Skies over the Mexico Optimist Fields will be lit up again this year for the community's annual Fourth of July celebration.
Sponsored by the Mexico Host Lions Club, Missouri Veterans' Home Assistance League and the Mexico Optimist Club, the event is set to offer a day of good food and fun for everyone. Visitors are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs.
The Mexico Host Lions Club will be selling barbecued chicken halves and pork steaks from 11 a.m. until evening at the Optimist Fields. Parking will be available at Azdell Hydraulics, the Old Farm Professional Building, the Optimist Fields and the front lawn of the Missouri Veterans' Home. No parking is allowed on Agriculture.
This year, the Mexico Public Safety Department is working with the city street department and the Missouri Department of Transportation to have barricades placed along Agriculture to deter parking on the strip. MPSD will also be patrolling the event to keep people from parking along that area.
Independence Day is the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776, and for the third year, the sponsors of Mexico's event are inviting the community to come watch fireworks with the veterans residing at the Mexico Veterans' Home. Last year's Fourth of July social held at MVH drew visits from several veteran families and area fellow veterans – all saluting those MVH men and women who fought to protect their country.
"We are so grateful to the Mexico Host Lions Club, the Optimists and the community for allowing the fireworks display to be moved to the Optimist Park for our veterans. We have included this as the grand finale for our Home's Annual Family Day and what a way to end it. It means so much to the veterans and their families and friends to be able to watch the show together," said MVH volunteer services supervisor Susan Paden.
Citizen Reminder: Aside from the community fireworks display, fireworks discharges within the city limits of Mexico are prohibited by city ordinance. Summonses will be issued to violators.
The city of Centralia will be holding the community's 51st Annual Bell Ringing ceremony at 10 a.m. on July 4 at the City Square. If it rains, the event will be held at the First Baptist Church, located one block over from the square at 101 S. Collier. Visitors should bring their own lawn chairs and bells. Instead of a speaker this year, members of the local American Legion and VFW will preform a flag-folding demonstration.