With the Fourth of July practically here, the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GMCCI) has worked hard to put together an exciting program to celebrate our nation’s independence. Featuring many classic events, this year’s festivities will provide a day of excitement for people of all ages.
This year, the GMCCI has a full evening of free events for Muscatine residents to enjoy. Beginning at 5:00 pm, residents can make their way to downtown to enjoy the annual Fourth of July parade. This year, Greg Jenkins, President and CEO of the GMCCI, looks forward to having approximately eighty groups marching in the parade. With Cub Scout troops, the Muscatine Fire and Police Departments, the Pearl City Life Riders, the Muscatine County Sheriff, a bus from Sunnybrook at Muscatine, the Muscatine High School Marching Band and Color Guard, and many others participating in the parade, the parade will prove bigger and better than ever. “It’s a pretty good crew,” said Jenkins.
To encourage more floats to enter the parade, the GMCCI has improved the prizes it will offer this year. The top float will earn $300 for winning. However, if at least ten floats enter, the prize will grow to an impressive $500 for first place. Other top placers and honorable mentions will also earn trophies from the GMCCI recognizing their outstanding contribution to the parade.
Once the parade wraps up and everyone has had time for dinner, the Fourth of July festivities will continue at the riverfront. Beginning at 7:00 pm, the Muscatine Symphony Orchestra (MSO) will play the Star-Spangled Banner and a representative from the GMCCI will read the Declaration of Independence. Following that, the MSO will play a selection of new and traditional patriotic songs until about 10:00 pm. Jenkins advises all music lovers to come out and hear this public concert. “They do a good job mixing their [song] choices,” he explained.
The GMCCI will conclude their Fourth of July celebration with their signature fireworks show. Starting at dusk (approximately 10:00 pm) they will set off fireworks near the riverfront for the whole community to enjoy. Lasting about fifteen minutes, this year’s show will feature an even grander finale than in previous years.
Though the GMCCI has nearly completed their preparations for this year’s Fourth of July extravaganza, they still need the community’s help to offset the cost of the event. In all, it costs the GMCCI nearly $20,000 to cover the cost of getting permits, purchasing fireworks, and renting facilities for the evening’s events. This year, the cost of fireworks went up by ten percent due to new tariffs of fireworks, causing the GMCCI to pay more to continue to put on a good display. To that end, they have set up an online donation link on the home page of their website http://www.muscatine.com/. Accepting donations past the holiday, Jenkins hopes generous donations from the public will help the GMCCI continue to fund this important celebration.