Celebrating the Fourth of July in Winona Lake is, well, nearly storybook material. We all enjoy the lake whether or not we have access to a boat. The lamp post planters and banners welcome visitors and residents alike. We have our activities which involve so many and generate a feeling, a buzz, of fun and excitement as well as community pride.
In past years, the day began with people of all ages running, walking or strolling the streets and trails of Winona Lake with the annual Firecracker 5K. While not a qualifier for a big city marathon, the event showcased our fantastic trail systems. But not this year.
The Firecracker 5K has been cancelled because “it doesn’t make money” according to the office at the Town of Winona. Please call Holly Hummitch at (574) 267-2310 and tell her we need the Firecracker 5K and that we don’t need a t-shirt. We’ll bring our own water and bananas, and we certainly don’t need prizes, medals and gift cards.
Likewise, hundreds of us have enjoyed the CPAF Masterworks patriotic pops concert on the Winona Lake amphitheater lawn under the big white tent. The concert experience is nearly magical with families on blankets and folding chairs. Children play and dance to the music and we honor our veterans for their service and sacrifice. And who doesn’t feel the passion of the “1812 Overture” or the pride of listening to Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes?”
It won’t be happening this year on the lawn, says the Masterworks board of directors. They have had to make budget cuts and performing two identical concerts indoors would save the organization $10,000.
CPAF needs $10,000 by June 19 to have the concert on the lawn according to artistic director Patrick Kavanaugh. Donations can be sent to CPAF, P.O. Box 700, Winona Lake, IN 46590. Online donations can be made at masterworksfestival.org. All gifts are tax deductible. Please be sure to memo “Pops Concert” and give generously.
Let’s not let this jewel in the crown of Winona’s Fourth of July celebration to be removed.