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Vienna Launches Traditional Fourth of July

Town will party all day July 4, with music, games, fireworks and more.

On Tuesday, July 4, the Town of Vienna will celebrate national independence from morning 'til night.

Festivities will begin with the American Legion All-Star baseball game at 10 a.m. on Waters Field.

At noon, the celebration will move next door to the Community Center, where, following the presentation of colors, Jimmy Buffett tribute band B2B will take the main stage, Kevin Brown will begin performing his "Vaudeville Show" on the children's stage, some 50 arts and crafts and food vendors will open for business, a classic car show will be on display in front of the center, and various amusements will open to children of all ages.

B2B, who hail from Richmond and will perform a five-hour set, perform a variety of classic rock, "but they have a large Jimmy Buffett repertoire, which we like," said Kathy Salgado, director of the town's Parks and Recreation Department, which organized the event. "You can't beat Jimmy Buffett on the Fourth of July." Last year was their first time performing at the event.

Amusements will include a rock climb, a giant slide, a pony ride, a children's train ride, an obstacle course and a moon bounce. Vendors and amusements will be open until 4:30 p.m.

Amy-Jo Hendrix, also of the Parks and Recreation Department, said jewelers are usually the biggest draw among the vendors, but T-shirts and various other goods will also be featured, and various nonprofit organizations will have booths set up.

On the children's stage behind the Community Center, Brown will be followed by the "Traveling Medicine Show" with Eric Henning, the "Comedy/Magic/Juggling" show with Chuck Bollinger and "Mayhem's Magical Rodeo." All of the children's acts are new this year. The children's stage will close at 4 p.m.

The antique car show, consisting of about 17 cars, mostly owned by local residents, will also close at 4, at which point a recipient for the classic car People's Choice award will be determined.

However, that is also the hour when the greased pole climb will begin. Family games, which will have begun by 2:30 p.m., will include the town's tried-and-true July 4 standards, such as sack races, a tug-of-war, a water balloon toss, an egg toss and a three-legged race.

The family games have proven popular. "People come every year just to do those," said Hendrix.

Families are also encouraged to bring food and picnic on the Community Center lawn.

From 6 to 7:30 p.m., the local band Nightwork will perform classic rock on the main stage, and the Vienna Community Band will take the stage at 8. Nightwork also played the celebration last year, the first time music was offered in the mid-evening.

"A lot of people come very, very early for the fireworks, so we thought we'd entertain them," said Salgado.

Fireworks spectators come early to get prime seating, as the crowd is expected to spread from the Community Center to Cassie Field at Vienna Elementary, to the police station, Town Hall and the Faith Baptist Church. Cherry and Center streets will be closed down.

Beginning at 9:15 p.m., $9,000 worth of fireworks will be launched from Waters Field.

For the most part, this is the same Independence Day celebration the town has thrown for many years. "It's a very traditional event," said Salgado.

"It's just one of those good traditions that we have," said Mayor Jane Seeman. "It's a family tradition, to bring our lawn chairs and pack up a picnic and bring the kids," she said of her own family. Seeman said her personal favorite parts of the celebration are "the fireworks, and just coming up here and seeing everybody relaxing and enjoying themselves. I like all that patriotic music too."

In the event of rain, the day's festivities may be canceled or cut short and fireworks launched the following night. However, said Salgado, "We've never had to do that in my time."

The public can call the town's weather hotline at 703-255-7842.