LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. - For Jen Bachman, one of the largest parts of celebrating July 4 is enjoying America's independence with family.
Professionally, Bachman and her fellow staff at Old Kinderhook presented their first Fireworks Fun Fest at the Camdenton-based golf resort and community last year where the public could enjoy a variety of family-oriented activities, food, entertainment and fireworks.
"The neatest thing last year at the event was when it was about dusk and all the children and families had spread out their quilts and blankets to watch the fireworks display. The kids were enjoying their glow necklaces, and parents and grandparents were all celebrating July 4 together as a family," said Bachman, marketing director at Old Kinderhook. "The best moment of the holiday was just seeing how much fun all the families were having."
This Fourth of July weekend, the Lake of the Ozarks will play host to both new and long-standing community celebrations.
Fireworks Fun Fest
With more than 1,000 spectators at the first Fireworks Fun Fest at Old Kinderhook last year, Bachman expects to see a larger turnout this year, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday at the golf resort and community.
The free festivities will include two bounce houses, face painting, clowns, balloon artists, a putting contest, duck pond and "make your own flag" craft station.
At dusk or approximately 9:30 p.m., families are encouraged to bring a blanket and find a spot on the lawn to enjoy the fireworks show, which is presented in partnership with Old Kinderhook by Lloyd Pyrotechnics.
Fourth of July in Eldon
For 14 years, Eldon has made a major American holiday into an entertaining, fun event that the whole family can enjoy and afford.
On July 6, the city is showcasing its 15th Annual Fourth of July Celebration with the resurgence of a parade, addition of new vendors and entertainment, and continued tradition of a fireworks display and patriotic tribute to our country.
The annual Fourth of July parade will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday in downtown Eldon. To enter, contact Dee Spaulding with the Eldon Area Chamber of Commerce at 573-392-3752 or Mary Reed, deputy city clerk, at 573-392-2291, ext. 247.
The annual 5-K Run/Walk registration is set for 7 a.m. Saturday at the Eldon Aquatic Center, with the event starting at 7:30 a.m. More than 100 individuals have participated in the Fourth of July 5-K Run/Walk over the past few years.
For more information about the Fourth of July Celebration or other upcoming events and activities in Eldon, call City Hall at 573-392-2291 or visit www.eldonmo.org.
Versailles Fourth of July celebration
For at least five years, the Versailles Police Auxiliary and city of Versailles have worked hand in hand to present a popular Fourth of July community celebration.
This year, the celebration, which will include games, rides for the children, live entertainment, food booths and a beer garden, will begin at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Versailles City Park.
"The Defenders Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club also hosts a great bike show during the celebration with about 30 bikes on display last year," he said. "Guests can also vote on a People's Choice award for the show."
July 4 fireworks displays at the Lake
In addition to these celebrations, many lake resorts, restaurants and golf courses will be presenting fireworks displays and activities.
At dusk Thursday, fireworks displays will be held at Bear Bottom Resort in Sunrise Beach, Lodge of Four Seasons, Tan-Tar-A Resort, Celebration Cruises (which will be docked at Lodge of Four Seasons), and Tropic Island Cruises at Tan-Tar-A Resort.
At dusk Friday, Captain Ron's Bar & Grill will have a fireworks display at its Sunrise Beach-based waterfront location.
On Saturday, Bear Bottom Resort in Sunrise Beach and Seven Springs Winery in Linn Creek will also have fireworks displays starting at dusk.
In addition, guests can catch two concerts at Camden on the Lake.
Bret Michaels will perform July 4, and Rapper Nelly will perform on Saturday at the Lake Ozark-based resort on Horseshoe Bend.
For more information, visit the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau's website at www.funlake.com.