The Jacobus Lions Club was so busy preparing for the upcoming Fourth of July celebration, it was only a few weeks ago that anyone realized it is the 50th year of the Jacobus Blast.
And though there won't be any large event to commemorate the anniversary, the club is still working earnestly to prepare for an event that brings hundreds of community members together.
The community event, which kicks of at 8 a.m. at the Jacobus Community Park, is reminiscent of a "Norman Rockwell Fourth of July," said Steve Horning, chairman for the event. Activities for children, chicken barbecue for lunch and entertainment for all ages abound throughout the day, giving opportunity for the entire community to come together on the holiday.
That community feeling is the aspect John Parker has looked forward to since he started attending the event in 1983, the year he moved to the York area.
Blast activities: Parker, who joined the Lions club a few years later, was instrumental in beginning a few of the activities for the day, including a traditional "beep baseball" game, which pits the club against the ForSight Vision Center's Thunder Sticks.
The Thunder Sticks team members have visual impairments, meaning the game is played with a ball that "beeps" to alert the batters. The Lions club members play blindfolded.
Parker said the club is also incorporating other community health awareness initiatives into the day's activities. This year, a one-mile run/walk is scheduled for the first time, with hopes that the event will expand in future years to a longer distance and perhaps to benefit a health-related organization, Parker said.
The day also includes all-day entertainment with various musical performances, a cake walk and a raffle and silent auction.
The highlight of every year, not surprisingly, is the fireworks show. The crowd that used to stay within park limits now spills over to other areas, drawing thousands for the fireworks display that lasts about 30 minutes, Horning said.
This year, a jazz band will play from 7:30-8:30 p.m. on the park's baseball field, with the fireworks display to begin at dusk, around 9:15 p.m.
The park is located on South Main Street in Jacobus.
— Reach Nikelle Snader at firstname.lastname@example.org.