By Paul Tennant
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Members of the Festival Committee are making it clear that they want this year’s Fourth of July celebration to be an event that people of all ages can enjoy.
The annual Fourth of July Festival will take place over two days, July 3 and 4, on the Common. Disc jockey Russ McQueen will provide entertainment July 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. while All About Fun will offer amusements for children.
James Fazio, a Festival Committee member, said he and other organizers intend to offer “live entertainment geared toward children.” Their parents and grandparents need not feel left out, however, because a band playing “easy listening” music will set up near the Beer and Wine Tent later in the evening July 4, he said.
The Beer and Wine Tent, closely supervised by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2104, will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. July 3 and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 4.
Plenty of palates should be pleased at the festival. Food vendors will be on the Common both days and Cochichewick Masonic Lodge, 19 Johnson St., a short walk from the Common, will serve a pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. July 4.
For folks who feel guilty about consuming lots of food, there will be three races July 4, all starting at the Common. The Kids’ Run, beginning at 8 a.m., will go for six-tenths of a mile around the Common.
The 5-kilometer run/walk will commence at 8:30 a.m. while the 10-kilometer run will get underway at 8:35. Last year the festival had two unofficial training runs of five and 10 kilometers, but this year, the Borderline Running Club is organizing the 4th of July Road Race, an official competition that will provide runners with mile times and water.
A particularly popular activity at the Fourth of July Festival is the dunk tank, organized by firefighter Sean Bushnell. Committee members said Tuesday night it remains to be seen who will be on the receiving end of the dunking.
The proceeds of the dunk tank are contributed to muscular dystrophy research.
The fireworks show will begin after sunset — probably around 9:15 — July 3. Festival Committee members said the pyrotechnics display should last at least 30 minutes.
Jeffrey Coco, co-chairman of the Festival Committee, said those who attend the Fourth of July celebration can expect to enjoy a “pleasurable, relaxed and somewhat exciting” time. It should be fun “for all age groups and families,” he said.