Champaign kicks off Independence Day celebration

CHAMPAIGN - The public is invited to experience Independence Day with the Champaign County Freedom Celebration Board at the group's community-wide celebration July 4.  The theme for this year's event is "Celebrating Community Volunteers," and the United Way of Champaign County will act as Grand Marshal.

Festivities will start at 9:05 a.m. with the 21st annual Youth Run and 5K Race/Walk at the State Farm Center.  The celebration's parade will begin at 11:05 a.m.  Also featured will be the large cold-air balloons that have been popular in the past.

Evening entertainment and fireworks will be launched from parking lot E14, just west of the State Farm Center.  Families will be able to enjoy the bounce house and inflatable and musical entertainment on the main stage, and local food vendors will be at the event as well.

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