by Dennis Dalman
The celebratory two-day Fourth of July festivities in St. Joseph will kick off Monday, July 3 with a JoeTown Rocks concert featuring The Killer Vees.
On that same day, the two-day St. Joseph Parish Festival will also take place on the church grounds. The annual festivities will feature food booths, refreshments, bingo, a merry-go-round and a train ride for children, a “Country Store,” a raffle drawing (3 p.m. July 4) and a stand offering handicrafts. The annual quilt auction will take place at 1:30 p.m. July 4 inside the church.
There will also be music from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. in the downtown area right after the Fourth of July parade.
The free JoeTown Rocks concert will take place right in downtown St. Joseph on the huge parking lot just east of the St. Joseph Catholic Church.
A fireworks display, sponsored by Bernick’s, will follow the concert.
The concert will start at 6 p.m. right after an opening prayer. The event will begin with singing by students of the St. Joseph Catholic School. Other musical performers will include The Hunt (6:15 p.m.) and Anderson Daniels (7:15 p.m.). The Killer Vees will take the stage at 8:45 p.m. The fireworks are set to go off at 10:15 p.m.
Concert-goers are being asked not to place their lawn chairs on the huge parking lot early in the day. That is because that space must be freed up to be used by semi-trucks bringing equipment to the large stage. Any chairs placed on the concert’s parking lot before noon on July 3 will be removed.
On July 4, the big parade will start on Minnesota Street at 10 a.m.
The JoeTown Rocks concert headline band, The Killer Vees, features two sons (Jeff, Tommy Velline), a nephew (Matt Velline) and a grandson (Bennett Velline) of the late, great recording star Bobby Vee (born name Velline). The Velline family members, who have many connections to St. Joseph, were all instrumental in founding the annual JoeTown Rocks concert event many years ago in downtown St. Joseph. The Killer Vees perform rock and pop songs.