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05-23-2019 Watervliet Independence Day Celebration has something for everyone

CITY PWD CLEANS UP BLUFF… The City of Watervliet Public Works Department has made substantial progress on the cleanup of the bluff overlooking Flaherty Park. Small trees and scrub have been felled that kept a view of the park hidden from Church Street traffic. Public Works will use a chipper to turn the trees into small mulch-like pieces that will cover the bluff to keep undergrowth to a minimum. The work is expected to be completed well before the Independence Weekend so that visitors will be invited to visit the park. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Watervliet Independence Day Celebration has something for everyone

By Annette Christie The Watervliet Independence Day Weekend Celebration will be held June 28, 29, and 30, 2019 with offerings for everyone. The Watervliet Business Association has been hard at work ironing out all the details for the weekend of fun. They will be bringing the carnival back and promise that it will be bigger and better. Also new this year: Amish Village in Flaherty Park; Independence Station at Kid Zone in Library Park; 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament; History of Watervliet movie viewing; Paw Paw River Jeep Club exhibit; and live music featuring the Hawaiian Rolls, Big Ben & the Burly Boys, and Deep Fried Pickle Project.

The festivities will begin at 4:00 p.m. on June 28 with the Watervliet Airport 40C Fly-in. The youth parade will start at 5:30 p.m. this year and travel down Main Street followed by the Cutest Baby Contest results and the selection of Little Red, White & Blue and Baby Independence. Friday night also brings a Pat Benatar Tribute Band, the Decorated Golf Cart Parade, an Independence Pro Wrestling event, and the Family Drive-In Movie “Bumble Bee” at the old paper mill property north of downtown on M-140. Organizers will be doing bug treatment at the property to help eliminate the mosquitoes that presented a problem last year. Watervliet WESCO will once again supply FREE popcorn at the drive-in movie.

Saturday, June 29 the celebration has a full day of activities slated for families. The Gene Bednarowski 5k run and walk will be held at 8:00 a.m. at North School. Between 7:00 and 11:00 a.m., the Watervliet Fire Department will be hosting their annual delicious pancake breakfast which is used to raise funds for many good causes in the community. The carnival will open on Saturday at 8:00 a.m. Between 10 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., kids should visit the Kid Zone at Library Park and Independence Station for FREE fun and activities and train rides.

The Amish Village at Flaherty Park will open at 10:00 a.m. Plan on stopping by to say hello to our new neighbors. Some of the activities planned for the day in the Amish Village will be baking, bonnet making, quilting and maybe some singing. New to the festival also this year is the Chill Zone Misting Station on Church Street. If you are trying to beat the heat this will be the place for you! With the help of the Watervliet Fire Dept. this area will be operating regularly throughout Saturday!

The All American 3-on-3 Basketball tournament will be held on Church Street starting at 10 a.m. Between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., the North Berrien Historical Museum will be hosting the “History of Watervliet” movie in the old bank building on Main Street. It will run continuously during that time frame. The July 4th Grand Parade will be held at 1:00 p.m. just after the crowning of the 2019 Little Miss and Mr. Firecracker. Following the parade, visitors should head on down to the old paper mill property for the Paw Paw River Jeep Club exhibit.

Saturday also brings the Annual Car Show and the Beer and Bags Tournament, both at Arclight. The Independence Pro Wrestling Championship will occur as well as the Vintage Baseball Game between the Hooterville Hitters and the House of David Baseball Team. The highlight of the day will be the fireworks display at Hays Park, with music on the Main Stage before and after the fireworks featuring Big Ben and the Burly Boys. The festival concludes on Sunday with the Watervliet Airport Breakfast and Fly-In, a community worship gathering, and the ping pong ball drop. Also, the Annual Duck Race will be held on Mill Creek in Flaherty Park and will be followed by music from the Deep Fried Pickle Project. The Watervliet Business Association has a Facebook page that has all of the entry and contact information available and a full schedule of events. The full calendar is also posted outside of City Hall and at area businesses. A summary of that follows: Mudd Run – registration forms at the Tri-City Record Office, or the day of- $25 fee. All American 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament – Contact Chairperson Scott Hobson, 269-944-9120, registration $25 and includes t-shirt.

Decorated Golf Cart Parade – $50 cash prize for top decorated cart. July 4th Grand Parade – Contact Sherri Ulleg at 269-487-6690 or Rochelle Ulleg at Robert Michael Salon & Spa. Little Red, White & Blue and Baby Independence – Voting will take place from May 27 – June 27 at Arclight Brewery, B&B Grocery Discount Outlet, Coloma Harding’s, JW Morlock Girls Farm Stand, and Frosty Boy. $1 per vote.

Little Miss & Mr. Firecracker – For information contact Elizabeth Eggert at 269-313-4712 or Kassie Thomas at 269-277-1618.

Beer and Bags Tournament – $25 per team. Pre-register with Deven Schultz at 269-325-2682 or the day of.

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