Chillicothe invites patrons from all around to a two-day Fourth of July celebration featuring two main events to be held June 30 to July 1 to be held at Simpson Park.

Chillicothe invites patrons from all around to a two-day Fourth of July celebration featuring two main events to be held June 30 to July 1 to be held at Simpson Park. The first ever Grillin’ & Chillin’ event will be held in Chillicothe and feature a BBQ contest with approximately 25 teams from all over the Midwest starting when the park opens at 9 a.m. on Friday, June 30. This is a Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned BBQ contest and will include food vendors, a cooking class and live entertainment in the evening with a 21-and-up venue area. Barbecue events with food vendors on site will be available Saturday also. Games and activities for the children are also available on site. Grillin’ & Chillin’ is free and open to the public and visitors are allowed to come catch a whiff of barbecue from all kinds of cooks. The free cooking class will be led by eight-time world champion barbecuer, Chris Marks. Bands Hollow Point and Centerline will play live music starting Friday at 5 p.m. Barbecue contest awards will be presented at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Proceeds from this fundraising event will go to the North Missouri Center for Youth and Families. To enter the BBQ contest or for more information regarding the Grillin’ & Chillin’ contest, check out the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/chillibbq In conjunction with the Grillin’ & Chillin’ BBQ contest, Chillicothe will also be hosting the annual Freedom Festival Fourth of July celebration on Saturday evening July 1. This event will take place immediately following the barbecue event. The Freedom Festival is presented in conjunction with the City of Chillicothe and several local businesses and foundations. This year’s Festival is being co-chaired by Carl Mcbee and Terry Rumery. The Freedom Festival will begin around 4 p.m. with food and snack vendors as well as on-site games and activities for kids. Live entertainment for the evening will be provided by The Dustin Thomas Band and Point of No Return starting at 6 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Guests to the Freedom Festival are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs. The professional pyrotechnic fireworks show will begin at dusk. This event is weather pending and in case of rain, stay tuned to local media.