Mohawk Fourth of July fest turns 45

The annual Mohawk Valley Independence Day celebrations at the Mill Pond are coming up on the weekend of Friday, June 30, through Sunday, July 2, with a 45 theme to celebrate the 45th year of MVID in Graeagle.

The preliminary schedule of events is filled with patriotic family fun, including a bigger and better-than-ever fireworks show, with a special “45 Salute,” according to event organizers.

Festivities begin Friday with the seventh annual Graeagle Lions’ Dance at the Corner Barn in Blairsden from 6 to 11 p.m., featuring Dusty Miles and the Cryin’ Shame. Admission is $6 per person, with kids under 12 free. All are invited to come and shake a leg in between taking a look at the hot rod show by the Sierra Cascade Street Rodders. Hamburgers, hot dogs, beer and wine will be sold by the Graeagle Lions Club.

The fun picks up early on Saturday, with a 5k/10k Fun Run kicking off at 8 a.m. The Fun Run is a fundraiser for the Eastern Plumas Chamber and Tourist Center and supports MVID, with online registration open for late registration after June 1 at easternplumaschamber.com for $35 per entrant.

Check-in is at 6 a.m., with kids 6 years and under admitted free. The kid’s race starts at 8 a.m. sharp, with the adult race starting at 8:15 a.m. on the Graeagle Soccer field on Iroquois Trail near downtown Graeagle.

There will be commemorative T-shirts and medals for the kids and the satisfaction of supporting MVID to continue with annual celebrations in years to come.

The Nevada Gunfighters return yet again to hold Old West gun battles and the Reenactors of the American Civil War  plan to hold “battles” throughout the day behind Graeagle Park.

The Nevada County Concert Band is slotted to fill the evening air with tunes from 4 to 6:30 p.m., with pre-firework food and refreshments provided by the Calpine Elks and cotton candy provided by the Lady Elks.

From 6 to 9 p.m., Pete Rhode will be hosting music and karaoke at the millpond, leading up to the big aerial firework show at dusk, around 9:30 p.m.

Sunday is planned to begin with the Tri-Graeagle Independence Weekend Triathlon, with event information and registration online at communitymultisport.com. Registration costs vary depending on team formation.

The Graeagle Fire Department’s pancake breakfast will be held at the Graeagle Fire Hall from 8 to 11 a.m. Organizers have asked to get the word out to the community about the fact that in order to keep this event alive, volunteers for the pancake breakfast would be greatly welcomed and are in high demand. Those interested in contributing to the event can contact Graeagle Fire at 836-1340.

An old-fashioned day in the park is planned from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with BBQ, snacks, games, music and the final battle reenactments from RACW and the Nevada Gunfighters. Live blue grass music by Westwind will also be featured.

The 45th annual parade in downtown Graeagle will go from 1 to 2 p.m., followed by music from the Ophir Prison Band and Westwind. For those interested in entering the parade, visit Graeagle.com.

One of the main highlights of this year’s MVID festivities will be the concert held at 4 p.m., where Lacy J. Dalton and the Dalton gang will perform at the Mill Pond, with special guest Robby James & the Streets of Bakersfield. This concert is special to MVID and gates open at the millpond at 3 p.m. Food and drinks will be available.

Robby James & the Streets of Bakersfield will start playing at 4 p.m., with Lacy J. Dalton & the Dalton Gang taking the specially built stage against the water at 6 p.m. The Graeagle millpond will be closed for public use during this event. Organizer Dave Karau expects this to be a “sell out event” and said early reservations are a smart idea.

Tickets are available at Graeagle Merchants, Safeway in Quincy, the Chamber of Commerce on the corner of highways 89 and 70 and online at Graeagle.com/events/mvid/tickets . Information about the concert and ticket sales is also available by contacting Karau at 836-1204. For all other information, visit easternplumaschamber.com or Graeagle.com.