Medford was named by as the 25th most patriotic city in the United States.

Medford was named by as the 25th most patriotic city in the United States.

The 41-word blurb beneath Medford's ranking lists two specific reasons why the city made the cut — its annual "Red, White and Boom" Fourth of July celebration and our "seven-foot-tall replica of Lady Liberty" ... in Hawthorne Park. The facts are mostly correct.

The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County puts on a magnificent annual Independence Day celebration and caps it off with Oregon's largest display of fireworks power, so it would be splitting hairs to point out that Red, White and Boom actually explodes at The Expo in Central Point.

The event is also well focused on honoring all past and present members of the armed forces.

The fireworks display, which has been the state's largest in the past, takes the cake for two reasons this year, said Brad Hicks, Medford/Jackson County Chamber president.

The organization dropped close to $28,000 on the 28-minute display, and "this year we went to five-inch mortars," Hicks said.

"All the other shows in the state do four-inch motors. ... For every inch in diameter that the shell is, it gets exponentially higher and bigger," he said.

Hicks said if the Red, White and Boom celebration played a role in landing Medford on the list, then he feels like the organizers are doing something right.

"Fourth of July is sort of inextricably linked to patriotism and conjures thoughts of support for the people that fight for our freedoms and have fought for our freedoms in the past. That connection existed long before there was ever a Red, White and Boom," he said. "Our celebration serves to shine a magnifying glass on that."

While the folks at did their homework on our fireworks, they must have skimmed the chapter about Medford's Little Sister.

The Lady Liberty replica used to reside in Hawthorne Park from 1951 and 2002. But she was vandalized so many times that she was removed, refurbished and erected on a pedestal across from the Jackson County Courthouse in 2006, where she remains.

Aside from mentioning the statue is located at Hawthorne Park, got one other thing wrong — the statue is actually 8 feet 4 inches, not 7 feet tall.

See the listing for yourself at

Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-776-4471 or Follow him at