2018 4th of July Parade

THEME FOR this year's Norfolk Odd Fellows parade is "United We Stand." Here, volunteers display a large American flag at last year's festivities.

There’s fun being planned for everyone in Norfolk on the Fourth of July.

In the morning, the United Methodist Women will host its annual pancake feed from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at First United Methodist Church. Freewill offerings will be accepted. There also will be a bake sale. The feed is handicap accessible.

One of the most anticipated events — the Norfolk Odd Fellows parade — kicks off at 10 a.m., with the National Anthem being sung by a member of the First United Methodist Church.

The parade’s theme will be “United We Stand.”

“It seemed fitting that this phrase, found in embedded in early American roots, be used, especially in light of recent natural disasters in the area. It truly describes the Nebraskan commitment and compassion that we showed to one another during the flooding,” said Kendall Gubbels, parade committee chairman. “Also, as the International Order of Odd Fellows celebrates 200 years of existence in North America this year, we feel that this theme reflects our fraternal order's motto of ‘Friendship, Love and Truth.’ ”

Gubbels said this year’s grand marshals will be the Briggs and Barrett Project founders Melissa West and Allison Uecker.

“Since the creation of the B&B Project over a year and half ago, they have given voice to a tragic issue and made incredible strides to promote awareness and better educate parents on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID),” Gubbels said. “They have increased their partnership with several area hospitals, provided Owlet socks to numerous families and raised thousands through dozens of community events through the year to support safe sleep education (you’ve likely seen the big crib). We are proud to acknowledge their incredible accomplishments. We hope that their organization can continue to grow and touch hearts in need.”

The parade route will not change from previous years. It will begin at First Street and travel down to Madison Avenue, where it will head to Fifth Street and then up to Prospect Avenue.

Gubbels advises all in attendance to be mindful of the entries as they pass and keep children back a safe distance from the floats.

For those wishing to show off their community pride and participate in the parade, email NorfolkOddFellows@gmail.com for information and a registration form.

Directly after the parade, The Elkhorn Valley Museum will host an Independence Day picnic from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be live 19th-century tunes by Omaha's Roundhouse Band, outdoor games, face painting and a watermelon feed. Lunch will be available for sale or bring your own. Admission is free.

More music will be provided by the annual Dynamite Duo and the Sparklers concert.

The free-admission concert will be at 2 p.m. on Thursday at First Baptist Church, 404 W. Benjamin Ave. An additional concert will be performed on Wednesday, July 3, at 7 p.m.

The concerts will feature patriotic, sacred, Broadway and golden oldies tunes performed to the glory of God by local musicians on “The Mighty Wurlitzer” organ, grand piano and band and stringed instrumentation. Also featured will be a salute to military veterans, sing-along and vocal numbers, costumed characters, youth performances, dramatic readings and decorations.

The church is air-conditioned and handicapped-accessible. Doors open one hour prior to show times. The concerts are free, and all are welcome to attend.

Also on July 3, Bob Hupp and Dave Dohren of the Smoke Ring will perform at 2:30 p.m. at the Heritage of Bel-Air dining room. The public is invited to attend.

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