It takes a lot to plan a hometown celebration. But, after booking the groups, selecting the food trucks and finalizing the schedule, the organizers still need a little help from Mother Nature.
Jay Lotthammer, director of parks and recreation for the City of Eden Prairie, is keeping his fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate for the city’s 4th of July hometown celebration, spread over three days and two locations this weekend. vacation.
Early weather forecasts look promising.
“That’s what they’re telling us now,” Lotthammer said. “I hope that won’t change.”
There’s good reason for everyone in Eden Prairie to look up to the skies with hope for this All-American celebration that offers its fair share of patriotic fun.
Lotthammer expects Monday’s Independence Day festivities to draw around 8,000 to 10,000 residents to the friendly confines of Round Lake Park, 16691 Valley View Road, culminating in fireworks at 10 p.m.
“Coming out of COVID, every time we’ve had an outdoor event we’ve seen record numbers of people, so we expect it to be very crowded,” he said.
Outdoor concert, Sparklefest
The city’s hometown celebration begins with a free outdoor concert titled Strike Up the Band: A Military Salute from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Friday, July 1 at the Staring Lake Amphitheater, 14800 Pioneer Trail.
The Eden Prairie Community Band and the Jazz on the Prairie Big Band will play some patriotic favorites. Local veterans and active military personnel will be honored for their service.
Two nights later, Sparklefest returns for its second year, this time at Round Lake Park. From 6-10 p.m. on Sunday, July 3, the free kid-friendly event features activities such as a DJ dance party, hands-on art stations, inflatables, lawn games and street art. Various food trucks will also be on site (several will be back the following evening during the 4th of July festivities).
“This is meant to be a very family-friendly part of the event and really focused on young kids,” Lotthammer said.
At the end he said there was a kid friendly 5-7 minute mini fireworks show that isn’t as big, loud or as long as the one the following night.
“As a family, if you just wanted to have a little more low-key night while enjoying the fireworks, we start them a little earlier than the 4th of July, so Round Lake is a great place to come (for Sparklefest),” he said.
It was at Staring Lake Park last year. “But, due to the possibility of having the stage set up and ready to go to Round Lake for the fourth, we said to move it to Round Lake,” he said.
Fourth of July
On Independence Day, the hometown celebration continues at Round Lake Park from 3-10 p.m., though the beach opens at 11 a.m.
At 3 p.m., the Community Square officially opens and 16 food trucks open their doors, selling various foods, desserts, and beverages. These include Cookie Dough Bliss and Creamery, Lemon Heaven, Red’s Savoy, Westrums, Cafe Cairo, Soft Serve Social, Wingman Matt, Thai Thai, Maui Wowi, Muddy Tiger, and Eden Prairie Lion’s Club/Fat Pants Brewery.
Lotthammer said the city has “upped” the number of food trucks at both Sparklefest and the Fourth of July celebration, but also the quality of food on offer.
“(Sparklefest) will be a bit more towards hot dogs and lemonade and kiddie ice cream, but there will still be pizza and Mexican street food and Mediterranean food and Greek and Italian. Egyptian, and both will be there on the 3rd and 4th,” he said. “But on the fourth, we’re adding even more food trucks into the mix, to hopefully encourage people to come hungry and experience more of a food truck plaza experience.”
Lotthammer said Round Lake Park would be a great place for families and neighbors to gather and listen to music in the late afternoon and early evening on July 4.
Both bands performing on July 4 debut EP Hometown Celebration.
Music begins at 6:30 p.m. with the Brian Kinney Band. The band, according to its website, “soulfully” crosses the musical spectrum of R&B, jazz, swing, rock, funk, Latin, reggae and more.
After a welcome from Mayor Ron Case and the City Council at 7:45 p.m., the Free and Easy Band takes the stage at 8 p.m. until the fireworks begin at 10 p.m.
The Free & Easy Band bills itself as Minnesota’s premier live band. It plays retro and current hits from artists such as Stevie Wonder, Justin Bieber, Pitbull and a Prince medley.
Many local Eden Prairie nonprofits, including EPLN, will have a booth or table set up Monday. Other groups featured include Writers Risings Up, Eden Prairie Community Foundation and Eden Prairie Women of Today.
During Sparklefest and 4th of July festivities, people can bring a reusable water bottle and refill all evening for free at the town’s new hydration station.
Parking is available at the Community Center and Eden Prairie High School. A free shuttle will pick up and drop people off at the community center near the digital notice board.
Parking for vehicles with a valid handicapped parking plate is located on the tennis court at Round Lake Park. These places are available on a first-come basis.
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