Marshalltown gets ready to celebrate on the Fourth

It’s time for live music, good food and some explosives.

All of that is available Thursday as Marshalltown holds its annual Fourth of July celebration at the Central Iowa Fairgrounds.

Denny Grabenbauer, fireworks committee chair, said everything from local bands to miniature golf and inflatables will be available for people until the fireworks are set off at dusk.

Gates will open at 3 p.m. Thursday with food vendors open and entertainment starting at 5 p.m. There will also be inflatables and activities for kids, Grabenbauer said.

“We’re looking for great weather and great entertainment,” he said.

Grabenbauer said J&M Displays, of Walcott, will light off the nearly $15,000 worth of fireworks again this year. The fireworks committee has been collecting donations all year, and with help from Hy-Vee, the celebration will go on this year as planned.

Local musical acts Sugar and Spice will kick off the entertainment portion of the event at 5 p.m. They will be followed by The Cloggers at 6 p.m. and The In-Tunes at 7 p.m. The Marshalltown Municipal Band will end the night starting at 8 p.m., playing patriotic songs, Grabenbauer said.

Grabenbauer said this is a great thing for the whole family to do, and you don’t have to travel far from home to do it.

“It’s a good way to stay home and make it a family event,” he said. “It’s a long weekend, and it’s a good place to watch the fireworks.”

The fireworks will start promptly at 9:34 p.m. and last roughly a half hour.

This year will mark the last year Grabenbauer will be in charge of the annual fireworks display.

He has organized the event for the past few years, but he said he knows whoever takes over will make sure the celebration goes off without a hitch for many years to come.

“It’s going to be a perfect day to end my chairmanship,” he said.

Grabenbauer advises people to arrive early because the parking lot at the fairgrounds fills up quickly.