06-27-2019 Mother Nature expected to cooperate with Watervliet Independence Day Celebration; recent

Mother Nature expected to cooperate with Watervliet Independence Day Celebration; recent rains causing some events to re-locate

By Annette Christie

Mother Nature is expected to cooperate with Watervliet’s Independence Day festival although the possibility of rain is showing in the forecast.  The Weather Channel currently shows morning showers on Friday and a 30% chance of rain on Saturday. The temperatures are expected to be in the eighties providing a nice back drop to the holiday celebration being held June 28, 29, and 30, 2019.

CHOO CHOO… Plan to bring the kids out Saturday to Independence Station at Library Park in the FREE Kid Zone at the annual Watervliet Independence Day Celebration this weekend. The Kid Zone will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday with free train rides, popcorn and gift for every kid that rides the train. This year’s train will have a specific route that will take the train down the old tracks next to Sidetrack Café. Also in the Kid Zone will a giant bounce house, and new this year also Monkey’s N Motion attraction. Pictured painting Independence Station is Children’s Director at Watervliet Library Kati Burtchett. (TCR photo by Amy Loshbough)


The loads of rainfall, however, that have plagued the area have caused one of the events and others to possibly be impacted. Watervliet Airport Manager Bob Lohr said that the runway is not in a good condition for planes coming in for the fly-in. The ping pong ball drop scheduled for Sunday at 1:00 p.m. has been moved to the old papermill property across the street from Hays Park.  The plan now is to have a powered parachute release the ping pong balls, weather permitting.  The Annual Steak-Fry and Pancake Breakfast being held at the Airport are still scheduled as of now.  The steak fry is Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and the pancake breakfast is Sunday 7:00 a.m. – noon.

The Watervliet Business Association has been hard at work ironing out all the details for the weekend of fun. The festival will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, June 28, 2019 when the carnival opens, bigger and better than ever.

While the waters of Mill Creek, home to the Duck Race at Flaherty Park being held on Sunday at 2:00 p.m., are high the Public Works Department will do all they can to pull that off.

Flaherty Park will also be the location of a new attraction this year, an Amish Village experience.  From 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., Amish families will be in the park to share examples of their day to day life including cooking, wood working, and quilting, among other things.

Other new events at this year’s festival include Independence Station at Kid Zone in Library Park (Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.); 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament (on Church Street, starting at 10:00 a.m.); History of Watervliet movie (located at the old bank building in the lobby continuous showings from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.); Paw Paw River Jeep Club exhibit (old papermill property at 2:00 p.m.).

The Paw Paw River Jeep Club is a Jeep community founded in Southwest Michigan. They get together to share stories, organize trips and connect with fellow Jeepers. The club has o