Freedom for everyone

Yukon’s 2-day party has fun, food, music and fireworks

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Alaina Schoppa and Davyn, Finn and Jude Hinton gathered in their patriotic boat prior to the 2017 children’s parade. (File photo)

By Mindy Ragan Wood
Staff Writer

Yukon’s two-day festival celebrating freedom and veterans may prove to be the best yet.

The city’s new pyrotechnics company has promised something new this year.

“The way their fireworks are packed when they explode you’ll see the American flag in some of them,” Parks and Recreation Director Jan Scott said. “I think this year will be our best year yet.”

Mayor Mike McEachern said Yukon’s festival is unique.

“We’re one of the very few places that have fireworks on two separate occasions on the third and the fourth,” he said. “We certainly have looked with great pride in our community to have an event as large as that, certainly in excess of 20,000 people that show up both days. It just really speaks to the really good things about America  and in the wonderful community that we have here.”

City Councilwoman Donna Yanda said Yukon’s festival stands out from others across the state.

“I think Yukon provides the most outstanding festival of anyone in the state. It provides a variety of excellent events for the entire family and we’re so proud that we’re able to honor our veterans. It brings a lot of people to Yukon and it promotes Yukon in a positive light,” she said.

City Councilman Rick Cacini said the festival is a reflection of the community.

“The fact that the community as whole, to include the city and everyone who represents the city, honors all the veterans who will be there and that shows how tight an organization we are, between the residents, the city and the veterans…that we’re all together as one working together to support veterans,” he said.

The festival honors veterans with a special dinner and patriotic music from the Irv Wagoner Band on July 3.

“I think it makes them (veterans) feel special,” Scott said. “Most of them served a long time ago and I think probably feel forgotten many times, but we like to honor them.”
City Manager Jim Crosby said it’s a joy to honor veterans for their service.

“The two-day event came about because we wanted the let the veterans know how much we appreciated them,” he said. “To reflect on the price they paid for the freedoms we enjoy.

I think in our country, in this day and age, it’s important to get out and celebrate the freedom we have. This being a political year, it reminds us we have an opportunity to get out and use our right to select our own representatives and participate in our government if we choose to.”

The festival is one of the two largest organized by the city, second to Christmas in the Park.

The event brings people from out of town to shop in stores, restaurants and the vendors who set up in the park.