The 4th of July in Haysville, Kansas is always a huge affair. Before the day arrives, the local fireworks stands have been busy providing the citizens with their fireworks fun. When the day finally arrives, the city is buzzing with activity from early in the morning until late at night. With a variety of things to do, there is never a dull moment.
At 8:00 AM the festivities begin with the coed sand volleyball tournament. The sand court is located directly behind the city pool. With lush trees surrounding the area, there is plenty of shade for all who come out to watch.
Following the volleyball tournament is the parade, which is an all time favorite for everyone. Like any parade in Haysville, you better arrive early if you want to find a good place to sit. It seems as if the parade gets a little bit better each year. While watching the parade you will see a variety of things. From the Haysville Swim Club to the floats and horses, there is always something for everyone. One favorite of the kids is the float put together by the Haysville Community Library. It always follows the theme for that year’s summer reading program. Not only do the people on the float toss candy to the kids, but they also have people that walk along side of the float and hand out toys that relate to the reading program as well. The kids really enjoy the parade along with all the candy that they get. The parade travels from one side of Haysville to the other and ends up at Riggs Park, where the next round of fun begins.
The fishing derby takes place right after the parade at the pond in Riggs Park. A few days prior to the event, the pond is stocked with cat fish in preparation for the contest. The fishing derby is free and open to children of all ages. Prizes are awarded in each age division for different categories such as longest fish caught, heaviest fish caught and the most fish caught. At the end of the contest, all of the participants get their name put into a drawing and additional prizes are given away. After all the prizes have been awarded the kids are treated to hot dogs, chips and a drink, a perfect way to satisfy the hunger of all the little fisherman and women.
Starting at 1:00 PM the Dewey Gunzelman swimming pool opens its gates for the water carnival. This is the only day during the summer than no admission is required to get in. Over the years this has become a popular way to cool off in the summer heat, so needless to say it gets rather crowded there.
Starting at 4:30 there is another parade that is strictly for the kids. The youth firecracker parade was started a few years ago and has since become a favorite. The fire cracker parade is the perfect way for the children of Haysville to show their pride, and just how patriotic they can be. Not only is it a lot of fun for the kids, but it gives the parents a moment to relax while they enjoy the parade.
Not long after the youth parade, it’s back to Riggs Park where it is time for “Pig out in the park”. For a small charge you can treat yourself to delicious smoked pork, baked beans, cole slaw, chips and an ice cold soda. You don’t want to miss this, so get there quick because the food goes fast.
And finally, what 4th of July wouldn’t be complete with out fireworks. The aerial fireworks were originally shot off by my family and continued to do so for about seventeen years. The family has since turned the job over to the city and its volunteers. Each year the fireworks display gets bigger and better. Watching the fireworks is the perfect ending to a fun filled day, and another 4th of July in Haysville, Kansas.