Sebastian adds beer to Independence Day celebration

SEBASTIAN — The Sebastian Lions Club and the City of Sebastian are working feverishly to finalize their annual Fourth of July Freedom Festival celebration in and around Riverview Park. And one of the major additions this year is a Beer Garden.Co-organizer Norman Meyer, of the Lions Club, said that the city has allowed beer sales at Riverside Park, though the area will be restricted. A fenced area will be set up and beer drinkers will have to remain in that “corral” – as Meyer calls it – while enjoying their brew. Visitors to the beer garden will have their IDs checked before being allowed in or served beer. They will be allowed to bring food into the corral.On Thursday, Meyer and other members of the Lions Club were busy finalizing the Fourth of July celebration details. Meyer said that he’s not getting any sleep in these final days. Worse off yet is Jerry Kennerk, who is fielding phone calls from last minute vendors trying to find a booth at Riverside Park.Due to new rules, the Lions Club and the city have to restrict the number of vendor booths at the park. But with the down economy, more businesses are seeking booth space to promote themselves, Meyer said.Kennerk is the Lions Club member tasked with fielding those phone calls and arranging the booths. He is now struggling with doubling and tripling vendors at booths, according to Meyer.The Fourth of July Freedom Festival celebration will be held near the corner of U.S. 1 and Sebastian Boulevard (County Road 512). The following is the schedule of events:

6:30 to 7:30 a.m. – Bike decoration for the parade at Jackson Street and Indian River Drive, ride your decorated bike and compete for prizes.

7 a.m. – Compete to Defeat Drugs 5K Run/Walk at Riverview Park

8 a.m. – Opening Ceremonies at the flag pole near Riverview Park

8:30 a.m. – 4th of July Parade runs along Indian River Drive

10:30 – Presentations at the gazebo in Riverview Park for Man and Woman of the Year

11 a.m.  – festival in Riverview Park begins at 11 a.m. and runs through 9 p.m.

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Dixieland Band strolling through the park

11 a.m. to noon – Hula Hoop Contest at the bandstand

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Excel Boxing exhibition at the pavilion

Noon to 2 p.m. – Caribbean Steel Drums in the beer garden

Noon to 2 p.m. – Apple pie baking contest at the pavilion

Noon to 2 p.m. – The Shindogs at the bandstand

2 to 4 p.m. – Greg Fessel at the bandstand

3 to 5 p.m. – Karaoke contest at the pavilion ($50 grand prize)

4 p.m. – Raffle drawing for American Flag lap quilt

4 to 6 p.m. – The Moonjammers at the bandstand

5 p.m. – Gospel music by Two or More at the pavilion

6 to 8 p.m. – Bobby and the Coolers at the bandstand

9 p.m. – Fireworks over the Indian River Lagoon can be viewed from Riverview Park, along Indian River Drive or from several local restaurants and bars, including Capt. Hiram’s, Squid Lips and Earl’s Hideaway.

All proceeds of the Fourth of July festivities benefit the charitable projects of the Sebastian Lions Club. For more information about the event in general, contact Dr. Norman Meyer; about the parade, contact Lloyd Thomas at (772) 646-0558. For information about the 5K Run, contact the Substance Abuse Council at (772) 770-4811.  

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