The 130th annual Vandervoort Picnic Grounds 4th of July Celebration will begin this Thursday.
“We begin the celebration on Thursday, but our biggest crowds have always been on Saturdays. Saturday is parade day as well as game day for the entire family and then fireworks at night,” said Loretta Johnston, Vendor Coordinator.
“The event may have started with just the local crowd, but each year we have seen people come from all over. From out of town and even out of state,” Share Johnston.
“The celebration is a unique tradition. The games that we have are ones that have been around for years and we like to keep the tradition going. We each look forward in seeing our friends and family while celebrating Independence Day. Everyone seems to enjoy the big firework’s show,” explained Johnston.
“We kickoff with a dance on Thursday night at 9pm. Then Friday will start with the cake walk at 6:30pm and a dance at 9pm. Saturday is all day, starting with the parade at 9am. 3 on 3 basketball also starts at 9am. We have all kinds of games and contests for all ages immediately following the parade; foot races, tug of war, egg toss, tractor pull, chainsaw competitions… just to name a few,” shared Johnston.
When asked what was recommended for others to do, Johnston was quick to reply “The entire event!”
She explains, “For the dances we will have a live band, Gator and Friends. The cake walk on Friday is always fun for everyone ages 0-100! On Saturday, everyone has fun with all the games and contests; door prizes are given as part of the Little Miss and Mister Vandervoort contest. Fireworks at 10pm on Saturday.”
Johnston attributes the success and longevity of the event to the volunteers and communities from Mena to De Queen, everywhere in between and beyond, who have made donations year after year.
“We couldn’t do any of this without the support of our communities. Everything that happens at VPG is because of donations and sponsorships from businesses and individuals,” said Johnston.
“ Little Miss and Mister Vandervoort contestants are selling raffle tickets for door prizes. We are always accepting donations and they are greatly appreciated. We need baked goods for the cakewalk. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, we want your input! You can message us on Facebook – Vandervoort Picnic Grounds, Inc.,” said Johnston.