by Dan Mundt

Tomorrow will bring the return of the Red, White & Boom celebration of the nation’s independence.

The Bill Riley talent search at Washington Park will kick off the festivities at 1 p.m. followed by the Independence Day parade in uptown Denison.

Line up for the parade is at 3 p.m. and the parade begins at 3:30.

“Anyone who wants to be a part of the parade can line up at the post office,” said Crawford County Tourism Coordinator Blair Weigum.

The celebration shifts to Yellow Smoke Park immediately following the conclusion of the parade.

A sand castle contest begins at 5:15 p.m., with registration starting 15 minutes before.

Weigum said the sand castle contest has always been popular with kids.

“We have supplies, but kids are encouraged to bring their own, if they want,” she said. “Awards will be given based on tallest castle, longest castle, most patriotic castle and most unique castle.”

Registration begins at 6 p.m. for a sidewalk art contest at 6:15.

“The sidewalk art contest is always a lot of fun,” Weigum said.

The sand castle and sidewalk art contests are for kids 12 and under and a $1 registration fee applies to both.

The beach area has plenty of room for kids to run around and play all evening.

Registration for the Sink or Float Cardboard Boat Race begins at 6:15 p.m.

Boat judging takes place at 6:30 p.m. and the race starts at 7 p.m.

“My favorite is the cardboard boat races. Those have been cool to watch every year,” Weigum said. “People get creative with their boats and it’s fun to watch the parents and kids float them in the lake. We’ve seen some really good entries these last two years.”

The boat race entry fee is $10.

vailable to rent at Yellow Smoke.

A carnival with kids’ games will take place at the nature center from 7 to 9 p.m.

Registration begins at 7:45 p.m. for the 8:15 p.m. start of the Glow n’ Splash volleyball tournament.

“Glow n’ Splash volleyball rules are very similar to land volleyball, with the exception that it is played in the water at the beach,” Weigum said.

Teams have six players and should have a designated captain.

Each team member will be given glow-in-the-dark bracelets and necklaces.

The entry fee is $10 per team of six.

Teams will play until the last two teams play for a trophy.

“It’s the perfect way to cool off while having some fun before fireworks start,” Weigum said.

Everyone has the option of jumping in the water if the weather is hot, she noted.

“We usually have lots of people that want to swim,” she said.

Music and food vending will begin at 5 p.m. near the beach and continue through the fireworks, which begin after dark.

“Yellow Smoke is a great place to watch the fireworks,” Weigum said. “Bring some chairs and blankets and sit on the grass or sit on the beach. The fireworks are right in front of you.”

Personal fireworks will not be allowed at the celebration.

“We’ve had problems with people bringing their own in the past,” she said. “Light those off elsewhere.”

Weigum expects several hundred people to attend the Red, White & Boom celebration.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” she said.

For more information, contact Weigum at 712-263-6622.

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