Lake Waukomis 4th of July Celebration
Portrait of an American Small Town
Friday, June 30 - Tuesday, July 4

Fireworks Ordinance

Sign-Up to Volunteer
The 4th of July is a great time to volunteer, serve your community and have a blast while doing it. Please review the following Food & Beverage volunteer opportunities and sign up, it is so appreciated. Simply click on "Sign Up" red button then click on "Submit and Sign Up" white button on the bottom of the page.

Click Here to Volunteer!

Schedule of Events
Please note that it is subject to change so keep checking back. Hard copy will be delivered with the next newsletter.

2017 4th of July Schedule

About the 4th

The Lake comes alive, more than any other time, on our national holiday. At the entrances, there are pennants and streamers. Across the dam, there is an avenue of flags. The Association appoints a director and committees to work on the project well ahead of time, and the special celebration always involves several days of activities. How many days is determined by the day on which the date falls. Friends and relatives come from miles around to make parking a problem as they participate in: Pancake Breakfast; Fun Run/Walk; Flag Raising; Swimming Events; Ball Games; Artistic Competition and Display; Boating Events; Concerts / Musical Groups; Games for all ages; A decorated Pontoon Boat Parade and competition; Pontoon Brunch; The big Watermelon Race; informal get-togethers; the Fireworks Display; the Ice Cream Boat which delivers to every dock; the Big Drawing for valuable prizes; Awards for community service.

The informal and unscheduled activity is everywhere: smoking barbecue grills are busy and unofficial fireworks displays continue to happen even though they are officially frowned upon. Some almost equal the official, professionally lit rockets and bomb while whirling sparklers dominate the yards and docks. The police and the Cadets on bikes help to enforce the law.

As dusk arrives on the Fourth, boats leave their docks and begin to take up their places in the open water west of the dam, and if the boat hasn’t moved yet since Spring, it moves now and takes its place with all the rest, making an amazing display of running lights. Music sounds from enormous speakers on the dam, loud enough to hear on Sunset Cove, until the serious business of ooohing and aaahing at the displays flung out across the sky takes over. All this is made possible by the contributions of residents to the funds for the Fourth. Watching the boats start for home again is another moment that is unforgettable.

This has been an official activity since 1962, although there were many unofficial celebrations that took place before that time, and the enthusiasm continues unabted. Normally there is not much of a traffic problem on Lake roads, but on the Fourth, when the fireworks display is ended and all the visitors start for home -- look out! Since the displays are set off from the dam, it is closed to traffic until everything is cleaned up and put away, and bumper-to-bumper situations develop until the crowd is gone.

History of Our Celebration

The first official celebration took place on Merle Stouse’s property, and a great time was had by all, says The News in the July-August paper: FIRST “FOURTH ON WATER’ DRAWS OVER 650 PARTICIPANTS (from the 1962 NEWS)

Over 650 residents and guests took part on the first “Fourth on Water” celebration, July 4th. The program was stages on Merle Stouse’s property where everyone shared in delicious fish, beef and variety of treats prepared in Luau style. The day-long program consisted of a fishing derby, kid’s fishing rodeo, swimming races, boat races, a queen contest, float boat parade and a giant fireworks display to conclude the event. Over $800 was raised by volunteer block directors who contacted their neighbors for donations. Donations ranged from 50 cents to 50 dollars, with the residents setting their own contributions. The entire cost of the program will be covered by the donations received, with the City Aldermen voting to appropriate any necessary moneys to pay remaining bills. The City is considering donation of license proceeds to make next year’s program an even bigger one.

It should be noted that the first queen chosen was Connie Kimble, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Kimble, 1088 South Shore Drive [now Connie Rhoden, currently living at 825 South Shore Drive]. Her attendants were Carolyn Payne and Jan Skeith. The next year’s celebration was indeed bigger, and included a drawing to give away a red Jeepster by Bill Allen of Allen Chevrolet to the lucky ticket holder (tickets were $1.00 each and one person could hold ten). The record of the winner’s name was not included in the accounts. Old timers like to tell how it was bigger and better in the old days. There were and still are, many prizes for the tickets purchased, often rather lame ticket items, although there have been no cars lately. There used to be more swimming events, and we don’t choose a queen anymore. But the occasion is used to reward Lake citizens for their special efforts, including “Citizen of the Year.” [this award is now given out in conjunction with the HOA’s Annual Meeting on the 2nd Friday in February].

-[the account goes on to include a News report of the 1976 celebration, written by 1976 Fourth of July Chair Stan Scaison].