The year 2020 didn’t take away our Independence Day. It just took away the best parts – celebrating the foundation of our country with the whole community, listening to live music, eating freshly fried mini donuts, and watching colorful blasts of potassium nitrate turn the inky prairie night sky into divine, bassy poetry.
Now it is time to get back into the patriotic swing of things. The Eden Prairie 4th of July Hometown Celebration is coming back stronger than ever in 2021! Caution still prevails, of course, which is why the city of Eden Prairie is splitting this year’s festivities across three separate days. This will help to diffuse the crowds, offer the option to social distance, and still let Eden Prairians enjoy all that America’s birthday has to offer.
It all kicks off with Sparklefest at Staring Lake Park on July 2nd from 6pm until 9:45pm. This family-focused event will feature children’s music and comedy, street art, lawn games, those giant bouncy inflatable things which kids enjoy prancing around like overcaffeinated squirrels, and more. You can bring your own picnic or purchase the aforementioned fried things at Drew’s Mini Donuts. Maui Wowi, Red's Savoy Pizza and the EP Mobile Cafe will also serve food at Sparklefest. The evening crescendos with a special fireworks display – one with no loud booms, so it’s extra friendly to sensitive small children (as well as the poor dogs who always have to put up with so much this time of year).
Strike up the Band – A Military Salute will be presented at the Staring Lake Park Amphitheatre on July 3rd from 7pm until 9:30pm. This is the top brass night, a patriotic revue of marching music and USMC hymns courtesy of the Eden Prairie Community Band and the Jazz on the Prairie Big Band. Local veterans and active members of our Armed Forces are especially encouraged to come to the military tribute, and several will be honored as special guests during the event. Bring your most patriotic picnic or count on Red's Savoy Pizza and the EP Mobile Cafe to cater one for you.
Music and Fireworks will be held on the 4th of July itself. The beach of Round Lake Park will close at 3pm to make room for all the picnickers staking out their spots in anticipation of the big show. At 5pm come the food vendors including Drew’s Mini Donuts, Maui Wowi, Westrum’s Concessions, Leo’s Kitchen, and the Eden Prairie Lions Club which will graciously serve that most American beverage of all: beer. Mayor Ron Case will walk on stage alongside the city council at 7pm to kick off the night proper, with music by Eden Prairie’s own Allie McIntosh and Synergy to follow.
And then at 10pm everyone will crane their necks upward to ooh and ahh at all the beautiful fireworks. Sis! Boom! Bah!
“Our 4th of July Hometown Celebration is one of Eden Prairie’s greatest traditions,” said Jay Lotthammer, parks and recreation director for the city of Eden Prairie. “It’s our time to share our community pride, and it’s free and open to everybody.
“After everyone had to spend last year’s Independence Day cooped up at home, my team and I knew we had to go above and beyond to make 2021 spectacular. This year’s celebration demanded even more groundwork than usual, as we had to ask ourselves how we could create all the beloved pomp and circumstance while at the same time minimizing the risk to our community. I believe our decision to space the festivities out over three consecutive days will help even more people to come out and celebrate this year. My team and I couldn’t be happier to see everyone’s smiling faces as we all come together in Eden Prairie’s beautiful parks once again!”
Please follow the city of Eden Prairie on social media for updates on their plans for the 4th of July, as well as other important goings on about town.