There are many great ways to celebrate the Fourth of July. From brilliant fireworks shows to intimate cookouts with family and friends, Independence Day is a time for all Americans to come together and celebrate our freedom.
Whether you're unsure of your plans for this weekend or just trying to find the finishing touch to your celebration, try the following patriotic ideas:
Enjoy the show. From parades, carnivals and beauty pageants to fireworks shows, the Fourth of July holiday offers several events in and around the metro area.
Among many, four major events will be held in Oklahoma City the weekend of the fourth.
• Red, White, and Boom Independence Day celebration is 8:45 p.m. July 3 east of Bricktown Ballpark at East Reno and Charlie Austin Avenue in Oklahoma City. Craig Ricks, Broadway vocalist and former Oklahoma resident, and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, will precede the downtown fireworks show. For more information, visit www.redwhiteandboom.org.
• The Bethany Centennial Freedom Festival is July 3 at Eldon Lyon Park. The events will begin at 10 a.m. with the Bethany Centennial Freedom Run. A parade will follow at 11 a.m. Patrons can enjoy carnival rides, a car show, and musical entertainment throughout the day, then watch the city’s largest fireworks show to date. For more information, visit the city of Bethany’s website at www.cityofbethany.gov.
• Yukon Freedom Festival is June 26 through July 4. The annual Cherry Bomb Triathlon begins at 8 a.m. June 26, followed by the annual Stars and Stripes Volleyball tournament at 9 a.m. Both events are held at City Park at 2200 S. Holly. The activities will continue from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 3 at City Park with a car show. A Children’s Parade starts at 11 a.m. that same day, followed by a rock and roll concert by Mike Black & the Stingrays. Irv Wagner’s band will follow. On July 4, the Rodeo Opry Show is 5 to 8 p.m. at the Chisholm Trail Gazebo with a hot dog eating contest and a free performance by the Oklahoma City Philharmonic that will precede a fireworks show at dusk. For more information, visit www.cityofyukonok.gov.
• Edmond’s LibertyFest was selected by CNN and USA Today as one of the top 10 places to be in America on July 4. The weekend offers a car show, rodeo, KiteFest, Concert in the Park, a parade and fireworks show. For more information and event map, visit www.libertyfest.com.
Get (fire)crackin'. If you plan to celebrate the Fourth of July by lighting your own fireworks, keep in mind that only the cities of Mustang, Choctaw and Okarche allow citizens to own and ignite fireworks. All fireworks, including childhood favorites such as snakes and sparklers, are illegal in Oklahoma City.
When lighting fireworks yourself, safety is a must. Here are a few safety tips from Mustang Police Capt. Willard James to consider when handling fireworks:
• Always read packaged instructions
• Wear tight-fitting, flame-retardant clothing
• Do not light wet fireworks or those older than two years
• Immediately soak used fireworks in water
• Keep a cell phone nearby, in case emergency assistance is needed
• If an injury occurs or a fire starts, call 911 immediately
Spice up your cookout. For many, the only way to celebrate the Fourth of July is by hosting or attending a cookout. If you're cooking this year, consider adding a bit of flair to your tried-and-true favorites like hot dogs, hamburgers and barbecue with the following recipes:
Celebrate with cinema. If you prefer staying indoors to going out and watching a sparkling spectacular, consider a marathon of patriotic movies. Whether you prefer family-friendly Disney films, tragic soldier stories or action hero Will Smith fighting off alien invaders, there is sure to be a Fourth of July flick to suit your needs. Here are a few to get you started:
However you plan to celebrate the Fourth this year, remember to keep it safe.
If you drink and do not have a designated driver, AAA Oklahoma's Tipsy Tow service will drive you and one other person home, as well as tow your vehicle home, at no charge within a 15-mile radius. Tipsy Tow starts at 6 p.m. tonight and runs through Monday in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Muskogee, Lawton, Ardmore, Enid and Shawnee. To request assistance, call Tipsy Tow at 800-222-4357.