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One last blast

Barton Meteors Club holding 10th and final Fourth of July celebration

July 1, 2010
Matt Mullally

The Barton Meteors Club initial plans when it formed was to hold an old fashioned Fourth of July celebration in the Pierce County village for five years.

The volunteer organization, didn't stop at five, however.

This year's celebration this Sunday afternoon will be its 10th - and last.

"We're 10 years older and just don't have that same energy level as we once did,' joked Rich West, one of the event organizers. "It's time to step down (as hosts)."

It's been a decade filled with many memories for the organizers and the thousands of people who have participated in the celebration.

"The opportunity to provide this event and how so many enjoy coming back each year is one of the great rewards,' West said. "Especially to hear from people who now have their grand kids coming to Barton and celebrating the Fourth."

Fact Box

Barton Meteors Club Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration

Where: Barton

When: 4 p.m. to dusk

If you go: The event is free and the parade will begin at 4 p.m. followed by a free pig roast, 5 p.m. (partygoers are asked to bring a dish to share). Additional activities are planned wrapping up with fireworks at dusk.

Of note: This is the 10th and final event the club plans to hold.

Rich and his wife, Del, are among the a small group of volunteers who have organized the meal, sold raffle tickets, and made the other necessary accommodations to hold a large-scale party. The other couples who have played a large role include: Larry and Sandy Engeland; Wayne and Barb Welk; Sherwood and Cindie Haakenson; and Dean and Audrey Fosness.

"Our goal was to raise funds to build a covered shelter at the park and we accomplished that in 2004,' West said.

The 32- by 80-foot structure is equipped with full electrical hook ups and provides a nice facility for the park. Proceeds from the club's annual raffle and membership fees helped to raise funds for the project. The club eventually donated it to the county while still maintaining the grounds.

By the time the shelter was up, the Fourth of July event which included a parade, a pig roast and community potluck meal, music, games and fireworks was still growing and the club agreed to continue to host it.

"It's an old-fashioned Fourth of July and that's what we always wanted to keep it as,' he said. "It's a chance for former Barton residents and families to come together and visit, even if it's just once a year."

In 2004, the Barton Meteors Club was recognized by the Geographical Center Chamber of Commerce for its efforts, receiving a recreation and tourism award.

West said the future of the Barton Fourth of July celebration depends on a new group of individuals willing to come forward.

The Meteors Club would be willing to share some insight on hosting it, for anyone who wishes to keep it alive.

So far no one has stepped forward, so this weekend's event may just be one last blast.



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