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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Spectacular Experience

Monday, June 12, 2006

When you have Iowa's biggest Independence Day celebration on you hands, there can be only one name for it: "Spectacular."

This year's Storm Lake showcase event seems poised to live up to its impressive moniker. The July 3 and 4 blowout will feature lots of music, patriotic events, food, children's activities and more.

The Spectacular has been hosted in Storm Lake for almost 30 years - each year a little bigger and different than those before.

It is unique in that all events are family-friendly and free - making it a perfect celebration for funlovers of all ages.

John Keenan has spent the last year planning for the patriotic party after being recruited by previous Commodores Mark and Jenny Petty.

"This is an important event. My wife and I are originally from Storm Lake and grew up with memories of the Spectacular," Keenan said. "After moving back to Storm Lake we were looking to get involved with the community. "

The fun gets underway on the evening of the 3rd, with a Kiddie Parade in Sunset Park, an ice cream social, musical show in the bandshell, and the classic car cruise and show in the park.

Making their return by popular demand is the party band "On the Fritz" from Omaha. The band will be play a plethora of popular songs from past and present.

Local non profits receive proceeds from the food booths. With a variety of food options, even the pickiest palates should be able to find something to enjoy.

The next day on July 4, be sure to get up early to enjoy a whole day of festivities for the whole family. The Ride/Run Race, a leap-frog style event, goes around the whole lake. Come out and cheer or participate in the race.

Next up is the Big Parade that will travel Lakeshore Drive. See floats and different groups march, bringing the fanfare of Independence Day to all who see it.

This year's Grand Marshal, Glen McDole, is a famed World War II POW.

After the parade, a Patriotic Ceremony will be held to honor those who have help protect their nation. Everyone is invited to attend the event near the Buddy Monument in Chautauqua Park.

There will be plenty more to see and do in Sunset Park, Chautauqua Park, and Sleepy Hollow.

Sunset Park will host some inflatables like the bungee run and gladiator joust for the older kids.

Artist Alley will also be taking place in the park throughout the day. The alley will give everyone a chance to see artwork of different areas and to see the creative minds at work. See and shop hand-crafted jewelry, sculpture, pottery, paintings and many other genres.

Making their Spectacular debut is Monkey's Uncle, a well-known classic pop rock band, in concert.

Chautauqua Park will have inflatables designed for the younger attendees, including a massive slide and Seaweed the Sea Monster.

Sleepy Hollow will have something new this year, WOZ. According to Keenan, WOZ is an all around entertainer. He will have stunt-filled songs, clowning and even juggling. The whole family should enjoy his high-energy shows.

As the night approaches be prepared to see the a dazzling display of fireworks over the lake of the Chautauqua Park Jetty. The reflection of the fireworks on the water is a stirring site for the crowds that gather all along the lakefront each year for one of the state's biggest pyrotechnics shows.

Keenan said it would be impossible to put together an event like this without the help of a "wonderful" committee.

"They are a group of very knowledgeable people and some have been serving on the committees for years," he said. Scores of volunteers bring the plan to life each July.

"This is really a fun-filled family holiday on the shores of Storm Lake, and we hope everyone will come join us," Keenan said.