Texarkana’s annual Sparks in the Park celebration will take place Saturday, June 29 from 4 to 10 p.m. at the Four States Fairgrounds. For more than 20 years, the early Independence Day celebration has attracted approximately 25,000 attendees from surrounding states for a day full of musical entertainment, games, contests, food and a fantastic firework show that begins shortly after dusk.
Sparks in the Park is offered to the public with no cost of admission. This year’s event was funded by a $7,500 grant from the Texarkana Advertising and Promotion Commission and a gift of equal value from Cooper Tire and Rubber Company.
“This is certainly an event we look forward to sharing with thousands of individuals and families every year, so we are very appreciative of both of these organizations for their support,” said Andi Darby, senior account executive for Townsquare Media, Inc., the event company that manages Sparks in the Park. “The timing is great because it brings everyone together for a patriotic celebration the weekend prior to the July 4th holiday, giving people the option to observe Independence Day however they choose.”
“This is a great opportunity for our city to showcase some of what makes Texarkana a great place to visit any time of the year, and we are very grateful to Cooper Tire and Rubber Company for partnering with us so that we may continue this Texarkana tradition,” said Brandon Cogburn, commissioner of the Texarkana Advertising and Promotion Commission. “Guests who join us for this celebration have the potential to return to enjoy our restaurants, hotels and other attractions.”
“This is a great opportunity for an American company to sponsor a wonderful celebration of America,” said Curtis Schneekloth, technical services manager for Cooper Tire and Rubber Company.
Planning for Sparks in the Park 2019 is still underway but organizers are working to provide a rock climbing wall, bounce houses, children’s train, a giant sandbox with toys and a variety of other attractions. Darby says, historically, Red River Army Depot has provided military trucks and tanks for children to climb in.
A variety of competitive games include two hours of sack races, three-legged races, spoon/egg races, hula hooping, bubble gum blowing and more.
Patriotic-themed activities include “Strollers and Rollers,” an invitation for guests to decorate their bicycles, tricycles and wheelchairs in patriotic decorations. A “Patriotic Dress” contest will recognize and award the guest who dons the most patriotic attire, and a patriotic selfie station will let guests share festive selfies or group photos on social media.
Musical entertainment will be provided by local band Heather Linn and the Deacons. A variety of food vendors and food trucks will be on site during the entire event.