By MATT CRANE
The Starkville Parks and Recreation Department hosts a communitywide Independence Day celebration today beginning at 6 p.m. at the Starkville Sportsplex.
Starkville Parks and Recreation director Matthew Rye said guests can expect warm temperatures, but the Fourth of July celebration has been a wonderful tradition for families in Starkville.
“It’s a very relaxing event where people can socialize,” Rye said. “There will be music playing throughout and we encourage people to come out and play around.”
Rye said personal frisbees, footballs, soccer balls and the like are welcomed for families to enjoy themselves while waiting for the fireworks to begin.
Although dogs are allowed at the community celebration, event organizers have asked that owners keep their dogs on leashes for the duration of the event and owners must pick up after their pets.
Rye said many activities have been planned for the children attending the event, including jumping inflatables which will open for operation at 6 p.m.
The Starkville Tea Party will provide celebration-goers with free hot dogs beginning at 6:30 p.m. followed by free ice cream at 7 p.m. courtesy of John Robert Arnold.
Rye said live musical entertainment will start at 8:15 p.m. when those gathered at the Sportsplex can hear the Arnold Peters Happy Singers.
Rye said patrons are encouraged to bring personal blankets and lawn chairs to relax on the fields during the event, a tradition he said has been interesting to watch over the years.
“It’s neat to see families get there early to get the same spot they’ve had for years,” he said. “It’s great to see that tradition of bringing the family together.”
While the celebration’s main event, a 20-minute fireworks display, begins at 9 p.m., Rye said the night’s focus continues to be one of honoring those who have fought for the freedom of the nation.
“We ought to be thankful for the freedoms we have in this country and not let them be taken for granted,” he said. “We want to remember.”
The Starkville Sportsplex Fourth of July community celebration begins at 6 p.m. and is expected to last no later than 9:30 p.m.
For more information, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 662-323-2294.