Which Fourth of July event works for your church and community?
$ Take advantage of free promotion. Provide an email people can use to invite friends and a post people can access and paste into their social media networks. Photocopy fliers and ask permission to place them in strategic “third places” in your community (coffeehouses, kid-oriented businesses, etc.). Contact local moms groups and ask them to let members know.
$$$ Partner with local radio and TV stations to purchase airtime. Buy advertising space on billboards, movie theater commercials and local websites six weeks in advance. Provide printed invitation cards, an email people can use to invite friends, and a post someone can cut and paste into Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Two weeks before the event, write and send a press release to all local media.
$ Host your event at a local park with a good view of a nearby fireworks display. Organize games (pickup basketball, relay races and volleyball). Other activities: a chili cook-off or a pie-eating contest. Enlist volunteers who are willing to grill (call them grill masters) and lead music. Invite veterans and thank them for their heroism. Ask your worship team or choir to lead the crowd in a few patriotic songs and present each military veteran with a small gift or Bible.
$$$ Think large gathering that engages all ages and becomes your area’s annual Fourth of July event. Select a strategic venue like county fairgrounds and add from there. Invite local businesses to participate. Other possibilities: skate park, fireworks display, talent competition. Enlist volunteers to manage everything from prep work and concession stands to stage crew and cleanup. Honor your community heroes. Make a special presentation to military veterans, firefighters and police officers. Present each one with a small gift and a Bible.