With July 4 falling midweek this summer, fun activities span both weekends. In chronological order:
• Church on the Rock, 407 N. Township Line Road, will have its annual pitch-in cookout at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 29, to coincide with local fireworks. “The public is invited to the free meal and then watch the fireworks from one of the best views in the area,” says member Teri Barker.
• Hillcrest Country Club will offer a fireworks display to members that night at dusk, reports Renee Zeigler, marketing and membership director. The community may watch from public areas.
• Summer holidays and the all-American pastime just go together. Spectators can cheer for the American Legion home baseball team Tuesday, July 2, when it takes on Aurora at 6 p.m. for one nine-inning game and Saturday, July 6, when it goes up against Vevay for a noon doubleheader at Liberty Park, reports baseball committee chairman Fran Effinger. The summer series “gives the high school players the opportunity to try to improve themselves and it doesn’t cost them anything.” The team includes athletes between 15-19 from Batesville, South Ripley, South and North Decatur high schools and Oldenburg Academy. Hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries and cool drinks will be sold at the diamond. Freewill donations help pay umpires.
• On Thursday, July 4, Batesville Christian Church members will host the seventh 4 on the 4th to raise funds for the Batesville Area Ministerial Association Food Pantry. After a one-hour registration period, walkers start at 8:15 a.m. and runners at 8:30 at the church, 1294 Columbus Ave. Entry fees are $20 for individuals and $40 for families. Trophies will go to the top males and females and medals will be awarded to winners in eight age groups. A $100 cash award goes to a male or female who beats the course running records, found at www.batesvillechristianchurch.org/connecting/4on4th, which also has registration forms. Participants can enter for door prizes by bringing cans of food for the pantry.
• The Prell-Bland American Legion Post 271 ladies’ auxiliary will hold its annual chicken and roast beef dinner July 4 from 4:30 p.m. on at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 104 W. Pearl St. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Carryouts are available. Secretary-treasurer Sally Wilhelm says, “This is a smoke-free environment and kids are welcome.” The Eureka Band will perform from 6-7 p.m., then the Crums will organize karaoke from 8-11. Dinner proceeds go to the auxiliary’s programs for children and veterans.
• The Eureka Band will perform a free, patriotic one-hour concert at the Liberty Park bandstand Friday, July 5, at 8 p.m. Listeners may want to bring chairs or blankets.
• Canoefest is centered on the Whitewater River and Brookville Town Park June 28-39. On Friday, booths and chicken dinners start at 5 p.m. followed by the 6:30 p.m. classic car caravan, 7 p.m. princess crowning, 8 p.m. Canoefest Idol prelims and 10 p.m. Ryan Broshear concert. On Saturday, the biathlon starts at 8 a.m., followed by 8:30 a.m. championship and recreational canoe races, 4 p.m. Great Chicken Fry-Off, 5:30 p.m. Canoefest Idol finals, 7 p.m. Claypool Block, 9:30 p.m. Penny and the Loafers and 10:15 p.m. fireworks. Info: www.brookvillecanoefest.com.
• In Milan, the Lions Club parade begins on Independence Day at 10 a.m. on Main Street, then patriots can enjoy snow cones, inflatable activities and booths at the park. Holiday eating experiences are impressive: July 3, 4-6 p.m., Milan Baptist Church ice cream social; July 4, 7 a.m., United Methodist Men’s Breakfast; 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Milan Volunteer Fire Department chicken dinner; noon-9 p.m., Milan Veterans of Foreign Wars steak dinner. Fireworks are slated for dusk July 5.
• The nonprofit Whitewater Valley Railroad operates a Civil War train at noon July 4 from Connersville to Metamora (with a two-hour layover) and back again. “Be in the middle of the action as a Union Army detachment protects the U.S. government payroll while along the line a relentless group of Confederate soldiers ... plan and wait,” reports the Web site www.whitewatervalleyrr.org/. Round-trip fares are $22 for adults and $14 for kids. Info: 765-825-2054.
• The Ripley County Chamber of Commerce Fireworks Night is July 5 at Osgood’s fairgrounds park, says chamber Secretary Gerry Nordmeyer, Batesville. Booths opening at 5 p.m. will offer glow items, antiques, crafts and flea market treasures. Persons interested in free booth space can call the chamber at 812-689-6654. Food will be offered by Osgood Lions. Centerline will perform at 7 p.m., followed by fireworks at dark, reports director Amy Thomas. The event is sponsored by the chamber, Gilmore and Golda Reynolds Foundation and Ripley County Park and Recreation Department.
• “Red, White and Blues’’ is the theme of Vevay’s First Friday party July 5. Starting at 6 p.m., live music by three groups, local art exhibits, free carriage rides, restaurant specials and shops’ extended hours are featured. Info: 812-427-9406.
• The Metamora Firemen’s Festival is Saturday, July 6. In addition to kids’ games, pulled pork dinners will be offered starting at 2 p.m. and a beer garden with mechanical bull runs from 3 p.m.-midnight. Lineup for the 6 p.m. parade is at the firehouse, with fireworks at dusk, reports volunteer Steve Collier. Info: www.metamoraindiana.com.
• Versailles Lake will mirror fireworks at 10 p.m. July 6 at Versailles State Park. These are sponsored by the park and freewill donations that night. Free park entry goes from 7-10 p.m.
• July 6 is a big day at other Indiana Department of Natural Resources properties: Brown County State Park Abe Martin Lodge, Nashville, is the site for an Old-Fashioned Independence Day Celebration, 812-988-4418; Brookville-Whitewater Complex near Brookville will host a cornhole tournament, 765-647-2657; and Clifty Falls State Park, Madison, boasts a regatta cookout and fireworks, 812-273-8885. Info: www.in.gov/dnr.