The area's Independence Day celebrations will continue this weekend, when the Seneca Area Chamber of Commerce hosts their annual “Celebrating Our Freedom” event.

SENECA — The area's Independence Day celebrations will continue this weekend, when the Seneca Area Chamber of Commerce hosts their annual "Celebrating Our Freedom" event.

The activities kick off at 7 a.m. Saturday with a 5K run and wrap up with a fireworks show, set for 9:45 p.m.
"We do this in celebration of our freedom, to give back to the community and to let people have a good time," said Seneca Area Chamber of Commerce President Josh Dodson. "At the same time this brings more people to Seneca to advertise Seneca, that we're a good location to have a business and it gets people in our business doors."

Dodson said the event has drawn people from near and far in the past, with some traveling from as far as Texas and Nebraska to participate in the celebration.

While Celebrating Our Freedom is an annual Chamber event, this year, organizers have added some new events to the day's line-up.

Among those new additions is the Seneca's Got Talent show, which is being held as a fundraiser for the Seneca
Library Foundation.

Dodson said all talents are welcome and the winner will not only receive a cash prize, but also open later in the evening for the musical performers LiveWire.

Registration is now $50, as pre-registration prices ended July 3. Dodson said organizers will allow participants to sign up last minute, though they cannot be guaranteed a spot if signing up late.

The talent show is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Seneca Elementary School.

Also new to this year's event are several games, including a tricycle race, rope pull, pancake race and bed race.
"There will be pre-made pancakes and they'll have a frying pan and they'll be flipping the pancakes as they race," Dodson said. "The bed race is the same, it's a race where they make up their own bed and they bring their bed, but it can't be motorized. One person rides on it and four people push."

While participants can register up to the time of the race, pre-registration is encouraged, particularly for the rope pull, because Dodson said organizers will be creating a bracket for the competition.

The day will also include events that have become staples at the Seneca Independence Day celebration, including a parade and duck race.

The Celebrating Our Freedom parade kicks off at 10 a.m. and runs down Main Street.

Dodson said veterans and military members will once again serve as the grand marshals for the parade.
"If they are interested in riding in the parade, we have floats available that we are putting at the front of the parade," Dodson said. "They just need to contact me if they're interested in riding so we can get them on there."

The annual Quacky Economy Duck Race is set for noon Saturday, at the Big Lost Creek Bridge in downtown Seneca. The ducks, available for purchase at area businesses, and in front of the Campbell Funeral Home during the parade, will finish their race at the low water bridge on Bluff Street.

At 4:30 p.m. the day's festivities will move from downtown Seneca to the fireworks site at Bethel Road and U Highway.

There will be vendors and a children's carnival at the site.

Parking at the site is $5, with a portion of the proceeds going to Newton County Search and Rescue.
The evening's events will include the Seneca's Got Talent finalist performance, a two-hour LiveWire performance, and a 20-minute fireworks display from AM Pyrotechnics of Buffalo, Mo.

For more information, go online to or contact Dodson at 417-438-3071.

7 a.m. – Fun Run for Freedom 5K run, in front of the Seneca Junior High
8 a.m. – Bed race on Delaware Street on the east side of the stoplight
9 a.m. – Pancake race, Delaware Street, east side of stoplight
9:35 a.m. – Tricycle Race, Delaware Street, east side of stoplight
9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Cruz-in Car Show, at Campbell-Biddlecome Funeral Home parking lot, Delaware Street
9:50 a.m. – Bed race finals – Main Street from bridge to stoplight
10 a.m. – Celebrating Our Freedom parade on Main Street
11 a.m. – Kids games- Seneca Junior High gymnasium
Noon – Quacky Economy Duck Race, Big Lost Creek Bridge
1 p.m. – Project Graduation Dodge Ball competition, Seneca Junior High
2 p.m. – Seneca's got Talent competition, Seneca Elementary School
3 p.m. – Rope pull contest at Seneca City Park
4:30 p.m. – Gates open at Fireworks Site, Bethel Road and U Highway
6 p.m. – Seneca's Got Talent winner performs at fireworks site
7 p.m. – LiveWire concert begins at fireworks site
9:45 p.m. – Fireworks display