Rockin' on the River Friday, July 3

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GD&T's annual Stars and Stripes Celebration is an event for the whole family, including games for children and entertainment for adults. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

By Molly Moser

A theme has been chosen for Guttenberg Development & Tourism’s annual Stars and Stripes Celebration. This year, parade floats and entertainment will center around the idea “Rockin’ on the River.” Festivities begin at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, July 3, in the park along the river and will carry on throughout the evening, concluding with Guttenberg’s traditional fireworks over the Mississippi River after the sun sets behind the bluff.

“We invite community members, businesses, and dignitaries to create floats for the parade,” says GD&T director Emily Moser, “as well as to decorate their windows to celebrate our nation’s birthday.” From geology to patriotic music, the theme, “Rockin’ on the River,” leaves participants plenty of room for interpretation. Decorated bicycles, ATVs, golf carts, wagons, and children’s mini floats are also welcome in the parade. 

Games for all ages begin in the park at 3:00 p.m., including a bounce house, a 30-foot rock climb slide, and an inflatable bungee run. Organizers expect water balloon volleyball, a watermelon eating contest, bobber races, a water balloon launch, and the popular game known simply as ‘bags’ to return this year, as well as many vendors offering entertainment, glow sticks and other trinkets, and food. Brandon Bries of The After Party D.J. service will keep the celebration rocking all afternoon and throughout the fireworks. 

The Clayton Ridge High School Interact Group, sponsored by the Guttenberg Rotary Club, is organizing a 5K walk/run on July 3 as a fundraiser for the purchase of a shelter box to be sent to those in need. "A shelter box provides shelter and life saving supplies to families in need – for example, when part of a country becomes overrun by a natural disaster. Each box costs $1,000," said Interact president Brianna Finnegan. Runners are invited to dress in patriotic clothing, and can sign up the morning of the race.

The Clayton Ridge Drill Team is scheduled to give their annual Independence Day performance in a new location. The team will make Main Street their stage following the parade, which ends at the intersection of Main and River Park Drive. 

Honor Ribbons will be sold again this year to honor the memory of loved ones lost and veterans of all wars. The ribbons will be dedicated by the reading of names before the fireworks begin. 

Guttenberg native Eric Solomon will return from his home in Orlando, Fla., to perform a rock version of the Star Spangled Banner on electric guitar to kick off the fireworks that conclude the Stars and Stripes Celebration. 

Organizers are looking for volunteers to sell tickets to games, tickets in the beverage garden, help with clean up, and to help with other tasks as needed throughout the day.  To volunteer, please call Emily Moser at the Guttenberg Welcome Center at (563) 252-2323. 

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