This July 4th I headed up to Dexter State Park to celebrate Americas birthday and let me tell you, I was in for a treat. Eugene Daily News has played a large roll in this event for the last few years in conjunction with the Dexter Fire Department. The party began at noon and was to go until after the fireworks, with plenty to do in between.
It was my first time at Dexter to celebrate so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I packed a cooler with some refreshments and last minute food (I like to live on the edge and not put too much thought into that kind of thing) grabbed my fold up chair, a blanket and two large golf umbrellas. Hey, you never know when it’s going to rain in Oregon right?
Armed with my umbrella’s and 50 SPF sunblock I jetted into town to pick up my friends Cindy Bailey Asay and Salpino (he’s that funny guy who creates those amazing cartoons for EDN) and we headed towards the lake.
Our efforts to find the perfect location on the lawn was so well orchestrated, anyone would have thought the three of us had been working as a team for many years. We claimed a little piece of turf and marked our territory for the evening. The day started out kind of overcast, however it didn’t take long for the cloud cover to burn off and out came the umbrella’s! What a relief that was!
The Dexter Fire Department cooked up some amazing BBQ chicken and a few vendors were onsite selling tie dyed clothing and hula hoops. The Steel Pail was there selling ice cold adult beverages and there was even a place selling popsicles for the kids.
EDN’s Tim Chewey was the master of ceremonies while Kelly Asay was all over the place, hardly taking a time out to rest his weary feet. Always with a smile on his face, he made his rounds to ensure all was in order.
Salpino and I decided to take a walk along the waterfront so we could stretch our legs and I could snap some photographs. We both wanted to check out the rest of the lake for future reference. There was plenty of shade to go around on the other side of the knoll, I just might be setting up camp there at next years event.
The turn out for this years event was pretty high, upwards of 5 thousand people in attendance. Not too bad if I do say so myself.
The many talented bands that performed from 2 pm on set the mood for fun, BBQ’s, water play and good ole fashioned sit down and visit with new and old friends alike. The Procrastinators (our very own Kelly Asay’s band) finished off the evening playing some classics as well as their own music. Tim read the Gettysburg address and afterwards we were sweetly surprised as T.R. Kelly of Steel Wool took to the stage and beautifully sang our Nations Anthem. Just as she finished the first explosion of fireworks lit up the sky. For a small community, they sure did it up right. The fireworks display was amazing. I am pretty sure seeing them will never get old, bringing the kid out in all of us.
It was really a great time at the lake that beautiful day and I will be heading up there next year to celebrate with my EDN family and friends. I really enjoyed the patriotism that was so very evident everywhere you looked. I tried to capture everything and of course took too many photo’s to post here but I hope you will get a great idea of the fun that was had. Enjoy my photo essay below.
I hope to see you out there next year!