Seeing red, white and blue

Howard County residents will celebrate the July 4 holiday in ways both big and small over the course of the next few days.Undoubtedly, the biggest community celebration occurs tonight, when the annual Pops in the Park, featuring music, food and fireworks, is held at the Comanche Trail Park Amphitheater.Gates will open at 5 p.m., along with the food vendors which will be located at the top of the amphitheater.Pre-show entertainment will be provided by former Big Spring resident Don Turner, who will perform Dixieland-style music from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.Following the pre-show will be the traditional performance by the Big Spring Symphony and flag ceremony at 8 p.m. The fly over — scheduled to take place at approximately 8:28 p.m.— which will be put on once again by the Commemorative Air Force Museum of Midland and will include four planes. The video presentation recognizing local servicemen and women will begin at 9:15 p.m. The firework display, provided by Atlas — a Fort Worth company — will be choreographed to the Symphony's music again and is set to begin at 9:35 p.m.Wednesday, area children will put their best red, white and blue foot forward at the annual Highland South July 4 Parade.The parade, featuring children decked out in all kinds of patriotic regali,a begins at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Highland and Robb drives and will end at the intersection of Highland and Goliad.Entries will be accepted the day of the parade. Participants are asked to arrive by 9:30 a.m. so the judges will have plenty of time to view the entries, organizers said.Among the categories to be judged are walkers, strollers, bicycles, motorized and battery powered vehicles, pets, horses, houses and mailboxes. Prizes to the top entries will be presented immediately following the parade's conclusion.“There are 14 different decorating categories the parade participants will be judged on and participation ribbons will be handed out to everyone who takes part,” Melanie Lawdermilk said. “We'll also be awarding first, second and third place ribbons. It's going to be a lot of fun for everyone, no matter how young or old.”“Four wheelers will be allowed, but only if an adult 18 years or older is driving,” Lawdermilk said.Coahoma's annual Freedom Parade, set for Saturday morning, will cap the area's holiday celebrations.According to Coahoma Mayor Warren Wallace, the parade will kickoff in the Coahoma High School Stadium parking lot, located adjacent to First Street.“This year we'll be doing the judging a little bit different than we have in years past,” Wallace said. “This year we'll actually do the judging before the parade begins, so the parade entries will need to be in place and ready to be judged by 9:20 a.m.“In previous years, folks participating in the parade needed to leave directly following the parade for plans with family members, which sometimes made judging difficult. We're hoping by doing the judging before hand we'll be able to eliminate those problems and move things along more quickly.”Wallace said the parade — which is expected to get under way promptly at 10 a.m. — will make its way down First Street to the North Service Road, then back up Sixth Street, returning to the original staging area at the stadium parking lot.Marshals for the parade will be Clois Snell, Ovis James, Ralph Matteson and Dennis Greenfield.Once the parade has made it's way through the city of Coahoma, Wallace said area residents will have the chance to gather and enjoy each other's company at the city's park.“There will be volleyball, washers and other games for folks to play. They won't be competitive, mind you, just for fun,” Wallace said. “We'll also take time to recognize the parade marshals, as well as our Coahoma Citizen of the Year, Loma Jean Wynn.“Also, the Coahoma Lions Club will be on hand selling hamburger plates for $5 each. Each includes a burger, chips and some sort of desert. We'll also be recognizing our local firefighters for what they have done for the community, as well as our soldiers and veterans.”