Community, Creswell, Springfield

Springfield, Creswell to put  best foot Fourth next week

Between Springfield and Creswell Fourth of July celebrations, the southern Willamette Valley in one week will transform into a patriotic paradise.

Springfield’s 19th annual Light of Liberty Celebration will pack Island Park as part of a fundraiser for Project SHARE, which benefits about 300 low-income Springfield residents who need assistance paying their electricity bills. 

Last year, the Fourth celebration brought in over $45,000 for the project, which helped 1,162 residents, according to Meredith Clark, community relations for Springfield Utility Board — the organizing company of the event. Since the start of the year, Project SHARE has helped 825 customers. 

Tickets are $10, either online or cash at the gate located at 200 W. B St., and children under 5 get in for free. Gates open at 4 p.m. and all activities are free with admission. The event features live music, food trucks, vendors, a kids’ play area, and the grand finale: fireworks. 

Activities at Kids Nation include pony rides, petting zoo, robot expo, live acoustic music, balloon twisting, face painting, and a giant slide. 

“The reptile exhibit this year will be huge,” Clark said. “We’ll have 40 linear feet of snakes with the opportunity to hold them … and take selfies.” Don’t expect to see Clark there, though; she said with a smile that she plans to be “far away” from that particular exhibit. 

In addition to that exhibit, kids can drive and play catch with a robot from the South Eugene Robotics Team. 

“This is particularly cool because they are bringing their competition robot, which was ranked first in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest this year, and earned them a spot at the World Championships,” Clark said. 

Outside food and picnics – aside from glass, grills, and alcohol — are allowed into the event, and there will also be a variety of food trucks as well as a beer and wine garden. 

Main Stage music includes Deva Priyo & Gypsy Moon from around 4:30–5:30 p.m., Olem Alves & Inner Limits from 6-7 p.m. and headliner The Spinners from 8-9:30 p.m.  

According to the group’s biography, The Spinners are known for their pop, R&B and adult contemporary smash singles like, “I’ll Be Around,” “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love,” “Then Came You,” and “The Rubberband Man,” noting that it “defined the smooth sound of Philadelphia Soul into a catalog of classic hits, beloved across generations.” The band has earned six Grammy nominations, and produced 18 Platinum and Gold Albums.

Olem Alves & Inner Limits call themselves an “energetic blues/funk/rock group out of Oregon that weaves original material and unique arrangements of solid classic blues and rock songs into each set.”

Deva Priyo & Gypsy Moon calls itself a “fresh, sultry sound (that) blends the tribal heartbeat of African drums, the danceable groove of trance electronica, and Priyo’s smooth, seductive mastery of the Flamenco guitar.” 

Fireworks are scheduled to go off at dusk, or around 10 p.m. They’ll be reflecting on the Willamette River while being synchronized to music.

Limited handicapped parking is available near the B street entrance on a first-come basis, with additional street parking available. Free valet parking for bikes and strollers is available at Willamalane’s Adult Activity Center adjacent to Island Park. 

Additionally, a free park and ride shuttle is available from 3:30-11 p.m. from the Booth-Kelly parking lot in the 200 block of South 5th Street. The shuttle runs in 15-minute intervals.

Behind the scenes, a SUB team of three that manages the event, along with more than 150 community volunteers and employees from SUB, the City and Willamalane, Clark said. 

Meanwhile, The Creswell Chamber of Commerce is also knee-deep in preparation for its annual jewel-in-crown celebration. Creswell has been celebrating this way since 1982, and visitors this year can expect all the traditional staple patriots have come to expect: a community breakfast, live music, parade, and fireworks. 

From sunrise to sunset, visitors can expect robust activities – not to mention a surge in foot and vehicle traffic — around three key central hubs in town: along Oregon Avenue, at Creswell High School, and at Harry Holt Park. 

Michelle Melvin, community engagement specialist, said that the party starts at Holt Park. The holiday kicks off bright and early with a community breakfast served by New Hope Church from 7-10 a.m. at the park. 

Live music, featuring Rock ‘n’ Rewind, begins at 9 a.m. at Holt Park and continues throughout the day. Food trucks, local crafts vendors, information booths, and family-friendly activities are set up for the day. 

An Air Force flyover signals the start of the parade at 11 a.m., which snakes through town by way of barricaded blocks of Oregon Avenue. 

A pre-fireworks show by local country band Pendleton Highway is performing a pre-fireworks show from 6 a.m. to dusk at Creswell High School, followed by a three-hour fireworks display show at dusk — approximately 10 p.m. All events are free. 



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