Independence Day is still a couple of weeks away but Carman Williams said there are 240 years worth of reasons to start celebrating the nation’s founding a few days early.

Independence Day is still a couple of weeks away but Carman Williams said there are 240 years worth of reasons to start celebrating the nation’s founding a few days early.
The staff and residents of Medicalodges Neosho and Gran Villa want to uphold the tradition of celebrating the nation’s founding in 1776.
Festivities tonight will include food, entertainment, free watermelon and fireworks beginning at 7 p.m., said Williams, community relations and admissions coordinator.
“We do this every year the last Friday of June — it’s our way of kicking off the holiday,’ Williams said Thursday. “We want people to bring their family and come out with lawn chairs to enjoy the event,” she said. The entertainment, watermelon and fireworks are free but there is a nominal charge of $4 for dinner, which can include a choice of a hamburger, cheeseburger, Polish sausage or hot dog along with chips and a drink.
Food and music start at 7 p.m. with the fireworks show starting at dark.
“This year we have Fireworks by Joey Taylor,” Williams said. “He did the fireworks for Relay For Life and really does a great show.”
There will be parking in the front of Medicalodges, in the back and along the road at 400 Lyon Drive.
 “We’re going to have big tents set up to provide shade,” Williams said. “This is family oriented, we encourage families to come out with their kids and enjoy the entertainment and fireworks.”
Providing the entertainment will be the Sassy Tap Cloggers and The Fabulous Back Road Drifters.
“We’ll have Ashley McCready singing the National Anthem, Brother Jerry Seigel will lead in prayer and State Rep. Bill Reilbolt will be here,” Williams said.
“This is a party for our residents and the community,” she said. “We just want people to come out and have a good time.”