Ever since I was a kid I’ve enjoyed the fourth of July here; so many choices, all of them fun, some memorable – anyone remember the amazing lightning storm during an Autzen 4th many years ago? During my several decades away I’ve experienced the awesome battlefield style fireworks of Grinnell, Iowa; the pre-dawn fireworks off the Santa Monica Pier (a great way to start Independence day!), Phoenix, Durango (from above the fireworks!) and others. Hard to imagine the 4th with out them. But probably my favorite way to watch fireworks is out in a big open space.
Three years ago Eugene Daily News started working with Mike Cockerline and the Dexter Volunteer Firefighters Association. Originally just a Fireman’s BBQ Chicken feed with fireworks, this event has grown in to a full on music festival with live music all day, fireworks, the Firemans BBQ, plus other food vendors, crafts from local artisans, ice cream, a beer garden (varies by year) and this last year: more than 5,000 attendees.
With this years 4th of July slated to be the HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR with temperatures over 100 degrees it’s pretty hard to imagine a setting better than a beautiful state park that happens to be bordered along one entire side by a lake. Rodeos are fun, Fireworks at the baseball game or at Autzen are entertaining, but very little beats a family day by the lake with live music, food, adult beverages, and a fantastic fireworks show.
This years music lineup:
- 2:00 – 2:45 Pleasant Hill Jazz
- 3:00 – 3:45 Koriolis Effect
- 4:00 – 4:45 Axis Salvation
- 5:00 – 5:45 Living The Dream
- 6:00 – 6:30 Peter Almeida (Missing Mass)
- 6:45 – 7:30 Unaltered
- 7:45 – 8:45 Steel Wool
- 9:00 – Fireworks The Procrastinators
Tickets (donation) are $10 per carload or $2 per walk-in. All proceeds go to benefit the Dexter Volunteer Firefighters Association.
WHERE? Dexter Lake State Park – Dexter Oregon. It’s on the left just before the turn to Dexter.