Music, decorated and lighted boats, children's events, and a 22-minute fireworks display launched from the middle of the lake will be featured at the 2nd annual Independence Day Celebration June 29 at Barnett Reservoir.
Hosted by the Barnett Reservoir Foundation and the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, the event will have many activities both on land and on the water. Adjutant General Augustus Collins of the Mississippi National Guard will serve as the Grand Marshal, and he has chosen to have Wounded Warriors and the Brain Injury Association of MS spotlighted as his honored guests.
The highlight will be the 10 p.m. fireworks, shot from the reservoir's new barge system halfway between the Rankin and Madison county shorelines, about half a mile from the dam. It will provide a 360-degree view of rockets and bursting shells, while MISS103 provides a radio simulcast of accompanying music.
On shore, Madison County's Old Trace Park and Rankin County's Lakeshore Park will be home to a myriad of events, including live music, military displays, classic cars cruisers and children events. The gates to each park will open at 2 p.m. and admission is free.
Old Trace will also feature WaterFest, sponsored by Rezonate, a Barnett Initiative to build awareness about the reservoir. WaterFest will include education exhibits and children's crafts and games.
At Lakeshore, there's a military theme that includes exercises by the 2nd Battalion 20th Special Forces — Airborne Unit, plus an encampment and living history display by Stanford's Mississippi Battery, complete with cannon firings.
Both parks will also enjoy Mississippi National Guard static displays, military flyovers, feature live music beginning at 2 p.m., food & drink vendors, and kid zones with lots of activities for youngsters. Be sure to bring the kids a bathing suit so they can enjoy the water slides.
On The Rez, the Jackson Yacht Club will hold its annual Blessing of the Fleet to coincide with the Independence Day Celebration. All boaters are invited to motor through and have their vessels blessed between 6:30 and 7:30p.m. in the waters off JYC on the Madison County shoreline.
The popular Lighted Boat Parade will begin in Main Harbor at 8 p.m., with the route taking it past both Lakeshore and Old Trace Parks. Grand Marshall Adjutant General Augustus Collins of the Mississippi National Guard, the Wounded Warriors and the Brain Injury Association of MS guests will lead the parade out of Main Harbor aboard the boat Friendship and greet the parade boats on their return to the judging area.
The PRVWSD will extend public parks and boat ramp closing until midnight for the event.
For more information about the Independence Day Celebration, visit barnettreservoirfoundation.org. To participate or a become an event sponsor, contact either Susan McMullan at (601) 605-6880 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Cindy Ford at (601) 605-6898 or email@example.com.
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