The annual Mohawk Valley Independence Day parade is Sunday, July 1, at 1 p.m. The event always draws an assortment of parade entries and a large crowd as evidenced by this photo from a past event. Photo courtesy of Michael Clawson

Mohawk Valley celebrates the Fourth of July this weekend

The annual Mohawk Valley Independence Day celebration kicks off the Fourth of July in Plumas County.

Festivities begin Friday, June 29, with the annual Graeagle Lions’ Dance at the Corner Barn in Blairsden from 6 to 11 p.m., featuring the Cutups. Admission is $6 per person, with kids under 12 free.

Take a break from dancing and view the cars on display courtesy of the Sierra Cascade Street Rodders. Hamburgers, hot dogs, beer and wine will be sold by the Graeagle Lions Club.

The fun starts 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 the celebration, with online registration at easternplumaschamber.com for $35 per entrant.

Check-in is at 6 a.m., with kids 6 years and under admitted free. The kids’ 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.

Reenactors of the American Civil War will be staging battles at noon and 3 p.m. Over at the Mill Pond, enjoy pre-fireworks food and refreshments provided by the Calpine Elks and cotton candy provided by the Lady Elks from 4 to 9 p.m.

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

Beginning Sunday morning, 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 that in order to keep this event alive, volunteers for the pancake breakfast would be greatly welcomed. 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 reenactment.

The 46th annual parade in downtown Graeagle will go from 1 to 2 p.m., followed by music from the Ophir Prison Band. For those interested in entering the parade, visit Graeagle.com.

Parade Grand Marshal

This year’s parade grand marshal is Portola High School Principal Sara Sheridan, which is in keeping with the celebration’s slogan, “ Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Future.” That sentiment will be featured on the buttons that are available for purchase to support the festivities.

Event co-organizer Patty Clawson said, “We thought it would be great to get the kids involved this year.”

Organizers asked the Portola High School leadership team to develop a theme, and this was one of the students’ options.

Support the effort

Clawson said that it’s expensive to host the annual Mohawk Valley Independence Day Celebration and residents and visitors can contribute to help offset the costs. During the festivities, volunteers will be soliciting donations or contributions can be sent to MVID, P.O. Box 884, Graeagle, CA 96103. Donations can also be made online at graeagle.com/mvid.