MURRAY – To spend the Fourth of July in Murray is always a blast (as in the late night fireworks show), usually quite hot (as in the hot-looking, spiffy wheels at the car show), and sometimes a little sloppy (as in the mud volleyball tournament).

This year’s celebration will be no exception as organizers have again put together a whole day of family-fun activities for what is known as the Murray Freedom Festival.

“We have a lot of people in town and they all seem to enjoy it,” said George Blessing, Jr., festival board president.

Activities start early with a pancake feed at the Murray fire station, sponsored separately by the volunteer fire department.

That’s followed by the ever-popular mud volleyball tournament in Young Park.

Team signup starts at 9 a.m. with the tournament starting at 10.

“Everybody likes that one,” Blessing said.

Last year, 26 teams with eight on each team participated, Blessing said.

If possible, early signup is preferred by going to the festival website, he said.

The Fourth Annual Show-N-Shine car show begins at 10:30 a.m. in the downtown section along North Park Avenue between the Cornerstone Bank and the former Shed restaurant. Cars, tractors, motorcycles and pickups can be brought to the event.

The show lasts until 3:30 p.m. with food available, including authentic Mexican food.

The Grand Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. (signup at 6) at the elementary school on High Street.

Events continue at Young Park with a youth dance team performance around 7:15 p.m., followed by live music by Jacked.

“They play a little bit of everything,” Blessing said.

Then comes the climax, the annual fireworks show at the park starting around 10 p.m. or slightly earlier, he said.

“We could still use some help,” Blessing said on volunteer duties.

To sign up for teams or for more information, go to the festival website:

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