There’s something about the Fourth holiday being near the end of the work week that makes it all the more fun and exciting. Lots of folks I know are out of town this week and many others plan on leaving work early on Wednesday, taking off Friday and making this Independence Day thing a real blast, if you will.
The Capital City Celebration is the biggie in the capital city, with music and fireworks, drinks and food, hosted by the Springfield Jaycees and sponsored by a host of local businesses. The kid’s inflatable do-hickeys and other family activities are located down on Second Street in front of that glorious edifice to liberty and justice, the Illinois Capitol, on the Fourth starting around 3 o’clock with our fabulous Municipal Band performing at 6. The rock bands and other stuff are down on Capitol, between Fourth and Fifth streets, in that lovely blank spot in downtown Springfield. You can get a head start on the Fourth by showing up there on July 3 for Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters (all hail That Thing You Do!) from 8 to midnight, then come on back on the Fourth proper for Ultraviolet from 5 to 7 and The Remedy from 7:30 to the fireworks. Do you think it’ll rain?
For the historically minded, interested in a more low-key celebration, stop by the Iles House at Seventh and Cook for Clara Irwin’s (no direct relation) Strawberry Party. Clara and her husband Robert were the second owners of the Iles house and she grew award-winning strawberries on her farm, located just south of Cook Street. That was back in the good old days when working farms covered most of what is now Springfield. Period activities and entertainment are provided free of charge with food and drinks available at minimal cost. Yummy! We were scheduled to play this one last year, but the event was cancelled because of the heat. Yes, that was just last year we baked all summer long in nearly intolerable weather that was hotter than a firecracker on the Fourth of July for months on end.
You’re on your own for what’s hot and what’s not for Friday and Saturday, but Bart Walker at Boondock’s on Friday and Sirens Call Band at Catch 22 on Saturday are good bets for entertainment. The Texas Trucker Speed Fiends are setting the woods on fire at Bar None on Friday and the Hot Bag of Donuts become the Hot “Can” of Donuts for a Saturday night show at the Tin Can Pub. A special Saturday event brings Tina and Her Pony to a local house concert. For tickets and venue information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
On Sunday do your very best to make an appearance at MusicFest, the Make-A-Wish fundraiser at Boondock’s running all day from 1 p.m. to midnight. Presented by E.S.P. Entertainment and Rolens Brothers Music, the annual event features a live and silent auction, raffles, food and “10 LIVE BANDS!!” from The Posse to ZZ Tripp. To rock out and help out seems like a sweet way to spend a day in music and charity. Other Sunday events include Lucky Tubb, grandnephew of the great Ernest Tubb, at the Old 36 Inn in Riverton playing good, old country music like it’s supposed to be and the return of our SOHO/SOHI band, with Tony Berkman, Brad Floreth, Chris Camp and Geoff Ryan joining me on stage at the beautiful Brewhaus in lovely downtown Springfield, from 9 to midnight.
There you go, fine folks of central Illinois, the local music community did a great job, so you can best experience your days of celebration in a lovely haze of an Independence daze.
Contact Tom Irwin at email@example.com.