Summertime, and the living is busy. The days and nights are flying by more quickly than we wish, now that blue skies and puffy clouds are happening on an almost daily basis. We’re ready to bid a fond farewell to June and to welcome July with concerts in the park and fireworks and good picnic food and to share our enthusiasm and good times with friends and family from near and far. All of us in MI Town look forward to showing off our communities during Independence Day celebrations when we can celebrate America’s birthday with good and special times.

This week’s Itemizer-Observer lists all the local celebrations – and it’s good to have a plan so we try to attend as many as we possibly can. We’ll open our homes and our hearts to family and friends visiting from faraway places or from down the street.

Let’s begin our July 4 celebration at the Polk County Fire District No. 1 Station 90, where firefighters, volunteers and local Scouts will serve up the best breakfast in MI Town. The line forms at 6:30 a.m., and you’ll get an opportunity to see friends and neighbors share in food and conversation. The cost is $5 per person, and free for children younger than 6. While you’re there, pick up a bracelet to get into see the fireworks at Riverveiw Park. Entry is $2 this year, but if you buy it at the breakfast, during the parade, or at Les Schwab, they’re still $1.

On Tuesday, the fun begins in Monmouth with the fun run at 11:30 a.m., Children’s Parade at 11:45 and the big parade at noon. We’ll be in our usual place to enjoy watching kids on bikes, in wagons, walking with parents and grandparents, and having a wonderful time. Please be sure to bring your enthusiasm, community spirit and lots of sunscreen.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the Monmouth Senior Center since the new addition has been completed, you’re invited to the open house on Tuesday from 2 until 4 p.m. Complimentary cold drinks and hot dogs will be available for everyone.

There will be a book available soon for Oregon Vietnam veterans, and it is available free of charge. Please visit the website, www.Vietnam50gift.com, to complete the form.

The Monmouth Senior Center has been designated a local cooling center on days when the temperature is over 90 degrees. Bring a book to read, visit with friends, play games or watch TV in a cool, comfortable and welcoming environment.

The first Music in the Park program for the summer will feature the Shinkle Family Band on July 5 at the Main Street Park Amphitheater in Monmouth. Enjoy folk and country music, bring a picnic supper, or purchase food and drink from local vendors. See you there.

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