EVART — Are you ready to celebrate Independence Day in the best traditions of small town America?

This year, as in years past, the Evart-area community will come together to mark this nation’s most important civic holiday with something for everyone who wishes to get involved.

Celebrating the Fourth of July as a community is an old, time-tested tradition in Evart. This year, the tradition continues — but bigger, better, and with a lot to offer area residents and visitors alike.

The fun actually begins with a great program of music — one that has been a draw for the past few years and should be exciting once again this year.

As part of the Evart Downtown Musicale series of concerts, Shout!, a Beatles tribute band, will take the stage during the Independence Day pre-fireworks musical extravaganza at Tom Smith Memorial Stadium from 7 to dusk on Sunday, July 3 — a concert that in the past has had the city of Evart rocking all night long.

Then, as darkness settles in, “bombs” will be bursting in air as one of the biggest and best fireworks shows in northern Michigan, (if not the state), takes place at the fairgrounds.

Visible for miles around, the Evart Chamber of Commerce sponsored fireworks attract thousands of visitors to the area each year, with people coming from as far as Grand Rapids and Traverse City specifically to see the pyrotechnical display.

“We are expecting great things and a super fireworks display again his year,” noted Chamber president Bill Britz.

“We are investing over $17,000 on the fireworks extravaganza.

“As usual, our members will be out and about collecting donations from those watching and enjoying the show. If it were not for the generosity of our residents and visitors, this would not happen.”

The July 3 activities are just the beginning of the holiday festivities.

At 11 a.m. Monday, July 4, one of the biggest parades around begins making its way down Main Street.

Main Street in Evart will be packed with curbside sitters early as the annual Independence Day parade passes down the street, across U.S. 10, and ends at Riverside Park.

It’s a huge affair with all the elements of a great parade - floats, clowns, tractors, music, and politicians looking for your vote!

Ramrodded by Jan Booher, the parade, takes quite a bit of wrangling.

“There’s still time for individuals, businesses, or organizations to get involved,” noted Booher.

“Folks can call to let me know they wish to participate.

“The parade is always a lot of fun. It’s a great way to start off a great day.”

Booher can be reached at 734-6585.

Following the parade which, as noted, ends at Evart’s Riverside Park, the rest of the weekend fun really begins in earnest.

“There’s going to be a lot going on at our annual Party in the Park,” said Britz.

“One of the things that makes this happening such a success is the fact that so many civic groups get involved — from the General Federation of Women’s Clubs to the Lions Club, the Moose and the VFW, and more.

“About 10 different organizations have a hand in making this party a real community success.

“We, in Evart, enjoy celebrating the Fourth of July in real style.”

Organizers note that the Party in the Park activities should begin around 12:30 p.m. and will include a greased pole, dunk tank, arm wrestling, games for the kids, and much more — inflatables, a slip-and-slide, sack races, a penny hunt, a rubber ducky race, ring toss, and ...

Throughout the day there will be live music with Rivertown and the Sunshine Strong Band, and there will be lots and lots of food.

There will be art and crafts venders, a wandering juggler, a caricature artists, and balloon animals galore.

For folks who want to relax a bit more there will be Bingo.

Around noon, the traditional Independence Day incense will rise from the chicken barbecue served by members of the Evart Lions Club and Evart Masonic Lodge.

There will also be hot dogs and brats on site, the ever-popular Strawberry Shortcake served the ladies of the GFWC, ice cream scooped by OLAH members, and more.

Evart City Council members have voted to allow a beverage tent at the park during the festivities.

“It’s going to be a great Independence Day celebration in Evart and we hope folks from all over the county come to join us,” said Britz.