The annual pilgrimage to the north end of Urbana for Fourth of July festivities will be made once again this year with various activities scheduled to take place next Monday on North Main Street.
Kicking off the daylong celebration of Independence Day is the Champaign Cruisers’ 19th annual Firecracker Car, Truck and Bike Show to be held rain or shine at Skelley Lumber, 1300 N. Main St., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Registration for the event, which featured 636 entries in 2015, will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is a $10 entry fee for those who register a vehicle, while spectators are admitted free of charge (donations accepted). All proceeds will go directly to charity.
An award ceremony is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Last year’s Best of Show award went to Waynesfield resident Bill Smith for his 1970 Ford Boss 302 Mustang.
For more information, visit www.champaigncruisers.com.
Grimes Field events
The Urbana Rotary Club’s annual Chicken BBQ and Fireworks highlight Monday’s activities at the Urbana Municipal Airport, 1636 N. Main St.
Club members will be serving the July 4 staple dish from 3:30 to 7 p.m. There is an $8 charge per meal, and tickets can be purchased at Perpetual Federal Savings Bank, 120 N. Main St., or during the event.
Prior to the annual fireworks show, a free concert featuring Phil Dirt & the Dozers will take place at 7 p.m. at Grimes Field. The concert is part of the Champaign County Arts Council’s Concerts in the Park series.
Those attending the concert are encouraged to bring outdoor chairs or blankets.
Airport Manager Lou Driever said Grimes Field will have something for aviation buffs as well as for sports car enthusiasts on Monday.
Dewey Davenport, owner and operator of Goodfolk & O’Tymes Biplane Rides in Xenia will offer eventgoers a chance to take to the skies in one of his biplanes.
“It’s tons of fun to experience aviation in an open cockpit,” said Driever, who added Sierra Aeronautics will also be in attendance Monday offering rides on a Bell 47 helicopter.
A new attraction coming to Grimes Field to help celebrate the nation’s independence – Georgia-based Precision Exotics’ “Precision Extreme Driving Experience” – will allow eventgoers to take to the runway in either a Ferrari F430 or a Lamborghini Gallardo.
Driever said individuals who purchase a ticket to drive one of the vehicles will be accompanied by a “co-driver” from Precision Exotics.
“It’s done in a very safe manner, and the FAA has reviewed it and supports it,” Driever said. “What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than test driving a high horsepower car!”
Precision Exotics will offer rides at the airport from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Monday.
Let the bidding begin
On Monday, the Urbana Police Division will join the Fourth of July festivities on the north end of Urbana by hosting its annual auction at 10 a.m. at the former armory, 1412 N. Main St.
The auction will feature unclaimed property as well as unused city property.
Prior to the items being placed on the auction block, city residents who have had something lost or stolen are asked to contact Officer Brian Cordial at 937-653-3409 prior to July 4 to establish their rights to any unclaimed items.
Potential bidders are reminded the only forms of payment accepted are cash and check.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.