The 26th annual Lions Club July 4th Celebration was a bit different this year as Sunnyside celebrated the holiday this past weekend.

Sunnyside’s Independence Day celebrations started with the Lions Club handing out hot dogs to local families.

The Sunnyside Lions Club started assembling bags of food at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, July 3. They set up their table full of picnic dinners on the Sunnyside Senior Center front lawn.

Throughout the morning and into the afternoon the Lions gave out more than 250 Walmart bags full of hot dogs, buns, and chips. “We wanted everyone to have a picnic for the Fourth,” Lions Club President Julia Hart said. “We handed out so many picnic bags thanks to the generosity of the community, Walmart, Astria Health, and Bob’s Drive-In.”

Lions Club members were also collecting donations which help fund future project and events sponsored by the Lions Club. “We are asking for donations now because we were unable to do it at the gates of the football field this year,” said Lions Club member Theresa Hancock.

On the evening of Independence Day, hundreds of spectators carrying lawn chairs, blankets, and snacks gathered outside of Clem Senn Field for the annual fireworks display. “It was exciting to see so many people parked and waiting for the fireworks,” said Hart. “While having the stadium closed is not my favorite way to host the event, we felt the safety reasons made it necessary.”

The colorful firework display began promptly at 10 p.m. and lasted about a half hour.

“We have lots of people who helped out and we thank them all. Next year we hope to be back at the stadium,” Hart said.

Ileana Martinez and Job Wise can be contacted at 509-837-4500.

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