INDEPENDENCE/MONMOUTH — The Independence Days Commission has been working hard on ways to celebrate the Fourth of July while maintaining regulations in place to help stem the spread of COVID-19.
In place of the parade from Monmouth to Independence, the two towns will host house-decorating competitions and Independence will have drive-in movie.
The Duck Derby is still on – duckies are available at Independence Riverview Saturday Farmers Market and Same As It Never Was, in downtown Independence.
The commission is planning block parties that will include food vendors, carnival-style games and music.
The block parties will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 4. Locations will be posted a few days in advance, with a goal of keeping each gathering well below 200 people.
The games will be those that are easily maintained for sanitization, such as throwing darts at balloons, said Commission Chair Janice Thompson.
“After 3 p.m., we’ll work on getting everything closed down and focus on the movie for the night,” Thompson said.
Drive-in movies be shown on July 3 and 4 at Independence Sports Park, 10 Deann Drive.
“We’re going to try to do some contests after the cars get parked,” Thompson said. “Dress patriotically or decorate your car.”
She said they will have some physically-distanced activities Friday night.
“Traditionally we set up a tent (with crafts),” Thompson said. “This year crafts will be individually packaged up for people, then on Saturday we can get together and make those crafts that normally we would have out for kids.”
Polk County Fire District No. 1 will once again be serving up pancakes the morning of the Fourth.
They will have a drive-thru pancake feed, at 1800 Monmouth St., Independence.
“Recognizing how many people in our community are facing difficult times, our volunteers have decided that this year’s event will be donation only,” PCFD posted on their Facebook page. “If you can’t donate this year, come anyway and be our guest. If you can make a small donation, we thank you. If you can help pay for others as well as yourself, we thank you.”
The theme of Monmouth’s competition will be “Stars, Stripes and Smiles.”
Categories are: Best Theme Decorations; Best Homemade Decorations; Best Moving Parts; Best Window Decorations; and Best Vehicle Decorations.
The deadline to enter is 5 p.m. on June 30. Judging will occur on July 2 and prizes will be awarded on July 3. Decoration must remain up through July 4th.