Longview readies today's fest
Jimmy Daniell Isaac
July 4, 2017 at 12:23 a.m.
Updated July 4, 2017 at 8:22 a.m.
From morning sprinkles to a sunny afternoon, event and utility crews spent hours Monday preparing for today's Fourth of July Fireworks and Freedom Celebration in Longview.
The one-day festival returns for the fourth consecutive year. Despite a little rain Monday, organizers said festival activities will be ready to go when Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center opens this morning.
"We're looking forward to a great festival," said Maude Cobb director Dixie Golden.
There were no surprises to festival preparations, she said, and Longview Downtown Development Director Elaine Reynolds said the light rain did little more than drop the temperatures "a little bit" for work crews. Today's forecast includes only a slight chance of rain and highs in the lower- to mid-90s.
Today's festival begins with a 9:15 a.m. parade from Posado's Cafe on Judson Road southwest to Maude Cobb, leading to a car and truck show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
By 11 a.m., at least five activities will be in full swing — the car show, the Longview Unity and Diversity Committee's Multicultural Stage, vendors inside Longview Exhibit Building and a Safety City go-kart track for children.
The Tutus and Troops Style Show also begins at 11 a.m., in which young people will strut their patriotic fashion down a runway stage.
The fourth annual festival has a new event this year — the Teen Jam Dance Party inside Maude Cobb. From 6 to 9 p.m., Beats by DJ Chris will lead an evening of "hot beats, dancing and lip sync battles," or teens can "chill" inside the Gamesters' Paradise gamer bus, according to the city's website.
Admission to the dance and the bus are free, and food concessions will be available.
"We're encouraging people to come to that," city spokesman Shawn Hara said.
Entrance to Fireworks and Freedom is free, but some activities require a small fee. Also, no coolers are permitted.
Hara suggested concert guests bring a lawn chair and stay for the fireworks show.