Vernon County communities, like many communities in Wisconsin and across the United States, celebrate the nation’s independence with a variety of events. Fourth of July festivities this year will take on a different look because of the coronavirus pandemic.
ViroquaThe Viroqua Skylighters will celebrate the holiday on Saturday, July 4 with the launching of fireworks from the infield on the Vernon County Fairgrounds at dusk. The grandstand will not be open to spectators. If there is rain, the show will be held the next night. The Skylighters, which is a group of volunteers, have been putting on the show for more than 30 years.
The annual Marcia Andrew Memorial Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Social hosted by the Vernon County Historical Society on the lawn of the Sherry-Butt House in Viroqua will not be held due to coronavirus concerns. The Sherry-Butt House, located at 795 N. Main St., will be open for regular Saturday visitors from 1 to 5 p.m.
The annual Viroqua Eagles Annual Car and Truck Show on the Fourth of July weekend has also been canceled because of the coronavirus.
WestbyIndependence Day in Westby will be celebrated at dusk Saturday, July 4, with a fireworks show launched from the city’s industrial park north of the Westby-Christiana Fire Department. The rain date is Sunday, July 5.
The fire department will not host its annual Fourth of July open house this year. According to a June 1 Facebook post, the decision to cancel was made “…in an effort to keep our community safe and healthy…”
The Ontario Community Club has a tentative schedule of events for Independence Day.
Ron Campbell, the club’s president, said this year’s celebration is modified because of the coronavirus. “Usually it’s a two-day affair,” he said.
Saturday, July 4, kicks off with the first annual Ontario Car Show. Registration is from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and the cost is $5 per vehicle. Trophies will be awarded at 1 p.m., followed by a cruise at 2 p.m. The show will be set up on other side of Hwy. 33, opposite the village square.
There will be a parade at noon, with lineup on Lincoln Street starting at 11 a.m. Registration isn’t necessary to march in the parade.
Afternoon activities on the village square include horse-drawn wagon rides, and craft and food vendors. Call 625-4603 to reserve a space on the square for the day.
The Mini-Pullers Garden Tractor Pull starts at 2 p.m. A pedal tractor pull for children ages 4 through 12 will be held near the Legion Hall at 5:30 p.m. and is free of charge. Campbell said equipment will be disinfected between each pull.
Tor Eness and Friends will provide music on the Community Hall deck at 6 p.m.
The day wraps up with fireworks at dusk. The rain date is July 11. Donations will accepted for the fireworks
Cowboy Church, featuring country gospel music, will be held Sunday, July 5, at 7 p.m. Campbell said the chairs will be spread out under a tent, and the tent’s sides will be lifted. “People can listen from outside the tent,” he said.
Campbell said the wearing of masks and social distancing is advised at all of the events, per CDC guidelines. Everyone is welcome to bring their own lawn chairs.
The village of La Farge will be celebrating Independence Day with a parade at 10:30 a.m., when the La Farge VFW and other veterans march the parade route to the veterans memorial in the Village Park
Old Hwy 131 Trail on the Kickapoo Valley Reserve will be open to vehicle traffic from noon to 4 p.m. Drivers are asked to enter from the south gate off Corps Road.
The day ends at dusk with fireworks at Calhoon Park. There will be a virtual drawing of the La Farge Lions Club raffle.
People are asked to practice proper social distancing measures while at events.
Angela Cina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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