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June 27. 2014 8:32PM

Merrimack readies to celebrate Fourth of July

MERRIMACK — A full slate of activities have been planned for the town’s annual July Fourth Midway celebration, as thousands of people are expected to attend the festivities.

“In the past, this event has attracted approximately 6,000 people,” said Maureen Mooney, one of the event organizers.

Local families are encouraged to attend one or all of the events planned for Thursday evening and all day on Friday.

A free, patriotic concert will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Abbie Griffin Park, with entertainment from the Merrimack Concert Association.

Festivities on Friday will kick off at 8 a.m. with the Merrimack Rotary Club Pancake Breakfast at the Merrimack High School cafeteria until 11 a.m. Breakfast tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for children and free for youngsters under 4.

Also at 8 a.m. is the start of the Sparkler 5k Road Race from the Merrimack YMCA. At noon, the Merrimack Rotary Club’s Family Fun Day will begin throughout the town center, including numerous activities around O’Gara Drive at the James Mastricola Upper Elementary School.

“People should be looking forward to a great family event,” said Mooney, adding there will be games, bouncy houses, contests, food, crafts and other kid-friendly activities.

One of the featured activities is a dunk tank that will have local celebrity guests braving the water. There will be live entertainment from two area bands at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., and demonstrations from the local police and fire departments.

At 1 p.m., the Fourth of July parade will begin from the Tractor Supply plaza and travel toward Merrimack Town Hall. Children of all ages are invited to participate in the parade by decorating their bicycle, wagon or stroller.

The midway will remain open all day following the parade, and will include food vendors, specialty items, a magician and other entertainment.

Ending the night will be the fireworks display, which is expected to start around 9 p.m. at the Merrimack High School football field.

“This is always a big draw. People come from all over to watch the fireworks,” said Mooney. Parking is being suggested at the high school, Woodbury Street and the CVS parking lot on Daniel Webster Highway.

New this year is a scavenger hunt being organized by the Merrimack Historical Society in celebration of Matthew Thornton’s 300th birthday. The scavenger hunt is already underway, however new participants are still welcome. The game will conclude on Friday at Family Fun Day.

The Merrimack Rotary Club is hosting the pancake breakfast and Family Fun Day, while the town is sponsoring the parade and fireworks. For a complete schedule, visit www.merrimack4th.com.

khoughton@newstote.com


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