Celebrate 4 a two-day affair this year

Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Stage sponsors for Celebrate 4, which each donated $1,500, are Buzzi Unicem USA and North Salem State Bank. Craig Williams (center) of Buzzi Unicem is joined by Mayor Bill Dory and Friends of the Park President Jessica Hartman.

To make up for a quiet Robe-Ann Park as the nation celebrated its birthday in 2020, the Celebrate 4 Independence Day event will have the park buzzing with two days of activities this year, on Saturday, July 3 and Sunday, July 4.

Saturday kicks off at 7 a.m. with registration for the Mike Rokicki Memorial 5K Road Run. Starting at Shelterhouse 5, the 2021 run is the 28th year for this 5K memorial to Greencastle resident and city council member Mike Rokicki. The $25 registration includes the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast sponsored by the Greencastle Civic League, providing the most important meal of the day from 8-11 a.m. in Shelterhouse 1. Non-running breakfast lovers can eat all they like for $5.

A run around the loop inside Robe-Ann Park for those 18 and younger, the Youth Firecracker Run returns for the 16th year. Registration is free and begins at 8 a.m. The run starts at 9:15 a.m. at Shelterhouse 5.

Greencastle Celebrate 4 Red level sponsors, organizations donating $1,000, include the Banner Graphic (represented by Daryl Taylor), DePauw University (Travis Linneweber), Friends of the Park (Jessica Hartman) and the Putnam County Convention and Visitors Bureau (Eric Freeman).

The Putnam Pickleball Players are hosting one of the group’s four statewide tournaments this year at 10 a.m. Saturday on the tennis/pickleball courts in Robe-Ann Park. An increasingly popular sport in Putnam County, where this club has more than 80 members, tournament registration closed almost as soon as it was announced. Still a fun game to watch, with large trees around the courts there is plenty of shaded area to park a chair.

On Sunday, Independence Day, food vendors begin opening at noon along Robe-Ann Park drives. Greencastle Parks & Recreation Department also offers an open swim at the Aquatics Center from noon-5 p.m. The Daughters of the American Revolution open the DAR Cabin inside the park for tours from 4-6 p.m.

Bring a pet at 3 p.m. and register for the Pet Parade, which begins at 4 p.m. Animal lovers may mingle with fellow pet owners and let their sidekicks strut their stuff in this long-time Celebrate 4 event that is, obviously, pet-friendly. Registration is free.

Greencastle Celebrate 4 White level sponsors, organizations donating $500, include First National Bank (represented by Gary Neese), Fraternal Order of Eagles Covered Bridge Aerie 4388 (Bob Bitzer and Joy O’Hair) and Headley Hardward (Brandi Watson), as well as Ascena Retail Group and Old National Bank.

At 5 p.m. the Cornhole Tournament begins just east of the Park Office. Registration begins at 4, with a $20 fee for participating teams. Cash prizes are awarded to first- and second-place teams announced from the bandshell, where Pulse Fitness hosts a workout from 5-5:30 p.m. The workout is free. Participants may go at their own pace, and all are invited to join in.

The Declaration of Independence will be read from the bandshell stage at 6 p.m., and at 6:30 Danny Martin & Friends Band will kick off two sets of live, familiar tunes that will continue until 9 p.m. Buzzi Unicem USA and North Salem State Bank are this year’s stage sponsors.

Fireworks by Mortonville Fireworks provide the weekend’s finishing touch with a finale that will light up the sky at dusk, sometime after 9:30 p.m. A great seat can be found anywhere within a five- or six-block radius, but the best front-row options are inside Robe-Ann Park.

Greencastle Celebrate 4 Blue level sponsors, organizations donating $250, include (front from left) Duke Energy (represented by Brad Grable); First National Bank (Gary Neese); Hayes, Murphy, Sharp & Brackney Insurance (Pam Bowman), Laborers Interational Union of North America Local 204 (Joe Bolk), Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge 1562 (Coy Dickey and Dan Baidinger), (back) Metro Fibernet (Becky Lyons), Miller Asbury Apartments/Millstone Pointe LLC (Roseolee Eckert and Ed Neumann), Dale W. Oliver DDS and Brad Tucker State Farm Insurances, as well as Cash Concrete Products, Cindy and John Hennette, McDonald’s/Jedele Enterprises, Monical’s Pizza, Prime Real Estate Group and Zinc Mill Terrace I and II.

Celebrate 4 is annually sponsored by Friends of the Park of Putnam County, made possible by the work of many volunteers and generous financial and in-kind support from individuals and businesses all over Putnam County. Follow Friends of the Park on Facebook for up-to-the-minute details on this year’s Celebrate 4 event.

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