Fourth of July Events 2009: Eastern United States
This 4th of July, 2009, fireworks and parades abound across the United States. While major cities will have grand celebrations with numerous attendees, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution highlights small-town festivities:
Each of those celebrations – the big and the small — make July 4th special; but perhaps my favorites have been the small-town festivities we have attended. [...] While not as long or flashy as the well-choreographed big city programs, the intimacy of being in a smaller crowd is part of the appeal when the fireworks burst across the night sky.
Following is an alphabetized list of events of various scope and scale in cities across the eastern United States.
Annapolis, Maryland: Annapolis will celebrate the Fourth of July at the home of William Paca, who signed the Declaration of Independence. There will be tours of the home, a Naturalization Ceremony, live music, and a simulated Revolutionary War encampment.
Costumed interpreters portraying William Paca and members of his household will bring the past alive for visitors of all ages. Children's activities include patriotic crafts and the opportunity to sign your John Hancock on the Declaration of Independence with a quill pen.
Arlington, Texas: Every Independence Day sees a high-profile parade in Arlington, Texas, organized by the Arlington 4th of July Association. Comprising around 150 float entries of varied themes and skill, and anywhere from 5000 to 70,000 spectators, the parade concludes with an award ceremony at Heritage Park at 1pm.
Parade entries include marching bands to exotic automobiles, military color guards to clowns, and dignitaries to unique presentations.
Atlanta, Georgia: Fireworks will be set off above Stone Mountain State Park at night, ad admission is free. There will also be an Independence Day Parade downtown along Peachtree Street, in addition to a parade, carnival activities, and bands.
Stone Mountain, Ga.: This park near Atlanta will host big fireworks shows three nights in a row, July 3, 4 and 5. The display will be combined with a laser light show at the base of the mountain.
Baton Rouge, Louisianna: The LSU Museum of Art will host "Rouge, White and Blue" fireworks and barbeque at the Fifth Annual 4th of July Fundraiser.
Begin your celebration with Rouge, White and Blue margaritas and delicious Bar-B-Q by Restaurant Sponsor Texas Roadhouse in the Bert and Sue Turner Gallery on the 3rd Floor. Music provided by Kenny Kleinpeter.
Blackwell, Oklahoma: In an "old-fashioned Independence Day celebration" produced by the Blackwell Chamber of Commerce, Blackwell will feature a downtown parade, bicycle and wagon-decorating competition, live music, and fireworks. There will also be a 40-foot Oklahoma "Wall of Heroes" float on display.
Boston, Massachusetts: Harborfest 2009 will take place June 30 to July 5. On July 4, there will be a reading of the Declaration fo Independence, a 21-gun Salute to the Nation, re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party, 19th-century gun drills, and fireworks cruises.
Burlington, Vermont: The Lake Champlain Regional Champer of Commerce is hosting the 61st Annual Warren Fourth of July Parade, Party & Fireworks, beginning at 10am and concluding with fireworks at dusk, on 4th at Sugarbush Lincoln Peak. The theme of the 2009 parade is "It's Easy Being Green".
Charleston, South Carolina: There will be live music and a fireworks display, which can be viewed from Wentworth Mansion Cupola. Festivities begin at 7:30pm.
Celebrate Independence Day in true southern fashion with libations and delicacies hot off the grill, accompanied by live music.
Chicago, Illinois: Fourth of July in Chicago will include Taste of Chicago, a symphony performance, and fireworks both July 4 and July 3. Other events include the Grant Park Music Festival in Millennium Park.
On Saturday, July 4, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Grant Park Music Festival will play their first Independence Day concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. The music will begin at 1:30 p.m. with visitors invited to picnic beforehand. Activities will continue in Millennium Park throughout the day.
Columbus, Ohio: "Red, White, & BOOM!" will take place in downtown Columbus on July 3, one of the largest Independence Day events in the Midwest.There will also be various parades and fireworks displays taking place around the state on July 4.
Enjoy live music and and great food on Nationwide Boulevard starting at 3PM until midnight with Taste of BOOM. National recording artists Love and Theft will perform. [...] Don’t miss the Independence Day parade [featuring Mario Lopez] with 80 floats, bands and other entries that will stretch more than a mile long. The parade will start at 6:00 PM on Broad Street at COSI heading east and marches north on Front Street.
Dover, Delaware: First State Heritage Park and partner sites will host a large program of special events and activities throughout Saturday. Venues include the Legislative Hall and Old State House, with walking tours, a historic Dover scavenger hunt, colonial kids games, reading of the Declaration of Independence, and fireworks.
East Woodstock, Connecticut: East Woodstock Common has hosted the Fourth of July Jamboree since July 4, 1957. Featuring a barbeque and parade, the Jamboree is an "old-fashioned celebration" with live entertainment and family activities. The celebration doubles as a fundraiser for the East Woodstock Congreational Church.
