NEWARK — It's that time of year again, when the citizens of Newark come out to celebrate the birth of their city.
The mayor will be there. And so will the council members.
And for those interested, the Evil Queen — grand marshal of the children's parade and mainstay at the Magic Castle — also will be present.
Yes, Newark Days are nearly here again. This year's theme is "It's Magic" — and the festivities celebrating the city's 53rd birthday will kick off Thursday and continue throughout the weekend at the Newark Community Center and surrounding area.
"It's a fun time," said Shirley Sisk, president of the Newark Days Committee and a former city councilwoman. "People can do so much without spending a penny."
The celebration will begin with four activities, including a kids parade from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., and a four-hour preview of the carnival, which will operate during the entire weekend.
During the carnival preview, which starts at 6 p.m., all ride tickets be $1.
On Friday, the party will keep rolling with an art and photo show from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., a magic work shop, and the opening of the food and game booths.
"There are so many food booths that you won't be able to try them all during the four days," Sisk said.
The weekend will boast daylong activities, beginning Saturday with a mile race at 9 a.m., and a parade at 9:45 a.m. featuring grand marshal Clark Redecker, a former Newark mayor and councilman.
"He was on the original City Council," Sisk said. "It's time we honor him."
In addition to the race and parade, attendees also can enjoy carnival rides, shop at food and arts and crafts booths, watch magic shows, participate in magic workshops and demonstrations, and listen to all sorts of music.
Tom Rigney and Flambeau will perform Cajun/zydeco music, while a band called Still Kickin' will cover songs originally performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin, Santana and others.
Other musical guests will include Mishla of Mishla & the Jazz Associates, the Newark Symphonic Winds, and Yowza!, a band composed entirely of current and former city of Newark employees.
The Newark Days celebration has been around since the 1970s. In recent years the event has drawn more than 100,000 people, many of them from out of town.
"(Attendees and vendors) tell us it's like a county fair," Sisk said.
Each year the city of Newark celebrates its birthday with a multiday bash dubbed "Newark Days." This year the festivities have taken on the theme of 'It's Magic," and several magic shows, workshops and demonstrations are scheduled at the hub of all the activity, the Newark Community Center, 35501 Cedar Blvd.
He are some of the highlights:
*Carnival preview -- 6 to 10 p.m.
*Kids parade -- 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
*Carnival -- 4 to 10:30 p.m.
*Art and photography show -- 5:30 to 7 p.m.
*Mile race -- 9 a.m.
*Parade -- 9:45 a.m.
*Carnival -- 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
*Car and truck show -- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
*Police K-9 and vehicle demonstration -- noon to 4 p.m.
*Carnival -- noon to 9 p.m.
*Birthday cake celebration -- 4 p.m.