LETTERS: 4th of July celebration plans underway

To the Editor:

As you sit and read this article, the Peabody Fourth Celebration Society is experiencing feelings of excitement and anxiety. July 4 is less than six weeks away!

Last year's celebration gave us all an experience we have not felt in years — rain! We managed to delay the celebration a couple of days and, with the help of some very generous donations, deliver a full fireworks show. However, the decrease in attendance due to weather has had an impact on planning the 2008 celebration. The bank account is approximately $4,000 less than it was a year ago, but we are pressing forward with high hopes.

Events for this year are on schedule. A new event will be a golf tournament held the weekend prior to July 4. Proceeds from the tournament will be used for Peabody-Burns High School student-athletes. Contact Travis Foth, 620-382-5870 for information and registration details.

The alumni dance will be held July 3 at Peabody American Legion.

The morning of July 4 will begin with the traditional 6 a.m. salutes. The horseshoe tournament will begin at 8 a.m. in the city park, followed by kids' games throughout the day.

In addition, the flea market, car show, and dog show will provide hours of enjoyment for all who attend.

Contact Russ Busenitz, Peabody Recreation Commission director, 620-344-8380 for kids' games information. Flea market inquiries should be directed to Larry Rose, 316-773-2119. Car show and parade questions can be answered by Brian and Tammy Whiteside, 620-983-2079.

The festivities don't stop here. A softball tournament is scheduled for July 5. Contact Kendall Winter, 316-772-6416 for tournament details. This also is the rain date for the fireworks show.

This is where we need some help. The carnival that we have used the past few years has decided, due to economic constraints, to stay closer to home. We are working on setting up an old-time carnival from 6 to 8 p.m. with games such as a softball toss, basketball shoot, beanbag toss, etc. If you or your organization would like to get involved or run such an event, contact Tim Peterson, 316-772-6917.

We also need help with the fireworks. We have a dedicated crew that spends countless hours designing, building, displaying, and cleaning up the ground displays and aerials for the celebration. We are proud to carry on a tradition that started more than 87 years ago and we need volunteers to help us continue the tradition for another 87.

If you would like to become an integral part of Peabody history, stop by the roundhouse if you see someone working during the month of June. Whether it be pulling nails, coming up with new set piece ideas, or fusing pyrotechnics, we have a job for every ability.

The Peabody Fourth Celebration Society appreciates any and all assistance, physical or financial. The impact you make will be felt for generations to come.

Brian McDowell