Organizers make July 4 plans for festivities, fireworks shows

The annual fireworks show over Bull Shoals Lake at Theodosia will kick off as usual on Saturday, July 4. Former Times reporter and photographer Bruce Roberts snapped this magnificent photo of the Theodosia fireworks at their 2013 show.

The July 4 holiday is a little over two weeks away, and many residents in the area are making plans for the celebrations. 

Due to COVID-19 concerns, organizers of several annual fireworks shows have had to cancel their events this year. Shows and festivals that have been canceled include longtime events at Rockbridge Rainbow Trout Ranch; the Red, White and Blue Festival in Mountain Home, Arkansas; and the Heart of the Ozarks fireworks show in Ava.

Another popular fireworks show, the annual July 4th event over Bull Shoals Lake in Pontiac, has been rescheduled for Labor Day weekend instead. (See more information below.)

Details of some area events that will go on as planned are listed here. An updated version of this list will run again in the Ozark County Times’ annual Fourth of July section, which will be published July 1. To add your July 4 event to the Times’ listing, email or call the Times office at 417-679-4641. 


Events to be held 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. 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 go 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 beverages they wish to enjoy.

For more information, visit or search for “Warriors2US” on Facebook. The camp is located at 404 County Road 519A in Hardenville. 

A Facebook event has also been set up; those interested in attending 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. 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. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third places, as well as People’s Choice. 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, Arkansas - The annual “Fire in the Sky” fireworks show in Harrison will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 4. 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 people to maintain a safe distance from one another. 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 Explore Harrison at 870-741-1789 or connect with the organization on Facebook. 


Events to be held Saturday, July 11

Bakersfield Picnic in the Park and fireworks - The Bakersfield Festival Committee will host the annual Picnic in the Park in Bakersfield’s Pride Park 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. Vendors may set up under the shade trees around the park pavilion. No set-up fees are charged. Everyone is welcome. Due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Bakersfield School reunion will not be held this year.


Thornfield July 4 event - 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.

Event rescheduled

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. More details will be published closer to the event. To keep up with updates posted by event organizers, search for the “Pontiac Fireworks over Bull Shoals Lake” Facebook event. 


Events that have been canceled

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, canceled their event this year due to concerns with restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. A May 14 Facebook post announced the cancellation. “With current restrictions, 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

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PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

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