A little ‘sis,’ a bit of ‘boom’ and lots of ‘AH!’

Maria D and Zoe G enjoy the parade. Arlington 2014 Fourth of July Parade photographed Friday, July 04, 2014. Photography by Bruce E. Maxwell.

Should you choose to go forth on July 4th this year, there are plenty of local festivities to put on your itinerary, each primed to summon your inner patriot. Only, you should make this note: Some of the events precede and/or succeed Independence Day, Of course, that just means you can extend the holiday – and visit several of the local burgs in the process. Here are highlights of what’s in store:

 

 

 

 

Arlington

Viridian’s annual salute to Independence Day will explode with more music and activities, plus a charitable twist during the Stars & Stripes Celebration, from 3-10 p.m. on June 30. The public is invited to bring picnic blankets and lawn chairs to Lake Viridian, 1001 Viridian Park Lane for free concerts by Lillly Harvey, The Shane Bell Band and Live 80.

Once the calendar turns to July, the 12th annual Light Up Arlington is set for 6 p.m. on July 3 on a several-block area surrounding City Hall. The event will feature live music, kid-friendly activities and a spectacular fireworks display. Light Up Arlington also has food trucks and carnival concessions. Bands will perform on downtown stages, including at the Levitt Pavilion. The fireworks display will begin at 9:45 p.m.

The next day, the annual Arlington 4th of July Parade will say, “Happy Birthday, USA!,” when the city’s longest running event winds through Downtown, beginning at 9 a.m.

Started in 1965, the parade was composed of primarily youth on red, white and blue-decorated bicycles, pedaling around Randol Mill Park. It eventually became too large for the park path and has evolved into a two-mile, high-spirited, curb-to-curb ribbon of red, white and blue with 150 entries that roll through downtown and UTA’s College Park District to the beat of patriotic music played by a variety of musical entries. The parade is organized and staged by the all-volunteer non-profit organization, the Arlington 4th of July Association.

For more: arlington4th.org.

 

Mansfield

Mansfield’s Rockin’ 4th of July will actually be held on July 3, from 6-10 p.m. at Big League Dreams Mansfield (500 Heritage Pkwy S.). The free festival will feature games, live music, entertainment, food vendors and more, capped off by a fireworks show.

There is no on-site parking; all parking will be at Mansfield ISD’s Vernon Newsom Stadium with free shuttle buses to and from the event.

For more: mansfieldtexas.gov/event/8505/rockin-4th-of-july.

 

Grand Prairie

Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie (1000 Lone Star Pkwy.) will host the “Lone Stars and Stripes Celebration” on July 4-5. Visitors can celebrate America with with horse races, bounce houses, face painters, tattoo artists, pony rides, a petting zoo and much more from 3-9 p.m. After the races conclude, there will be world-class fireworks shows choreographed to music.

For more: lonestarpark.com/events/lone-stars-stripes-celebration-2.