By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
This year, the City of Kentwood has made a few tweaks to its annual Fourth of July celebration – which will be observed on Monday, July 4 – in an effort to make the activities more centralized.
Kentwood’s Marketing and Events Coordinator Laura Barbarick said there was a move by city staff at the recommendation of Mayor Stephen Kepley to pull the events together in one place. So it was decided to have the Kentwood Community Church as the main spot for the morning events with all the evening activities remaining at Crestwood Middle School.
The celebration – which has been taking place for more than 35 years in Kentwood – will kick off like it always has with a pancake breakfast from 7 – 11 a.m. in a tent in the east parking lot of Kentwood Community Church, 1200 60th St. SE. Cost is $7/general, free/children 3 and under for pancakes, sausage and eggs.
Barbrick noted that because both the 5K race and the parade start and end at Kentwood Community Church, participants and visitors will need to vary their route to the church since 60th Street between Eastern Avenue and Ridgebrook Drive will be closed. The recommend route is to enter the Celebration! Cinema South drive off of Kalamazoo Avenue and follow until it dead ends into Eastport Drive. Turn right and follow Eastport until it dead ends into Ridgebrook Drive, turning right on Ridgebrook Drive to the church.
Because of the effort to centralize events both the Autocam 5K Race & Fun Walk and the parade routes are reverse from last year.
The 5K begins at 8:30 am. with racers traveling west towards Eastern, north on Eastern with a turn around near the front of CVS so they head south on Eastern and then east on 60th Street. Registration is open up to the day of the race with late registration and check in are at Kentwood Community Church. For more information, visit www.classicrace.com.
Immediately after the race will be the parade, set to start around 9:30 a.m. The parade starts at 60th Street and Ridgebrook in front of Kentwood Community Church and will travel west on 60th Street then north to the 52nd Street and Eastern Avenue intersection. Anyone interested in participating in this year’s parade should contact the Kentwood Parks and Recreation Department at 656-5270.
The Fourth of July celebration activities continue in the evening at 6 pm. with a carnival at Crestwood Middle School, 2674 44th St. SE., and concluding with fireworks at dusk. There will be a variety of games and rides for the whole family to enjoy. Concession and food trucks will be onsite until 10 p.m.
Volunteers are needed for all portions of the celebration. To volunteer or for more information about the event, visit the Kentwood Parks and Recreation Department’s website, www.yourkprd.org or call 656-5270.