He urged everyone to don patriotic clothing and participate in the parade or at least watch.
Immediately following the parade events kick off at Lake Willastein, he said.
Jump Zone will have three inflatables that are free to participants, he said.
Parks staff will also conduct some of the more favorite events along the midway including a water balloon sling shot contest, face painting, a dunking booth, basketball shoot out and the most popular — the floating golf green out in the middle of the lake.
But this year another unusual contest may steal the show, Raborn said.
That’s the greased chicken throwing contest, he said.
Food for sale at the midway includes fresh lemonade, funnel bites, shaved ice and other deep fried threats.
Talent performances are slated for 7 p.m. at the amphitheater.
Victoria Schafer and the Halsted Ashley Mountain Band will entertain with music starting at 8 p.m. and conclude just as the fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.
Parks staff are taking extra precautions to be sure the fireworks sponsored by the city will not create any fire issues by mowing the grass very close and watering down areas where debris can be expected to fall.
With a county wide burn ban in place, a special permit is required from the county.