Holiday events, fireworks planned throughout our area

Some Ozark Countians got a glimpse of the first fireworks of the season Friday night, June 26, when a 10-minute fireworks display concluded the Dora High School graduation ceremony, which was held outside on the school’s ball field due to distancing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dora resident and school board member Lindsay Collins snapped this photo of the festive display that was set off at the end of the event.

July 4 is right around the corner, and there’s no better place to celebrate than right here in the Ozarks. Here’s a list of holiday events to fire up anyone’s patriotic spirit. While some annual events have been canceled or postponed due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, other celebrations are ready to go.


Friday, July 3

Live music at Lake Bums Brew Co. - Lake Bums Brew Co. will have live music by Dorethy & McGrath, the music duo of Wes Dorethy and Larry McGrath, from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 3, at their taproom off W Highway in Pontiac. The brewery has 17 of its own beers on tap along with a variety of wines and a mixed-drink special. Their usual outdoor seating area has been expanded to include the grounds beyond the covered patio on a grassy hillside behind the taproom. Just Jackie’s, located across W Highway in the Pontiac Cove Marina and campground area, will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (kitchen closes at 9 p.m.) for dine-in and carry-out orders. Lake Bums visitors are welcome to bring their carry-out order, or any other food, to enjoy at the brewery. For more information, call 417-679-0070, visit or search for the brewery on Facebook. 


 Saturday, July 4

PPPVFD Independence Day brunch - The Pontiac/Price Place Volunteer Fire Department will host a fundraiser brunch from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at fire station number 1 next to the Pontiac post office off W Highway. The menu will include biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, smoked ham, sausage patties, smoked salmon, hash brown casserole, BBQ meatballs, fresh fruit salad and a variety of homemade baked goods. Coffee, milk and orange juice will also be served with the meal.

The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 12 and free for kids younger than 5. From Gainesville, take Highway 5 south to W Highway. Turn right and continue 8 miles to PPPVFD fire station #1. 


Warriors2US Grand Opening - The Warriors2US Camp in Hardenville, a free recreational camp for veterans, police, firefighters, EMTs and other emergency workers, is hosting a grand opening celebration Saturday, July 4. The free event will feature fireworks, food, a bonfire, live music and more. Everyone is welcome to join in on the festivities and tour the new facility. Those attending should bring a lawn chair and the beverages they wish to enjoy.

For more information, visit or search for “Warriors2US” on Facebook. The camp is at 404 County Road 519A off Highway 160 in Hardenville. A Facebook event has also been set up; those planning to attend are asked to respond there so organizers have an accurate head count to order food. 


Theodosia fireworks - Fireworks will start at dark Saturday, July 4, over Bull Shoals Lake, viewable from the campground area adjoining Theodosia Marina Resort off Highway 160. Cookie’s restaurant will be open until 8:30 p.m. A dog show starts at 4 p.m. at the Fort Cook office by the pool, and the 20th annual Fourth of July golf cart parade lines up there at 6 p.m. The popular parade winds around the upper part of the campground and the RV park. There’s no entry fee, and any smaller motorized vehicle that is not a car or truck is welcome. Contact Linda Moore at 417-849-1533 for more information about the parade.


Fire in the Sky, Harrison, Ark. - The annual “Fire in the Sky” fireworks show in Harrison will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 4, in Harrison. Organizers say there will be ample room for social distancing at the fireworks location in the Anstaff Soccer Complex in downtown Harrison, which boasts enough square footage for 10,000 safely distanced people. Observers are also welcome to watch the show from their cars in the parking lot. The event will also be live streamed on the “Explore Harrison” Facebook page. For more information, call 870-741-1789 or connect via Facebook. 


Saturday, July 11

Bakersfield Picnic in the Park and fireworks - The annual picnic in Bakersfield’s Pride Park will be held from 5 p.m. until dark, when the fireworks show begins. Town-wide yard sales, music, food, games, stands and booths and lots of fun are planned, organizers said. Activities at the park will begin around 5 p.m. with a variety of food offerings and other booths plus three or four music groups. Due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Bakersfield School reunion will not be held this year. Vendors may set up under the shade trees around the park pavilion. No set-up fees are charged. Everyone is welcome. 


Thornfield Independence Day celebration - The Thornfield House of Prayer will host an evening of fun, food and fireworks beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, July 11, in the park adjoining the church. Games and music are planned, and everyone is welcome to enjoy a fish fry dinner. Everything is free. The House of Prayer is 6 miles south of Wasola on Highway 95. For more information, call pastor Stan Collins at 417-989-0027.


Rescheduled event

Pontiac fireworks - Saturday, Sept. 5 - The “Light Up the Lake” annual fireworks show at Pontiac Cove on Bull Shoals Lake, originally scheduled for Friday, July 3, has been rescheduled to Saturday, Sept. 5, during Labor Day weekend. Organizers say a combination of factors including social distancing requirements concerning COVID-19, high lake levels and limited parking caused the rescheduling. To monitor updates, watch the Times or search for the “Pontiac Fireworks over Bull Shoals Lake” Facebook event. 


Canceled events

Heart of the Ozarks fireworks and festival in Ava - The Heart of the Ozarks Health Center in Ava has canceled its annual fireworks and July 4 celebration due to social distancing restrictions. Organizers say the event, which had been held for 34 years, will be held again next year.


Rockbridge Rainbow Trout Ranch fireworks and festival - Rockbridge Rainbow Trout Ranch has canceled its annual fireworks show and Fourth of July festival for this year. 


Red, White and Blue Festival in Mountain Home, Arkansas - The Red, White and Blue Festival in Mountain Home, Arkansas, is canceled this year due to concerns about restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. A Facebook post announcing the cancellation said, “With current restricts, we feel it’s not wise to put on such a large event at this time. Thanks to our sponsors for the last 21 years. We look forward to next year’s festival being better than ever!”

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423