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Laddonia provides a powerful, patriotic display

Posted on Sunday, August 13, 2023 at 9:09 pm

There’s nothing quite like an Independence Day celebration in a small town. For the folks who filled every available parking spot close to the Laddonia ballfield, nothing could have beaten the performance and fireworks the people here got to see.

The Laddonia Missouri Athletic Association has been putting on an Independence Day celebration for the last 71 years. The celebrations have recently featured an incredible firework display, a local softball tournament, and a candy toss for the little ones, courtesy of the Laddonia Rural Fire Protection District. This year, though, there was also an incredible performance given by a local musician and singer, Kelly Stanford.

Kelly performed some great patriotic music for the people watching the softball tournament, and he even got a few folks to dance in the George Rinkle Memorial pavilion. Kelly said he got into music at a young age.

“(We) used to have a local band in Martinsburg,” he said. “As a kid, I always thought, ‘That seems cool.’ (I) love it (performing). I really started getting serious about it when I was 14. (I’m) turning 63 this September.” Kelly noted that more than anything, the reason he loves performing is getting to make people feel something through his music. Having people get up and start dancing just makes him play harder.

After Kelly’s performance—and the softball tournament ended—a fire truck loaded with sweets pulled onto the field and rained colorful treats down on the kids. After that, Stephanie Donaldson gave an incredible performance with our country’s beloved anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Although Stephanie said that there would be no patriotic tunes to accompany the fireworks this year, the sound system started to work shortly after the display started. As singers told of our country’s greatness, families and friends watched as the sky lit up with red, white, and blue. For all the folks who came out for Laddonia’s Independence Day celebration, there is truly no better country to live in than the U.S.