Oxford prepares for Independence Day festivities


Photo by Enjoy Oxford

The Fourth of July parade will be on Saturday.

As scorching hot weather in the area begins to cool down, Oxford is preparing to enjoy another Independence Day.

The celebration begins Saturday, as the traditional parade returns to the city after a two-year COVID-19 hiatus. The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. and runs from the corner of College and High streets to Poplar Street.

Oxford Parks and Recreation Director Casey Wooddell said 20 organizations have signed up to march, fewer than in the past.

Alongside the parade floats, kids aged 3 to 12 are encouraged to ride bikes decorated in red, white and blue in the bike parade. Pet owners can also join by dressing their pets up for the pet parade.

Following the parade, the Bluewater Kings Band will perform at 7 p.m. in Uptown Memorial Park.

The Oxford Parks and Recreation Department’s Oxford Freedom Festival continues from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday at Oxford Community Park. Activities include inflatables called “gladiator joust” and “quarterback blitz,” face painting, inflatables and a trackless train that will run around the park.

Food booths will include LaRosa’s pizza, hot dogs, snowcones and ice cream. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m.

After months of planning and contacting vendors and entertainment companies, Wooddell said he is glad the long process can result in a family-friendly event that many can enjoy.

“The most exciting part for me is seeing the thousands of people all get together and enjoy something that is essentially free,” Woodell said. “And you know, to me, that’s the reward part of seeing it all happen once the fireworks go up in the air.”