Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hailey to ‘let freedom ring’ on Fourth

Bike race and Freedom Dance concert to follow July 4 parade

Express Staff Writer

    The Fourth of July has for many years been the big event in Hailey. Far-flung family members return to town, businesses and other organizations celebrate during the parade, and parties continue until the wee hours.
    The day’s events begin with a pancake breakfast at the Grange Hall and end with fireworks over Quigley Canyon, east of the city.
    This year’s theme is “Let Freedom Ring with Western Splendor.” The mile-long parade will be led by Grand Marshal Harold Drussel (see related story on Page S9). After the parade, there will be a Freedom Dance on Main Street beside City Hall and an ice-cream social gathering at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, on Second Avenue.
    The Days of the Old West Rodeo began on Tuesday, July 2, and will run through Thursday, July 4. Antique markets will be open at Roberta McKercher Park, at the south end of town, and along Main Street at the north end.
    This year’s Independence Day celebration will include a mile-long parade on Thursday, July 4, featuring classic cars, high school marching bands, wagons pulled by prize livestock, rodeo queens and local politicians.
    This year, a “special celebrity guest” will ride in support of the Hailey Community Climate Challenge, an ongoing project to reduce greenhouse emissions in the city.
    Immediately following the parade, bike racers will take to the streets of Old Hailey. The Hailey Criterium will feature amateur and professional riders on a four-turn course that finishes on Main Street along the parade route.
    There is truly something for everyone.

The big event
    The parade will begin at noon on Thursday, on Main Street just south of the Wood River Inn. People are advised to put chairs out early along Main Street if they prefer to sit.
    The parade will proceed southward through downtown Hailey. A panel of lady judges known as the Red Hatters will judge participants as they pass by.  The ladies will award first-, second-, and third-place prizes for five separate categories; Best Float, Best in Equestrian/Wagon Group, Best in Antique/or Decorated Vehicle, Best in Theme, and Best Organization.
    The parade will end at Blaine Manor and exit onto Cedar Street, where the Blaine County Heritage Court ladies will give a final round of applause to all contestants. 
    After the bike race, the Freedom Dance will take place from 2-10 p.m. on Croy Street beside City Hall and the Hailey Public Library. Featured bands at this free event will be Swagger, Matt Hopper and the Roman Candles, Pause for a Cause and Hoodwink.
    The music will play until 10 p.m. at which time people can look to the east over Quigley Canyon, where fireworks will be seen in the night sky.

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