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June 29, 2014

Area Independence Day celebrations ready to blast off

NORMAN — Expect fireworks on Friday as communities light up the skies in honor of the most American of American holidays — Independence Day. The 39th Annual Norman Day returns to Reaves Park this year and Moore hosts Celebration in the Heartland at Buck Thomas Park. Both events are free gatherings full of family fun.

· In Norman, what’s hot and what’s not for this year’s Fourth? The fun at Reaves Park, 2501 Jenkins Ave., starts at 4 p.m. New to Norman’s celebration this year are bumper cars and water balloon games. Recreation Superintendent Jeff Hill said those events previewed during May Fair and were a hit with families.

Tried and true favorites are back again including the toddler trot and baby crawl.

“We put down a piece of carpet and line up four or five kids at a time,” Hill said. “You’ll have one parent holding a kid and another parent or grandparent calling them to come to them.”

Hill said the parents are the funniest part of the races as they make faces and cajole infants and toddlers to crawl or toddle their way for a variety of zany prizes.

The ever popular nickel find is also making a return to the volleyball sandlots. Nickels are buried in the sand, and kids can pull nickels out all day long. Hill said kids love the nickel find but vendors who receive sand covered bunches of nickels in payment for goodies are slightly less enthusiastic about this day-long event.

Refreshments for sale at the Reaves Park event include funnel cakes, taco salad, corn dogs, catfish, Indian tacos, turkey legs, burritos, snow cones and more.

Some events from years past are long gone. Norman no longer hosts ugly dog, arm wrestling or hot dog eating contests. Like all things, the trend for community fun events comes and goes.

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