By Lindsay Owens
Washington Times Herald
WASHINGTON — The annual Fourth of July festivities in Washington will kick off Sunday at Eastside Park and continue throughout the week.
The festival begins with the free youth fishing tourney beginning at noon Sunday. Registration for the event will be from 11 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. at the bandstand located in the park. Fishing will take place at Baumert Lake. Participants will fish from noon until 2 p.m. Awards will be given at 2:30 p.m. at the bandstand.
Youth will be divided in three age groups; boys and girls ages six through nine, boys and girls ages 10 through 12 and boys and girls ages 13 through 15. Awards will be given in each age group for the most fish caught, largest fish in length, and the smallest fish in length. Each participant will also be eligible to win door prizes. Participants must provide their own fishing pole and bait.
Taking place Sunday at 4 p.m. is the second annual homemade raft race. Those wishing to participate must register their raft and crew by 3 p.m. Sunday. There is no cost to enter. As of press time six rafts had already been entered in the contest with many more expected.
All rafts must be homemade and cannot have a commercially manufactured hull. Each raft has a minimum of two people and a maximum of five people. All participants must be at least 15 years old and each team member must have a life jacket. The competition will consist of one lap around the island at Baumert Lake ending under the walk bridge.
Prize money ranging from $50 to $150 will be awarded to the top three finishers. The fourth place team will receive a $25 Walmart gift card.
A classic car show will also take place Sunday from noon until 4 p.m. From noon to 8 p.m., celebration goers can enjoy the mobile zipline, games and concessions, free inflatables and the miniature train. DJ music will be provided by Flip Overton. The paddle boats will also open from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.
“New this year is the zipline. It’s 35 feet tall and about 100 feet long. These are really popular right now and the one we will have is coming from Indianapolis. It will really be a thrill for people to come and experience,” said Park and Recreation Department Superintendent Mike McLemore. “The zipline will be offered at a reduced rate. And we have lots of activities all week that are free.”
Carnival rides from Brady’s Amusements will be open from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Thursday. Arm bands will be available for Monday and Tuesday and can be purchased in advance at the Daviess County Chamber of Commerce, the Mayor’s office, Clerk-Treasurer’s office, utility building and the RSVP office in the community building at Eastside Park. Bracelets can be used either Monday or Tuesday and cost $14 in advance or $17 at the carnival. Individual tickets can be purchased at the carnival for $2 each or 10 tickets for $16. Each ride requires one ticket.
Some of the available concessions during the event include Papa John’s, the Washington High School Band Boosters, Scoops Homemade Ice Cream, Dan and Boo’s Hot Fish and Barbecue and the Washington Church of the Nazarene. Brady’s Amusements will also offer various concessions. Food booths will be open daily.
Hot air balloon rides will be available on Wednesday beginning at 5 p.m. The rides, sponsored by Re/Max Realty, will end at 9:30 p.m.
Several bands have been scheduled as part of the festivities. All bands will play at the bandstand. The Hiding will perform Tuesday from 7 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, American Pie will play from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. and Thursday Fonda will take the stage from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. followed by Guilty as Charged from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“Our entertainment is outstanding,” said McLemore. All the bands we have this year have been here before. We always get a great crowd in to hear them.”
Fonda travels all over the Midwest and has a debut album currently available called “Kiss Me.” A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the album is donated to help fight Parkinson’s Disease. Fonda plays a lot of original songs as well as covers from different genres.
The Hiding plays a variety of music ranging from covers of Third Eye Blind to Johnny Cash and Stevie Ray Vaughn and The Beatles.
American Pie is a local band that plays a mix of pop and rock that covers everything from 60s hits to Motown, rockabilly and soul.
Guilty as Charged is primarily a cover band that plays over four decades of guitar laden rock. The band hopes to release a CD in the next year with original music.
The annual fireworks display will begin with the playing of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” at 10 p.m. This year’s display will include over 2,000 shells. The fireworks will be set off over the lake.
For more information on a car show, fishing tournament or raft race, contact Mike McLemore at 254-6010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.