Paradise turned out the “block party” of the county July 4. With families coming in from around the small town, attendees were greeted by music, kids playing games and the hamburgers hot off the grill.
The local American Legion (Post #129) volunteers put on the All-American picnic in the park, complete with fireworks at dark.
The food on hand was a potluck and gave people plenty of great home cooked meals to choose from.
Darin King was the grill master for the afternoon and he, at times, found it difficult to keep up with the demand from hungry event goers.
King ran out of hamburgers in an impressive 1.5 hours and hot dogs lasted slightly longer, running out after 2.5 hours.
After dinner, it was time for the “big kids” to sit back and watch the younger ones battle it out in the sack race, water race and tug-of-war, to name just a few games.
Dave Sands was also there from Dixon with his ice cream truck.
With all the favorite flavors, from chocolate to huckleberry, a scoop of ice cream in a waffle cone was just the trick to relax under the tree.
A hand full of locals also took the opportunity to set up a few tables for a small market, which included one local Amish family that brought some mini ponies down for the kids to enjoy.
Though, arguably, the “belle of the ball” was the newly built Legion building. Not fully completed, but with some help from locals around the community they were able to wet the bar for the July 4 celebrations.
With the bare bones of the inside, plenty of community members still ventured inside to grab a cold drink and a chat, or even take a break from the hot sun.
County Sheriff Tom Rummel was also down at the Paradise park, mixing with locals for the Independence Day celebrations. And just like a school block party, he parked his truck with the lights on to give passing by motorists the reminder to slow down as pedestrians where moving across the road between the park and Legion building.
Fireworks displays were the buzz of the town the next day. The displays were just as good as the company at the park. Though one stray firework didn’t want to play the game, and started a little grass fire. The fire department on hand got it under control and, as the last pop went off, it was the end of day full of summer festivities celebrating the nations freedom and independence.