Celebrate July Fourth with a bang

aheymann@vagazette.com

Fireworks, barbeques, races, a parade and live music are all activities to look forward to enjoying around the Historic Triangle during the Fourth of July.

“My favorite part (of the Fourth of July) is waking up and looking forward to everything that’s going to happen,” said Bill Schermerhorn, creative director for signature events at Colonial Williamsburg.

Williamsburg

There will be plenty to do on the cobblestone streets of Colonial Williamsburg, according to Schermerhorn.

The day starts with a reading of the Declaration of Independence at 9:30 a.m. at the colonial capital, followed by a Salute to the States honoring the 13 original colonies at Market Square at 10 a.m.

“There are various stage programs, conversations with nation builders — it all builds throughout the day to 9 o’clock at night when we do the Lights of Freedom procession and fireworks on Palace Green,” Schermerhorn said.

Schermerhorn said this year the fireworks will be fully scripted to a music score which was added to the display two years ago.

“So the fireworks music will not just be background music, the fireworks will be designed for every boom and burst of the fireworks score which is an exciting addition to the fireworks,” Schermerhorn said.

“We encourage everyone to come and visit us in Colonial Williamsburg throughout the day and celebrate and marvel at what those nation builders did 243 years ago and how they dedicated lives, fortunes and sacred honor, to a cause that actually started on the streets here in the streets of Williamsburg, so you get to walk in their footsteps.”

Kiwanis Fourth of July Ice Cream Social

The Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg will host the Fourth of July Ice Cream Social.

Gary Ripple, an organizer of the event and club member said there will be live music performed by the Smith Wade Band, free children's activities and affordably priced hot dogs, cake and ice cream.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Latisha's House, Grove Christian Outreach, Literacy for Life, and One Child Center for Autism, according to Ripple.

“I am excited that our club has taken on the task of returning it to its rightful place as an important focus of summer for our local residents,” Ripple said. “Plus, Kiwanis events bring together the resources of one of America's most respected social service organizations. This is what we do and we do it very well.”

The social is 4-7 p.m. in the front yard of the Christopher Wren Building, 111 Jamestown Road. Advanced tickets are $8 and can be purchased at any area Chesapeake Bank or through a club member.

Fly high with the Williamsburg EDA

The Williamsburg Economic Development Authority will hold its own celebration from noon-4 p.m.

“What we want to do is create an engaging event in the public space between that kick-off and the Kiwanis Ice Cream Social taking place on the Wren Lawn in the evening, which then leads into the fireworks after dark,” said Adam Steely, EDA chairman.

There will be 5-10 minute tethered hot air balloon rides, an egg toss competition and Uncle Dave's Kettle Corn will provide popcorn and soft drinks for a nickel.

“We want everyone downtown to relax and join in the fun of an old-time Americana themed holiday,” Steely said.

Yorktown

Feeling a little more high energy? Get your blood pumping at the Yorktown Independence Day 8K and 5K from 8-10 a.m. at Yorktown High School.

Over at Water Street. there’s a parade with music from the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center Ceremonial Band at 9 a.m.

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will hold a “Liberty Celebration” from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. There, visitors can enjoy music, interpretive programs, military drills and artillery demonstrations, as well as learn about the challenges that faced our nation’s founders.

Before fireworks, enjoy the “Sounds of Liberty Bell Ringing Ceremony” which starts at 7 p.m. on the Riverwalk Landing Stage followed by a live Jazz concert by Connie Ironmonger at 8 p.m.

Finally, the day’s celebration ends with a fireworks display at 9:15 p.m. over the York River.

Busch Gardens

Watch fireworks at the world’s most beautiful theme park 9:30 p.m. July 3-5.

Enjoy the show with a view at Busch Gardens’ special all-you-can-eat buffet serving items ranging from steak and ribs to mac and cheese and ice cream bars — or on one of the park’s river cruises. Both options are available online and require an extra ticket.

Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.

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