Live music and fireworks on July 3, an old fashioned family picnic on July 4

Taft is going to have two July 4 celebrations this year.
The first will be on July 3 with a fireworks show , food and live music along Rails to Trails.

The next day, the Westside Christian Ministers Association will sponsor a family picnic from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Family picnic events include at watermelon eating contest, best homemade ice cream contest, children's bike parade,food, bounce houses, water slides and more.

The fireworks show will be held on Wednesday at 9 p.m. with the pyrotechnics going up on the west side of Sixth Street just south of Main.

A large section of the vacant land on the west side of Sixth Street to Tenth Street and between Main street and Front Street will be off limits for safety.
It will be cordoned off and volunteers will be there to help keep the area clear and all spectators safe.

The rest of Rest of Rails to Trails east of Sixth Street will be open for spectators and the dirt areas will be available for parking (see map on Page 10).

VIP seating is available to the sponsors of the fireworks show and will include chairs for seating and will be along the bike path at 6th Street and Main Street. Additional VIP wristbands are available at the event for $10. There will be food and craft vendors set up for both the fireworks show and the family picnic.

The evening begins at 5 p.m. when the beer garden opens.
Live music starts at 7 p.m. with a performance by Kayla Schuyler.

Entry into the concert area is $5 and will be open to all ages.

Truxton Mile takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. for its performance.

After the fireworks, Cadillac Angels start playing from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Chamber Special events Coordinator Shannon Jones said a lot of people are wondering why the fireworks is being held on July 3 instead of the holiday itself.

She released this statement:

"The Chamber staff has answered many questions as to why the Fireworks are being held on the 3rd rather than the 4th and we wanted to clarify our reasons.

First is the cost. This event costs over $25,000 and while we have been able to raise the majority of the money through community events and corporate sponsorships, the amount would be higher on the Fourth since it is a national holiday. Every expense including entertainment and sound equipment, portable fencing and restrooms, police presence, City and Chamber staffing, and the rental of shade structures would be higher. We wanted to be able to provide this event to our community for no entry fee and lessening the fees associated with the event by having it on the third is one way we chose to do this.

"In addition to the cost of the hosting the event, we also wanted to have a concert area complete with a beer garden supplied by the Taft Petroleum Club. Our annual Fourth of July picnic is brought to us by the Westside Christian Ministers Association and we did not want alcohol to be a factor in that event.

By having the Taft Fireworks Show on July 3, you can spend the Fourth of July evening at your homes with fireworks purchased from area stands that benefit our local non-profit organizations. These organizations use the profits from the fireworks sales to fund their service to the community all year. The fireworks booths open July 1 and there is someone at the booth 24 hours a day until July 4. They spend numerous hours manning their respective booths and they also need your support."