ESSEX - Everyone's invited to join in celebrating the nation's birthday Saturday, July 4. Fun runs, an old-fashion parade, a hymn sing, tempting food at the park, a watermelon-eating contest, games, and a spelling bee highlight the day's activities. Fireworks are scheduled a week later, Saturday, July 11, at dusk at Beggs Point Park.
Festivities July 4 begin at 8:30 a.m. with the popular 6.5-kilometer Firecracker Fun Run for Adults. Runners, walkers, bicyclists, and horseback riders are invited to participate. The run begins at the corner of Blockhouse Road and Route 22 and ends at Essex Community Church. There is a $5 fee for the event.
At 9:15 a.m. the one-kilometer Firecracker Fun Run for Kids begins. The run starts at Beggs Point Park, loops around twice, and finishes at the park. Each child receives a certificate for a free ice cream cone compliments of the Essex Ice Cream Shop. The event is free.
The hymn sing is set for 10 a.m. at St. John's Church on Church Street in the hamlet.
At 11 a.m. the parade along Essex's main street begins. The crowd is sure to enjoy the floats, a drum and bagpipes corps from Plattsburgh, a band from Canada, antique cars, fire trucks, and more.
Starting at 12 p.m. at Beggs Point Park, the Essex Fire Department will serve up hot dogs and other traditional treats. Games for children also begin at the park. In addition to watermelon-eating and tongue-twister contests, there will be an egg toss, three-legged race, balloon pop, and hollering contest. The spelling bee begins at 3 p.m., also at Beggs Point Park.
The Fun Runs are organized by Essex Initiatives, which beautifies the town with summer plantings and conducts other community-oriented activities throughout the year. The fireworks display July 11 is sponsored by the Essex Fire Department.