By Jessie Hellmann Kokomo Tribune
---- — For the first time in its history, Kokomo citizens will attend the annual Haynes Apperson Festival in Foster Park instead of on the downtown square.
“It’s been an interesting challenge to create the layout for the first year, but I think after this year, we’ll know exactly how to set it up,” said festival organizer Paul Wyman.
The event, which has been a staple in Kokomo’s summer festivities for the past 40 years, will take place July 4 through July 6. It includes car shows, national and local music artists, and a parade focusing on the city’s traditions.
“We want to celebrate our community’s history and automotive heritage,” Wyman said.
The parade will follow its usual path downtown and will feature about 70 automobiles among other floats and acts. The parade will be at 2 p.m. July 6.
Kokomo Opalescent Glass will be this year’s parade grand marshal, as it celebrates its 125th anniversary.
Along with the traditional parade is live music coming from all over the nation.
Wyman said he’s especially excited about being able to score some extraordinary talent for the festival this year.
“Blue Oyster Cult and Night Ranger are huge, famous bands in our country. And Here Come the Mummies has been coming for several years, and people continue to ask for them to come back and perform for us,” Wyman said.
The American rock band Blue Oyster Cult, headlining July 4 at 8 p.m., is still going strong with many of its original members after forming 46 years ago.
The band is known for hits like “The Reaper,” “Godzilla,” and “Burnin’ for You,” and has sold more than 24 million albums worldwide.
“We’re incredibly excited to have this level of entertainment come to Kokomo,” Wyman said.
Night Ranger, a rock band that formed in the ’80s and is best known for its power ballad “Sister Christian,” will also make an appearance at the festival, headlining July 6 at 8:15 p.m.
Here Come the Mummies, a funk, rhythm and blues band from Nashville, Tenn., has made several appearances at the festival in previous years. It headlines July 5 at 8 p.m.
The band is well known for performing in full mummy-bandage attire, leaving the identities of band members secret.
All concerts are free, but for those who want to get up close and personal, VIP tickets are on sale for $20 at Palmer’s Jewelry and Granson Jewelers downtown.
Although the festival will set up in a new location, carnival rides still will be available.
This year, unlimited ride bracelets can be purchased for $20 and are good between the hours of noon and 4 p.m. July 5 and 6.
The festival will finish off with its traditional fireworks show at 10 p.m. July 6 at the park.
“Everybody should come out and celebrate what a great community we live in,” Wyman said.
For a full list of sports and entertainment events, visit www.haynesappersonfestival.org.
Thursday 4 - 5 p.m.: Kickoff Commemorative Run, Haynes Monument at Geyer & Boulevard 6 - 9 p.m.: Thursday Night Cruise in, Foster Park 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.: Misfit Toys, Foster Park 8 - 10 p.m.: Blue Oyster Cult, Foster Park Friday 12 - 4 p.m.: Unlimited rides for those with $20 ride bracelets . 5 - 9 p.m.: Car show, Foster Park 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.: Shiny Penny, Foster Park 8 - 10 p.m.: Here Come the Mummies, Foster Park Saturday 12 - 4 p.m.: Unlimited rides for those with $20 ride bracelets 2 p.m.: Parade 6 - 9 p.m., Saturday Night Cruise In, Foster Park 6:30 - 7:45 p.m.: Eric Steckel Band, Foster park 8:15 - 10 p.m.: Night Ranger, Foster Park 10 p.m.: Fireworks, Foster Park