"We’ve changed a few things this year," said Amy Hendrix, recreation program supervisor, Town of Vienna – Parks and Recreation. "We’ve added more rides, and for the first time, we’ll have crafters indoors in the community center, as well as outdoors on the field.
"We’ve changed the schedule of the crafters, too. We’re starting earlier but ending earlier.
Thunderstorms usually come through in the late afternoon and we’re trying to beat the storms this year, getting the crafters off the field before the thunderstorms strike."
Every year since 9/11, the organizers have created a "to our troops" banner that is shipped to military personnel in the Middle East. The banner is hung on the field and people are invited to sign it. In previous years, signed banners were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, and this year, the banner goes to our troops in Kuwait.
The banner is a special thing, said Hendrix, but so are the family games — traditional games such as the egg toss, three-legged race, and water balloon toss.
"For a lot of families, the family games are a highlight. Some of these parents came to the 4th of July celebration as children themselves, and now, they are bringing their own children."
Mayor M. Jane Seeman’s family comes into Vienna for the annual festivities, too.
"The 4th of July celebration is such a tradition in Vienna," said the mayor. "Family and visitors come from all over to participate. It is an old-fashioned 4th ... kind of like a community reunion. People run into people they haven’t seen in a while."
The town takes special safety precautions for the fireworks display. Special blankets go over the synthetic turf of Waters Field to protect it from damage or fire; the pyrotechnics explode over a lower area.
"The blankets worked fine last year," said Seeman.
The Vienna Optimists Club continues its custom of running the rides at the festival. The Optimists help out with special events throughout the year, Hendrix said.
A baseball game at Waters Field kicks off the 4th of July celebration, and at noon, the Vienna Police Department Color Guard presents the colors.
From noon – 4 p.m. B2B, a Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band plays beach music, oldies, and country on the Main Stage, followed by Nightwork – classic rock – from 5:30 – 7 p.m.
The Children’s Stage presents a variety of programming throughout the day:
Noon – "Vaudeville Show" – Kevin Brown
1 p.m. – "The Traveling Medicine Show" – Eric Henning
2 p.m. – Comedy/magic/juggling – Chuck Bollinger
3 p.m. – Mayhem’s Magical Rodeo
1:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Roving clowns and jugglers
On the Mid Field, between 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., there will be a number of activities and vendors:
Arts and crafts (indoor/outdoor), food, pony rides, moon bounce, giant slide, and obstacle course.
On the Lower Field, beginning at 2:30 p.m., are the old-fashioned family games.
The Vienna Community Band provides the evening’s entertainment from 8 – 9 p.m., and at 9:10 p.m., a rising Marshall High School freshman, Orla Conway, will sing the National Anthem in the prelude to the day’s most anticipated event, the annual Vienna fireworks display on Waters Field.
"We have a good mix of ‘booms’ and other kinds of display. Everybody likes the fireworks. The kids just lie there on blankets, looking up at the sky," said Mayor Seeman.