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News and Notices

Auburn To Celebrate 4th of July at Les Gove Park with Special Guest Marion Jones


Kristy Pachciarz, Special Events Coordinator


When: Wednesday, July 4, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Les Gove Park, 1005 12th Street SE
Information: complete event information and parking options are listed at www.auburnwa.gov. Call 253-931-3043 for additional information and questions.

Marion JonesAUBURN, Wash. – June 11, 2012 – Auburn’s 4th of July Festival is an old-fashioned, hometown celebration featuring a Kids’ Bike Parade, a variety of arts & craft vendors, food concessions and activities for all ages. Two live entertainment stages will feature a variety of top-level bands and cultural performers. This year, the event will bring former Olympian Marion Jones.

Highlighting the festivities is the annual Kids’ Bike Parade. Children of all ages may line-up on their decorated bicycles, tricycles, strollers, wagons or unicycles beginning at 11:30 a.m. The parade begins at noon, lead by festively-decorated golf carts carrying Auburn Mayor Pete Lewis and Councilmembers and other dignitaries from around the Auburn valley. Free festival activities include a children’s craft tent, bocce ball, lazer tag, museum activities and much more. An event wristband can be purchased for $5 and is good for unlimited games of miniature golf, petting zoo visits, rides on the trackless train, pony carousel and tubs O’ Fun, play on all inflatable rides, and participation on the rock climbing wall and bungy trampolines.

Over 40 craft vendors will offer an array of hand-crafted items, from jewelry and kids’ items to fine art and candles, the Auburn Golf Course will be offering mini golf, and festival goers can admire unique cars in the car show. The White River Valley Museum will offer free admission during the festival and the Auburn Lazer Tag Club will provide free lazer tag. This year’s event also features a Book Sale in the Les Gove Building, hosted by the Friends of the Auburn Library, a balloon artist, bingo, an apple pie eating contest, a food court and much more.

On the Freedom Stage, presented by Overcomer Covenant Church, is one of Seattle’s favorite rock bands, One Eyed Jack, followed by the contagious sound of All Mixed Up, who has a tribute to the music by the band The Cars. The 6th annual Apple Pie Eating Contest will be held at the stage at 2:30pm, followed by Hairmageddon, a popular 70’s and 80’s rock band.

In addition to sponsoring the Freedom Stage, Overcomer Covenant Church will be on-site at the festival, offering a free photo booth and an I-Pad give-a-way! Former Olympian Marion Jones, will also join their booth and be available for autographs from 11am-noon and again from 2:30-3:30pm.

The free Auburn Fourth of July Festival is presented by the City of Auburn and produced by the Auburn Parks, Arts and Recreation Department. Two thumbs up to Overcomer Covenant Church for their involvement in the festival! For information, visit www.auburnwa.gov or call 253-931-3043.

About Marion Jones
One of world’s the most celebrated athletes, Marion Jones declined a spot on the US Olympic Relay Team as a high school student, instead accepting a basketball scholarship and attending the University of North Carolina.

Jones led her Tar Heel team to the 1994 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship and graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in Broadcast-Journalism.

She immediately returned to the track and, as a member of the USA Track Team, won gold medals in the 1997 World Championships. In 1998 she recorded personal bests in the 100 Meter and 200 Meter distances. After defending her 100 Meter title at the 1999 World Championships, Marion went on to win five (5) medals, three (3) Gold and two (2) Bronze at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

In 2003, the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury drafted Marion in the third-round of the WNBA Draft. For years after her triumphs in the 2000 Olympic Games, allegations that Marion used performance enhancing drugs persisted. Finally, in October 2007, Marion admitted that despite never testing positive, she had lied to federal investigators and, had in fact used performance enhancing drugs.

As a result of her confession, Marion was sentenced, and served 6-months in federal prison for lying to federal investigators. Marion voluntarily returned her five (5) Olympic medals, and publicly apologized to her family, friends and fans all over the world.

Marion's book, "On the Right Track" published by Simon & Schuster, demonstrates how she has committed her life to inspiring others who face life-challenging situations. As a public speaker and author, Marion candidly, articulately and passionately shares her life story.

Marion instills motivation and inspiration through real challenges that we all face...learning to grow through pain, making decisions that will help us far into the future, overcoming failure and discouragement, and applying practical principals that point the way to personal and spiritual breakthrough.

In March 2010, after being away from the game of basketball for 13-years, at the age of 34, realizing a dream come true, Marion signed with the WNBA's Tulsa Shock to play professional basketball. After a successful rookie season, Marion returned to the Tulsa Shock for the 2011 season, but was released in July 2011.

Currently, Marion and her husband, Obadele Thompson reside with their three children, 8-year-old Monty, 4 year-old Amir and 2-year old Eva-Marie in Austin, Texas.

Marion Jones will be at Auburn’s 4th of July Festival, signing autographs in the Overcomer Covenant Church’s booth at 11 a.m. and again at 2:30 p.m.

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City of Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation
910 Ninth Street SE
Auburn WA 98002