Jefferson City, Missouri: Jefferson City celebrates the Fourth of July with its Salute to America, a two-day long celebration starting July 3. There will be a parade to begin with on the south lawn at the Capitol, and festivities will end Saturday night with the Fireworks Sky Concert extravaganza.
Kansas City, Missouri: Those in Kansas City have the option of celebrating Fourth of July with the KC Riverfest at the Berkley Riverfront Park, the Parkville 4th of July Fireworks and Festival, the Corporate Woods Star Spangled Spectacular, or the Independence Fireworks Display at the Mormon Visitor Center, among others.
Over 20,000 folks from around the metro head to the Northland to watch Parkville's annual Fireworks display. The festivities begin on Tuesday morning with the 4th of July parade. They also have a carnival at English Landing Park.
Little Rock, Arkansas: The Clinton Presidential Center will offer free admission to the center's library in addition to a festival celebration and fireworks at night. Over 10,000 people are expected to attend.
Louisville, Kentucky: The Fifth Third Ban presents the Waterfront Independence Festival, a two-day event with over 150,000 visitors featuring major concerts, children's festivities, a beer garden, and fireworks.
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota: There will be a fireworks display on July 3, with 20 to 30 thousand spectators expected. Officials suggest being prepared to park 1-3 miles away from the main site.
Officials are expecting a huge crowd this year, so the Highway Patrol will close Highway 244 at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and no one will be able to leave Mt. Rushmore until the fireworks display is finished.
Nashville, Tennesse: The biggest and most popular Fourth of July celebration in Nashville is the fireworks display at the Downtown Riverfront, along the Cumberland River in Riverfront Park.
Nashville's Fourth of July celebration always includes a variety of musical entertainment ranging from Country Music Stars to the Symphony.
Festivities begin downtown at around noon and go on throughout the day, with the city's annual fireworks show normally beginning just after or around 9:15pm.
New York City, New York: At 9:20pm will be Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks, marking the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's exploration of the Hudson River. There will also be a hot dog eating contest and Fourth of July fireworks cruise. For a more upscale event, there is also a World Yacht July 4th Cruise.
The 2009 Macy's fireworks show will feature more than 40,000 shells exploding at a rate of more than 1,500 per minute. At approximately 9:20 pm on July 4th, the 26-minute display will be set off from six barges positioned between 24th and 50th Streets on the Hudson River.
Orlando, Florida: There will be a Fourth of July block party in downtown Orlando, at Wall Street Plaza. Admission is free and includes bars, an outdoor stage, fireworks, and live entertainment.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Philadelphia is hosting the Sunoco Welcome America! festival from June 26 to July 5, 2009. On July 4, events include traditional ceremonies on Independence Mall, a parade through Historic Philadelphia, and "Party on the Parkway" with family activities. At night there will be a free outdoor concert featuring Sheryl Crow, followed by a fireworks finale.
The morning of July 4 begins with traditional ceremonies on historic Independence Mall, followed by a parade through storied Historic Philadelphia (new route!) with bands, flags and pageantry reminiscent of an old-fashioned Main Street, USA parade.
Ralston, Nebraska: There will be a 1-mile Fun Run/Walk and 3-mile race on July 4, sponsored by the Ralston Community Foundation and starting from downtown Ralston.
Richmond, Virginia: The Richmond Concert Band will perform for the 37th year in a row, on Dogwood Dell stage at 7:30pm. On the program will be old favourites such as the 1812 Overture, as well as a "few surprises".
Having confirmed with several notable sources, we understand that the Richmond Concert Band may very well be the only band (or orchestra) in our United States that performs the 1812 Overture complete with live and on-site howitzers ...carillon bells ...and the addition of fireworks.
Saint Paul, Minnesota: There will be a toast to the nation, theatre presentation, and dance at the Historic Fort Snelling in Saint Paul.
Southport, North Carolina: From July 1 to 4, communities in North Carolina will host the 37th annual North Carolina Fourth of July Festival, in Southport. The festival will begin with "Beach Day" on Oak Island and finish with a grand fireworks display at the Southport waterfront.
...celebrate our freedom during Southport's signature 4th of July parade, honor our veterans during a Veterans Recognition Ceremony at the Southport Community Building, and welcome new citizens at the ever-popular Naturalization Ceremony at Fort Johnston... And participate in flag ceremonies that remind us that freedom is never free.
Washington, DC: The annual US Fourth of July concert will take place at the US Capitol and be hosted by actor Jimmy Smits. Featured performers include Barry Manilow with the National Symphony Orchestra, Aretha Franklin, Natasha Bedingfield, Michael Feinstein, Andrew von Oeyen, and the cast of Jersey Boys.
The July 4th concert finale includes Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" – featuring the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets and complete with live cannon fire provided by the United States Army Presidential Salute Battery. Also featured are the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, the U.S. Army “Old Guard” Fife and Drum Corps and the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard of the Military District of Washington.
The National Independence Day Parade will also be taking place.
For more Fourth of July 2009 events, visit the following web pages: