The city of Wooster has been throwing memorable Independence Day celebrations at Wooster Park for many years now and Saturday night’s celebration did not disappoint.

Lawn tractor pulls kicked off the activities. The Central Arkansas Mini Pullers (CAMP), a local mini tractor-pulling club from Plumerville, set up at the south end of the park for some fine competitions. A variety of lawnmowers, with names like “Little John” and “Spook,” pulled a sled with weights on a 200-feet grass track to see who could pull the furthest. Competitors ranged in age from 19 to 83.

Midnight Express, a local band, began performing crowd favorites about 5:30. The lead singer is Randy Holland, the mayor of Mayflower. Twenty-one homemade desserts and pies were also auctioned off with Gary Patton serving as auctioneer.

Children could be heard shrieking and laughing at both ends of the park as they played on the slides and swings at one end and in two bouncy houses at the other end. The kids also participated in sack races and a bean bag tossing contest.

Back at the pavilion, Todd Patton fed the crowd catfish and chicken. The snow cone stand had steady business all night.

At 8:15, Wooster Mayor Terry Don Robinson took the stage and welcomed the crowd. A patriotic program started with Lifesong pastor Freddie Mark Wilcox offering a prayer and the Conway Jr. High ROTC presenting the colors.

County Judge Jim Baker, State Representative Stephen Meeks; Bob Stubbs, Wooster Planning Chairman and Alderman; Wooster First Baptist Pastor, Keith Hicks; and Jerry Boyer, District 12 Justice of the Peace participated in the ceremony. After a moment of silence to honor the veterans, Van Lamar ended the program by playing “Taps.”

Fireworks followed the patriotic program. In addition to the onlookers in the park, crowds of others lined the road and spread out in nearby pastures to watch the spectacular light show underwritten by multiple community donors.