Booneville tried something different and by all accounts, it worked perfectly.

Rather than the a couple of Fourth of July celebration events, as has been the case the last few years, there was one combined event, which was actually held on July 3, rather than on Independence Day, at Bearcat Stadium.

Starting about 8 p.m., First Baptist Church volunteers were on hand passing out flags, giving away watermelon slices, distributing “snappers”, making balloon animals, painting faces, and giving away glow sticks.

Following a Pledge of Allegiance and a National Anthem, a firework show commenced about 9:10 and went for about 25 minutes, after which Booneville Mayor Jerry Wilkins said he was pleased with the turnout.

Exiting the facility had the look of a Bearcat football game, and more the Prescott semifinal game settled on the final play last year rather than the remnants of a mercy rule blowout in which had been was a steady stream of second half departures.

Turnout was also relative term because determining a head count would have been almost impossible as surrounding neighborhoods were populated with lawn chairs by those who would rather not deal with said crowd.