This week in Sebastopol we celebrate my two favorite holidays. On July 3 we have the annual Kiwanis Fireworks Celebration at the Analy Football Field (gates open at 6:30 p.m., fireworks at 9:30 p.m.) and on July 4 there will be an all day party in Peacetown at Ives Park from noon to 6 p.m.

Kiwanis Fireworks celebrates Independence Day on July 3

The Kiwanis Fireworks have been going on for 45-plus years, ever since eye doctor, Barry Lutz, while watching the fireworks in Santa Rosa with his kids, decided that, with a little help from his service club, he could pull off a fireworks party in Sebastopol. Every year since, the Kiwanis present this event with the help of just two dozen members and a whole lot of support from the local community.

What I love most about this event is that multi-generations fill the Analy Football Field. Mothers pushing strollers, grandpas spreading out blankets, teens hanging out with friends, all gather together in a safe family-friendly environment to celebrate our community and our country. The fireworks are just a big exploding expression of this joyful feeling.

This year, two great bands take the stage. Opening the show is local favorite, The Highway Poets featuring Sebastian St. James. This rollicking original band will get the crowd dancing from its first notes. They will be followed by Danny Click and the Hell Yeahs! (great band name). Danny has become one of the most sought-after bands in the Bay Area, with their infectious brand of original rock and roll. They are a throwback style band that will keep the crowd dancing. Looking forward to seeing all my friends at the best local party of the year.

Peacetown Interdependence Day, July 4

On July 4 Sebastopol will celebrate with a party in Peacetown at Ives Park from noon to 6 p.m. While the rest of the country celebrates Independence Day, here in Peacetown we celebrate Inter-dependence Day. It is a celebration of our connectedness and the joys of cooperation and collaboration. It all began last year, when Fourth of July fell on Wednesday, the regular day of the weekly Peacetown Concerts at Ives Park. This year July 3 landed on the Wednesday and the Peacetown concerts shut down to support the fireworks party. 

The July 4 party last year was a huge success as families and friends flocked to the park to enjoy all day music, refreshments, food trucks and dancing in a safe and friendly environment.

This year there is an outstanding all-day lineup of music. It begins with the Sebastopol Community Band performing a variety of songs under the direction of Nick Xenelis. They will be followed by Songs of Peace, with the Love Choir and yours’ truly leading the charge. The Old Blind Dogs from Scotland are coming from the Kate Wolf Festival and playing Celtic-infused world beat music to the happy dancing crowd. Kim Atkinson will follow with his ever-popular drum circle, which welcomes you to bring your percussion instrument and join in the fun. Closing out the afternoon will be FulaMuse, a hybrid band of The Fula Brothers (music from West Africa) and vocal angels MaMuse, with their soaring harmonies and uplifting lyrics. I am so excited to hear this band for the first time.

I will be at both of these events because I firmly believe that having fun together brings us into the harmony that we deserve. When we celebrate with music, dancing and good food, we weave the fabric of our joy that is so important to building community. So I encourage you all to lay down a few bucks to come into the Analy Football Field on July 3 where the party happens and on Thursday come celebrate Interdependence Day in Peacetown for free. See you there.

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