Grab a copy of today's print edition of the Morning News. It holds the full July 4th/Blackfoot Pride Days schedule featuring three packed days of food and fun July 4-6.
The summertime tradition, which started back in the 1980's to "celebrate the community," kicks off with July 4th celebrations including the Fireworks Show at Jensen Grove at dusk and two community concerts.
The popular snow machine races across Jensen Grove Lake, along with other crowd-pleasing activities such as the Ping Pong ball drop, free fishing day, free airplane rides and the free community breakfast and potato feed will be back much to the delight of the community, but there will also be a handful of new activities this year to add to the celebration.
"One new event to this year's Pride Days celebration will be the 'Walgreen vs Walmart' kickball game on Saturday," said organizer Ashlee Howell. "This will be some great family entertainment that involves local businesses and is a way to lead people to another great resource in Blackfoot - the new sports complex."
The Blackfoot Police Department and the Blackfoot Fire Department will have a friendly competition in the "Guns & Hoses" Softball Tournament Fundraiser at Airport Park Friday evening.
Also new this year, Blackfoot Mayor Mike Virtue has announced that the city has arranged to provide transportation from Jensen Grove to the airport for the free airplane rides (Saturday 8-10 p.m.) to help alleviate crowds and long lines.
Aaron Moon, who is in charge of Saturday evening's Ping-Pong ball drop, said that that they've made some changes and that "the event will be bigger and better than ever."
"The number of balls dropped will be increased from 3,000 to 4,000 balls," he said. "The local businesses providing prizes for the Ping-Pong ball drop will be on site so that prizes can be redeemed immediately. Every ball is worth something - at least one piece of candy."
"I am amazed at all of the effort and kindness that the many businesses, volunteers (including Blackfoot High School students) put into this event," Moon added. "All of the events are free. What a great way to celebrate with our friends and neighbors."
Virtue agreed, saying, "Pride Days brings a lot of people together from Blackfoot and surrounding communities. It's our way of saying 'here's our community and here's why we love it."
For online schedules and updates go www.blackfootpridedays.org.