Two community celebrations will highlight an extended Independence Day weekend in Mills County.
The annual Pacific Junction Whistlestop Days begins Thursday night and wind downs Saturday night. In Malvern, a full slate of activities are planned Saturday for the community’s Independence Day celebration.
Whistle Stop Days will begin Thursday with a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament at the Junction Bar at 7 p.m. Friday evening, there will be a fish fry at the community center from 6 - 8 p.m.
A motorcycle run will kick off Saturday’s activities. Registration is at 10 a.m.
The parade commences at 11 a.m. Activities beginning after the parade include a bounce house, face painting, a kiddies’ pedal pull (ages 3-10), sidewalk chalk art, kids games, pony rides and, a dunk tank at Whistle Stop Park. This year’s events also include a hydrant party.
Wild West Creations is returning to Whistle Stop Days with a live performance Saturday at noon. Heartland Arm Wrestling competition also returns this year with a 1 p.m. start.
Robert and William Schneider will put on a two-man show concert Saturday evening, followed by a fireworks show at dusk.
The Whistle Stop Committee and the Pacific Junction Historical Society will have concession stands available throughout the day on Saturday.
Saturday’s celebration in Malvern is expected to be the largest put on by the event’s present sponsor, the Malvern Area Betterment Association (MABA).
Festivities will begin with a cheerleader’s breakfast at the Malvern Community Building in the morning and the annual 5K run, “Race the Trace,” sponsored by Friends of the Library. Because of low water levels at Boehner Pond, the annual fishing contest will not be held this year. In its place will be bicycle/trike games and contests at East Mills High School. The games are open to all elementary school-aged children.
The Main Street Independence Day Parade will take place at 11 a.m. After the parade, activity will shift to the Mills County Fairgrounds for the remainder of the day and evening.
Afternoon and early evening activities will include a volleyball tournament, inflatable bounce house and water slides, flea market, mobile gaming experience, petting zoo and pony rides, sanctioned pedal tractor pull, kids’ water fights sponsored by the Malvern Fire Department, a disc jockey and concessions.
Evening events will be an Independence Day dinner (pulled pork and beef dinner), D.J. music, Dutchmen’s auto pushball game, silver coin toss for kids at intermission and fireworks at dusk.
Additional information about the celebration is available on the Malvern and MABA websites.