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MailTribune.com
  • Medford is just as patriotic as the next town on the Fourth

  • Here's one for you knuckleheads down at the Since You Asked underground bunker: Why is it that the city of Medford has never hosted Fourth of July celebrations — such as a parade, fireworks display, picnics in the park with live patriotic music, pie-eating contests, food vendors, etc.
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  • Here's one for you knuckleheads down at the Since You Asked underground bunker: Why is it that the city of Medford has never hosted Fourth of July celebrations — such as a parade, fireworks display, picnics in the park with live patriotic music, pie-eating contests, food vendors, etc.
    It seems kind of un-American. Many of the smaller towns around us do, and it's a financial boon for those communities. What's the deal?
    — Steven B., Medford
    We ought to start by clarifying something inaccurate in your question, Steven.
    The Chamber of Commerce for Medford/Jackson County, which organizes the annual "Red White and Boom" 4th festivities, have held fireworks celebrations in the city of Medford, most recently in 2010 at Harry & David Field in Medford, and Miles Field in years prior to that, since the first "Red, White and Boom" in 2002.
    Although that's hardly "never," you'll note that this year's Red, White and Boom was at The Expo in Central Point. To answer why it moved, we reached out to Brad Hicks, president and CEO of the chamber. Hicks explained that the risk of damaging artificial turf at nearby U.S. Cellular Community Park prompted the move to The Expo in 2011.
    "If you burn a hole in that artificial turf, you can't just replace a small piece," Hicks said. "Just the expense of repairing damage was one factor."
    An additional factor, Hicks said, was that holding the show jeopardized the turf's warranty.
    But the city of Medford is hardly oohing and aahing while other municipalities do fireworks legwork. Hicks said Medford has been one of the chamber's partners since the inception of Red, White and Boom.
    "They provide support in kind, of security and policing, all sorts of things," Hicks said. "The city of Medford is not at all being unpatriotic."
    Red, White and Boom began when Central Point could no longer put on a fireworks show across from Crater High School because that site became part of the Twin Creeks subdivision. Businesses and organizations all over the valley pooled resources to put on a fireworks show with a "first-of-its-kind" display with $15,000 in pyrotechnics.
    In the ensuing years of combined effort, Hicks sees the show as belonging to more than just the venue that hosted it.
    "That show really is Medford's show just as much as it's Central Point's or Butte Falls'," Hicks said. "It's really turned into a great regional event."
    Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.
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