Our Opinion: Independence Day gift to community

News Tribune editorial

The Salute to America is expanding.

Jefferson City’s Fourth of July celebration this year will occupy a larger area downtown to accommodate a greater variety of activities and events.

The event will spread eastward to include the 200 block of Monroe Street, an expansion made possible by the relocation of the Cole County Sheriff’s Department.

Carnival rides will occupy a portion of Monroe, in addition to the traditional Capitol Avenue location.

The remainder of Monroe and its intersecting alley, Commercial Way, will be the venue for new events, including roller derby, radio-controlled racing cars, and stunts and tricks performed on motorcycles and bicycles.

Festivities begin Tuesday evening and will include a Salute to Heroes Parade at 6 p.m. in the downtown area. In connection with this year’s 100th anniversary of the Jefferson City Fire Department, representatives from the agency will serve as grand marshals.

Firefighting equipment also will be on display Wednesday in the Kids Zone, relocated this year to Madison Street north of Capitol Avenue. Also new this year in the Kids Zone will be a youth performance stage operated by Musical Uprising to showcase talented young people ages 24 and under.

A variety of concerts, contests and performances will take place on three separate stages — a main stage near the Capitol and others on Madison Street and in a beer garden along High Street.

As always, the culmination will be the massive fireworks display over the Capitol at dusk Wednesday. Salute to America reflects much time, effort and sponsorship from local businesses, organizations and individual volunteers. The entertainment and activities are an Independence Day gift to the community. Enjoy.

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