By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item
Find your finest red, white and blue threads, it’s time for everyone’s favorite midyear party. The Union County Veterans Celebration of Independence Day is here with performances, patriotism and that big old parade.
Friday kicks off this 19th annual event, with a theme of “I am America” and the usual salute to area veterans and a bunch of distinguished guests throughout the weekend.
Grab a blanket and head to Wolfe Field on Friday as the group Re-Creation starts a patriotic musical salute at 7 p.m. Stay for the fireworks extravaganza at 9, sponsored by RiverWoods. Rain date is 9 p.m. Sunday.
Saturday is a day full of fun that starts with the annual parade at 10 a.m. The Freedom Bike Ride, which began Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., concludes in time to bring in the parade.
This year, the Wounded Warrior Project riders bring along a distinguished guest. Jayce Heckman, of Milton, who received a bike from last year’s raffle, will escort the bicyclists into Lewisburg.
Bringing more class to the parade is Grand Marshal Ronald Rosser, of Roseville, Ohio, a Medal of Honor winner in the Korean War. And in a nod to Union County’s bicentennial celebration, Commissioners Preston Boop, John Mathias and John Showers are marshals.
The Union County Veterans’ Recognition Ceremony at Loomis Street and University Avenue will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by a picnic and band concerts in President’s Grove.
If you can find them — and that’s a big if at this point, tickets were first-come, first-served — get some tickets for the free “All Aboard” round-trip train rides from Lewisburg to Winfield, brought by North Shore Railroad.
Now is a good time to get out of the red, white and blue and into some cocktail attire. The USO Gala Dinner Dance will begin at 6 p.m. in Larison Hall at Bucknell University. For ticket information, call Betty Cook at (570) 524-9912.
But wait, there’s more! A special, free screening of the movie “A League of Their Own” will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Campus Theatre and will feature more distinguished guests: eight female baseball players from teams that inspired the 1992 film. A reception to meet the women is at 1:30 p.m.
Abigail Showalter, events coordinator, said: “It’s a good time. We love saluting our veterans and getting everyone together for this annual celebration.”