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July 4th is right around the corner, and we all know what that means - celebrations and fireworks! Our area is full of Independence Day fun and festivities, and they’re not just on July 4. iList is here to give you a run-down of events and fireworks’ displays to help you celebrate our nation’s birth. Lighting up the sky for USA pride…iPlay with fireworks!

For over 20 years the top archers and archery vendors from all over North America have converged on Metropolis for one of the top tournaments in the country. The Scholastic 3-D Archery National Championship, The Superman Classic, Mathews ASA Pro/AM Championship will all return to the Mermet Lake Fish and Wildlife Area. The event has three tournaments held over 10 days. iPlay with a bow and arrow!

Are you a creative builder who enjoys the outdoors? Do you think like MacGyver and believe that duct tape can fix anything? If so, then this event is for you. Paducah Parks is gearing up for their annual Paducah Regatta. Using only cardboard and duct tape, participants race the clock to make a boat that won’t sink. iPlay in the water and try to stay afloat!

If you’re looking for fun and history this weekend, you should head down to the Battle of Smithland. It’s being recreated on April 28 and 29 in downtown Smithland. It’s a great way to experience the daily of a soldier during the Civil War. The event will have period vendors, a lemonade pub, a blacksmith, silent auction, and battles both Saturday and Sunday at 1 & 2 pm.

Battle of Smithland, Inc. began to breathe life into this event that had been dormant for over a decade, back in 2015. Holding the first renewed event in April of 2016, this year marks the third installment of this new and unique event that gives the public a means to experience history first hand in a free, family friendly weekend.

The event is tied to Fort Smith, an original Union civil war fortification, standing on the hill overlooking town. On the historic register since the mid-90s, the fort is currently owned by and stands on Livingston County School Board property. 

Michael Dunbar, President/Chairman of Battle of Smithland, Inc. told me that their history is important. “Without events like the battle of Smithland reenactment, much of our history fades. By presenting our event, free to the public, families can enjoy a weekend out and parents have an opportunity to teach their children in a hands-on manner. The excitement found at this sort of event sticks with children for years to come and often plants the seed that becomes a love if history as they get older.”

This weekend’s reenactment event will feature a silent auction to raise money for the organizing group. The silent auction includes a Abu Garcia rod and reel set, a pair of tickets to Holiday World, passes to Maggie's Jungle Golf, $50 certificate to Sportsman Outdoors in Calvert City, tickets for Badgett Playhouse.  You can also bid on tools, including electric drills, ratchet sets, wrenches, etc., and many other items and bundles.

There will be a 4-H pancake breakfast on both days of the event from 6:30-10:30am. Admission is $6 for adults or $4 for children. The public is welcome!

Fort Smith

Fort Smith is an original Union civil war fortification garrisoned by many units throughout the Civil War…some of the most notable being the 11th Indiana Infantry and the 8th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery. Several members of the 8th U.S. C.H.A are buried in the local cemetery, just a few hundred yards from the fort where they served honorably.

Many well-known folks were in Smithland including General Lew Wallace, the author of "Ben Hur", and Ned Buntline, the father of the dime novel, who later gave to Wyatt Earp his long-barreled Colt peacemaker called a "Buntline Special".

Smithland was marched upon, and taken, by U.S. Grant three days after his landing in Paducah. The town served as a staging and training area for the Union invasions and attacks down river at fort Donelson, Fort Henry, and Fort Heiman. Situated at the confluence of the rivers, Smithland was a perfect location to control river commerce headed into the south.

For more information, please visit their Facebook page facebook.com/battleofsmithland..

Support their Track & Field Competition

This year’s Special Olympics Area 1 Track & Field Competition is on April 28. Opening ceremonies start at 9.45am. SOKY will host 200 athletes and Unified Partners taking part in 26 competitive events. Track & Field is one of 16 sports offered by Special Olympics Kentucky.

These proud athletes have been training for months for this event and would like to invite all community members to join in celebrating their accomplishments as they compete in their various sports. Admission is free. This competition serves as a qualifying event for the Special Olympics Kentucky State Summer Games to be held on June 1-3 in Richmond.

“We will offer both developmental and traditional track events,” SOKY West Regional Director Laura Miller told me. “Developmental events are events we adapt for our wheelchair athletes and lower skilled athletes.” 

Special Olympics Area 1 Track & Field Competition includes most all of the events as a traditional track & field event such as 100, 200, 400 and 800 meter relays, but they also include 15 & 25 meter relays for developmental and wheelchair participants. There are walking options for these events as well. Other wheelchair sports include slalom, shuttle relays, and an obstacle course.

It's not just running, walking and wheelchair events at the competition. There is also a softball throw, a tennis ball throw and even a full blown shot put competition. There are long and high jump events with a standing long jump for those at the entry level of this sport.

Organizers always strive to meet the needs of each individual. For every event there are adaptions for wheelchairs and visually impaired participants.

Be a Fan in the Stands!

Miller wants to promote getting more Fans In The Stands. The best part of these events is the roar of the crowd as they cheer on the athletes. Fans in the Stands is a program designed to promote unity and encourage students, friends, and families to get groups together to make posters, banners or organize pep rallies for Special Olympics athletes in their schools and communities.

For additional information about this event or how to become involved in Special Olympics please contact Laura Miller at 270.293.9054.

Unified Champion Schools

This year, the event will include an exhibition by two of the SOKY local Unified Champion Schools track teams. Unified sports teams include disabled and non- disabled students. The exhibition will feature races including a 2x50m relay, 2x200m relay, and 4x100m relay.

The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program is aimed at promoting social inclusion through intentionally planned and implemented activities. With sports as the foundation, the three-component model includes whole school engagement, inclusive youth leadership and unified sports. Together they offer a unique combination of effective activities that equip young people to create sports, classroom and school climates of acceptance.

If you would like to find out how to become a Unified Champion School, please complete the below application or reach out to Justin Harville – Director of Volunteer and Program Services at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 502.695.8222.

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