BY REGINA WEISS / THE FREE LANCE–STAR
The Fourth of July is right around the corner, with plenty of food and fireworks to go around.
Here are some events to consider:
HERITAGE FESTIVAL IN FREDERICKSBURG
In its 42nd year, the Heritage Festival will fill Fredericksburg with events from sunup to sundown.
There will be a 5-mile race at 7:45 a.m. sponsored by the Fredericksburg Host Lions Club, with registration beginning at 6:30 a.m. at the Fredericksburg Visitor Center.
Children can participate in the day by walking in a parade at 9:30 a.m. sponsored for the first time by the newly opened Richmond/Fredericksburg Children’s Museum, said Heritage Festival coordinator Roberta Gold.
After the parade, the Festival of the Streets will close Sophia Street and connecting streets to welcome more than 100 crafters, food vendors and children’s activities.
There will also be a classic and antique car show, and the annual Rappahannock River Raft Race beginning at Falmouth’s Waterfront Park and ending at Fredericksburg’s City Dock.
Stafford’s Pratt Park will shoot off fireworks at 9:15, with entertainment from the Quantico Marine Corps Rock and Roll Band and the Quantico Marine Corps Band with the Riverside Dinner Theater cast of “West Side Story.”
The park opens at 4:30, and early arrival to the busy area is encouraged.
FERRY FARM FESTIVITIES
George Washington’s boyhood home will be open from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and is accessible by trolley from the downtown Fredericksburg events.
Ferry Farm will welcome home the county’s own national bluegrass artist, Mark Newton, with his musical partner Steve Thomas, onstage at 3:30–5 p.m. The performance follows their theme, “Home Sweet Home,” in partnership with Stafford County in its 350th anniversary year.
Visitors will also see archaeology displays, educational programs, Colonial and Civil War re-enactors, crafts and exhibitors and hands-on games and activities.
Culpeper will celebrate the national holiday in a hometown style on the Fourth, with a 5K race, car show, parade and fireworks.
The Freedom 5K race will begin the day at 8 a.m. at the Town Municipal Building and loop around town.
Culpeper Renaissance will put on an all-day car and bike show at 10 a.m., and the Museum of Culpeper History will open at its new location from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Commerce Street.
The annual Main Street parade will kick off at 4 p.m. featuring the local color guard, veterans, bands, school clubs and creative floats.
Fireworks will begin at 9:15 p.m. at Yowell Meadow Park, where food, music and children’s activities will precede the show.
A DAY AT THE BEACH
Fireworks will go off along the Potomac on July Fourth at 9:15 p.m. in Colonial Beach.
The fireworks will shoot off from the Town Pier and visitors can line the beachfront, where food and glow sticks will be sold, for a prime viewing point.
For all-day parking at the beach, visitors pay $10 to park in public lots. Once the lots are filled, attendants will assist visitors with parking options starting on Town Hill and moving into surrounding areas.
Historic readings at port royal
The town of Port Royal will host the 15th annual Independence Day celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July Fourth.
The day will include a reading of the Declaration of Independence, a performance from Saint Andrew’s Legion Pipes and Drums, an 18th-century dancing demonstration by the Rappahannock Colonial Heritage Society, a patriotic organ recital at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, a living history encampment with Civil War re-enactors, a guest speaker from the National Park Service, period musicians Evergreen Shade, surrey rides, demonstrations of early medical practices, blacksmithing, spinning and weaving, childrens’ games, and food and beverages. Admission is free.
SPEND TIME WITH THE LEES
Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County will also host events for the Fourth.
The Lees and Independence Family Fun Festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free admission.
The event is family oriented with arts-and-crafts activities, a scavenger hunt and dressing up in Colonial fashions. The gristmill will also be running, and tours of the Great House are available for free.
Admission for the event is $1 and parking is available at the Fraternal Order of Eagles on Cool Spring Road with shuttle service to the farm.
Regina Weiss 540/374-5444