Celebrate the Fourth of July in Pioneer Park

There will be musical acts, food vendors, artisans and other entertainment under the park's canopy.

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Bands, vendors, artisans and many others will come together at Pioneer Park this Sunday for a Fourth of July in the Park celebration that promises to be more "lively" and musical than in previous years.

"I've structured the celebration so that every half-hour to 45 minutes there's some music," said event coordinator Chris Plucker.

He said the event will be more "energetic" than previous years, because variety of new acts and old favorites will keep the festivities "hopping" from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with fireworks at dusk.

The musical line up for the event includes the local group Penrose Lane, the Walla Walla Valley Band and other local performers that will be "in and out throughout the day," Plucker said.

Positive Life Radio 91.3 has also invited Christian recording artist Johnny Diaz to perform at 12:15 am. A nominee for the Gospel Music Association's Dove Awards for new artist of the year, Diaz was also named No. 9 "Hot Christian Song Artist" by Billboard in 2009.

Although the event will have more of a musical flare than past celebrations, a wide array of vendors and performers will partake in a celebration that Plucker said will include "everything and the kitchen sink." A preview of the Walla Walla Community College summer musical, "Footloose," a ballet performance and an antique auto-show are among the highlights of an entertainment-filled afternoon.

Festivities will kick off after singer and "Footloose" actress Bobbie-Jo Lawrence will perform the national anthem. Captain Ron Plucker will deliver a patriotic address dedicated to local veterans at noon.

The long list of event vendors includes a variety of local woodworkers, metalworkers, soap makers, jewelry crafters and other artisans. Some of the more novel vendors include a fresh-made donut maker, a chainsaw carver and the Blue Mountain Lavender Farm truck. As always, there will be a bevy of dining options available, with vendors selling an assortment of homemade foods.

For the kids, Northworld Ventures Entertainment will provide a squirt-gun arena and bouncy castle and there will be a musical booth that allows children to insert their names into their favorite songs and CDs.

Additionally, a variety of local community groups will be present to provide information, and political booths will be set up to discuss sheriff and coroner candidates.

In a break with tradition, U-B publisher Rob Blethen will share his emcee duties with City Manager Nabiel Shawa, who will host the latter half of the event.

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