The vision was for a big, community wide Fourth of July celebration complete with a fireworks show, concert, tractor pull, and booths sprinkled around inside the rodeo grounds at the eastern end of town. However, when coronavirus put a stop to any sort of celebration like this, the Oakdale Enrichment Society had to reassess its plans.
“We still wanted to do something for the community,” OES vice president, Cherilyn Bairos, shared.
As the nonprofit was brainstorming, Oakdale City Recreation Manager Jane Finkenbine got in touch with OES. She shared that she came from a community that was putting on a Fourth of July decorating contest. OES members immediately knew it was the perfect idea for Oakdale.
“People can decorate and they’re home with their families,” Bairos explained.
Instead of risking a large gathering, it’s something that will still tie the community together while maintaining necessary social distancing.
Bairos also wanted to remind Oakdale that it’s a community wide event “for anyone in the 95361 area code,” meaning that local businesses are also welcome to participate.
Decorated houses and businesses will be on display from June 27 to July 4. Those participating also have the option to just share their address with OES to be judged, but also can allow OES to share their address on that organization’s Facebook page so that community members can drive by and admire the patriotic décor.
Entries for the competition are due Wednesday, June 24 and there is no entry fee. However, there will be a prize awarded to the entry judged as the best decorated house. Bairos and other members of OES are sponsoring this prize out of pocket. All fundraising that went to the original, cancelled 2020 Fourth of July celebration is being allocated to next year’s event. OES is planning not only to celebrate Independence Day in 2021 but also commemorate Oakdale’s 150th anniversary, meaning an even bigger celebration on the last Saturday of June.
To access the forms and enter into the decorating competition, visit Oakdale Enrichment Society’s Facebook page, email them at [email protected], or get in contact with Cher Bairos at (209) 496-1134.