DECATUR – The Decatur Park District's Fourth of July activities in Nelson Park will be a little different this year.

Because the Decatur Park Singers program ended last year, the park district recruited two musical acts to perform at Nelson Park before the 20-minute fireworks show. The James Jones Trio, which plays “traditional blues with a modern approach and feel,” will perform at 5 p.m., followed by Chicago-based soul and rock band The Congregation at 7:30 p.m.

“I think it will be a really great show,” said Becky Newton, director of recreation and facilities for the park district.

Fireworks are scheduled to begin at dusk, roughly 9:15 p.m. While people can bring their own picnic dinners, concessions will also be available to purchase.

“If you're looking for a lemonade shakeup or a tenderloin sandwich, we've got you covered,” Newton said.

Those attending the event should be aware that there is no parking available on Lost Bridge Road, Lake Shore Drive or U.S. 36.

Traffic from west of the Boat House lot to Chandler Park will exit to the west on Lost Bridge Road at the Chandler Park entrance. Traffic from the Boat House lot, the former Paul's Puttin' Place lot and the dog park lot will exit to Lake Shore Drive and turn west toward 22nd Street.

Traffic along Nelson Boulevard will be directed north to U.S. 36. Officials suggest that vehicles headed in this direction make use of the side streets to the west to avoid long waits at the stoplights.

The Decatur Park rangers, assisted by Decatur police, will provide traffic control and security, Newton said.

Families can enjoy a variety of daytime activities.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fairview Park Pool will hold a “Fourth of July Bash” with games, prizes and open swim.

The Richie Hammel Fore on the Floor Car Show is 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Nelson Park. Entrance for spectators is free, and the event includes a performance by Soul Purpose from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a K-9 demonstration by the Macon County Sheriff's Office, concessions and barbecue from Hickory River. Proceeds benefit the park district's junior golf program and youth sports.

Also in Nelson Park, the Staley Firecracker Road Run/Walk is slated to begin at 8 a.m., with check-in from 6:45 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. at the rock garden parking lot. Race day registration costs $25, and proceeds benefit youth running programs through the park district.

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Regional Editor

Regional editor for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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