The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, marks the Colonies’s adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, signed by 56 of the founding fathers, which declared the country’s 2.5 million residents freedom from Great Britain and its king.
Celebrating America’s 244th birthday in 2019, families, groups and organizations all across the U.S. have spent months planning their holiday parties to include spectacular firework displays, the best barbecue around and festivities like picnics, fairs, concerts and parties to take place on the historical day.
On the red, white and blue holiday, the U.S. eats 150 million hot-dogs – $6.8 billion planned or food overall – $1.6 billion is spent on beer and wine and as far as travel goes, 47 million plan to venture 50 or more miles from home and 26 percent of Americans will purchase patriotic merchandise.
As far as fireworks, Arkansas included, the nation will have more than 16,000 firework displays held on July 4 bringing the total to $1 billion spent on the sky displays, with 40 percent of Americans set to attend those.
Faulkner County Fourth of July event round-up:
• Third annual Independence Day Ride hosted by the Ride. Meet at 8 a.m. at the south parking lot across from Stoby’s Restaurant on Robinson Street. Ride easy through town and once out of town, everyone can ride at their own pace. This is a non supported ride and everyone must know the route prior to the ride. Will meet back at Stoby’s patio for breakfast/brunch after finishing. Patriotic attire is encouraged. View route at www.strava.com/routes/19792131.
• Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre presents, “Romeo and Juliet,” at 11 a.m. and, “Guys and Dolls,” at 2 p.m. in Reynolds Performance Hall and, “The Comedy of Errors,” from 7:30-10 p.m. on the lawn across from the president’s house off Donaghey Avenue on the University of Central Arkansas campus. “Spend your (Fourth) of July holiday with AST, where we have (three) great shows to see with your family. With food, arts and crafts for the kiddos, and boatloads of fun, it’s a unique and fun way to spend your, “Frolicsome Fourth.” More information and tickets at www.arkshakes.com.
• City of Greenbrier Independence Day Information: “The (city) wishes everyone a happy and safe Independence Day.” Public fireworks display starts 9 p.m. July 4 at the Garrett Road Baseball Complex. “Private fireworks may be used in a safe and responsible manner within the city limits” from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 3, 4 and 5. “Under Ord. 14-2018, violations outside of this schedule may be punished with a fine of $150 for each offense. If the (city is placed under a burn ban, fireworks may not be used.) City offices and services closed July 4 and trash and recycling will be suspended. Greenbrier Police Non-emergency number, 501-679-3105.
• City of Conway offices, including the Department of Sanitation main office, recycling center, reuse center and city landfill, will be closed on July 4 and garbage, yard waste and glass collections will be postponed. Both splash pads will be open.
• Mayflower: 6-9 p.m. July 4. Mayflower Football Stadium. “Join us for fireworks, BBQ and games. Happy 4th of July from your Mayflower Chamber of Commerce.”
Other Fourth of July events in central Arkansas:
• Fabulous 4th hosted by the City of Morrilton goes from 5-9 p.m. at the Morrilton City Park at 901 E. Broadway St. “Are you ready for another incredible Fabulous 4th? Make plans to join us for an evening of free food, fun and entertainment.” Add in fireworks, apple pie contest and a U.S. Army National Guard Obstacle Course. Music at 5:30 p.m. Lost Corner Band, 6:30 p.m. Cadron Creek and 7:30 p.m. Akeem Kemp Band. Learn more at www.facebook.com/events/376081023018641/?active_tab=about.
• The annual City of Ward 4th of July Picnic and Fireworks Show will be 4-10 p.m. at the Ward Sports Complex located at 9 Industrial Dr. in Ward, Ark. There will be free hot dogs, hamburgers and water for all that attend as well as live music throughout the day, vendors, a water slide and fireworks display. “This celebration is second-to-none for a city our size. We invite everyone to come out and celebrate our great nation’s 243 years of freedom. We look forward to seeing everyone there.” Admission for the event is free. To learn more, visit www.facebook.com/events/2343909292521603/.
• Fourth of July Greers Ferry Fireworks starts at 11 a.m. at the Greers Ferry City Park located at 1 Park Rd., Greers Ferry, Ark. The event includes bounce houses, water slides, games, vendors and free T-Shirts to the first 250 people. The event is free.
• 18th Annual 4th of July Family Celebration at Sherwood Forest. Going from 6-9 p.m., guests can enjoy free hot dogs and chips, while they last, entertainment and a fireworks display to close out the evening. For info call 501-833-0476. The event is free.
• 36th Annual Pops on the River at the River Market in Little Rock. Be part of a central Arkansas tradition, which goes from 3-10:30 p.m. and includes free children’s activities, a shopping marketplace, food trucks and lots of entertainment – inside the First Security Amphitheater – including a performance by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Around 9:30 p.m. sit back and enjoy a fireworks show. For info, call 501-378-3807. The event is free.
• 43rd Fleet Feet Sports Firecracker 5K. Firecrackers will be given out to the first 50 men and first 50 women who cross the finish line. All kids 12-years-old and under receive a medal. The course begins at Kavanaugh and University and ends at War Memorial Stadium. Race costs $25 until July 2 and $30 July 3-race day. Registration begins 6 a.m., race starts 7:30 a.m. on July 4.
• Big Bang on the Range at Shooting Sports Complex in Jacksonville. Gates open at 5 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m. on July 4. Guests encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for lawn seating and a festive fireworks show. Event will include inflatables for kids and concessions for everyone and is special-needs accessible. For info call 501-241-2441 or visit www.CityOfJacksonville.net. The event is free.
• Fourth of July Fireworks Aboard the USS Razorback in North Little Rock. Event goes from 7-10 p.m., fireworks start at 9 p.m. on July 4. There will be hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and soft drinks available for purchase as well as a donation bar. Tickets cost $10 and kids 5 and under get in free. For info call 501-371-8320.
• Fireworks at Dickey-Stephens Park. Game attendees can watch the Arkansas Travelers take on the Springfield Cardinals at 5:30 p.m. on July 4 at home. Concessions are open throughout the evening. Enjoy the fireworks after the game from the seats at the ballpark. Tickets range from $6-$12. For info call 501-664-1555 or visit www.Travs.com.
• Fireworks at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs Village on July 4. The fireworks will be shot from the middle of Lake Hamilton from barges located on the east side of Highway 7 at the first Highway 7 bridge. Directly opposite from the Clarion Hotel. Show begins at dusk. For info visit www.HotSprings.org or call 501-321-2277. The event is free.
• Fireworks at Magic Springs & Crystal Falls on July 5. Spend a day playing on roller coasters and water slides and then enjoy a fireworks display at dusk. Admission $35.99 in advance. For info visit www.MagicSprings.com.
• Frontier Fourth of July at Historic Arkansas Museum from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on July 4. Celebrate Independence Day as it was celebrated on the Arkansas frontier. Activities include an old-time patriotic parade, 19th century music, free watermelon and cold lemonade and encounters with people from the past. Children can walk on stilts and play other pioneer games, and they’ll be invited to take up brooms and wooden rakes to train with the militia. They will also have the opportunity to create flags, streamers and signs to use in the parade. For info visit www.HistoricArkansas.org. The event is free.
• Fourth of July Activities at Pinnacle Mountain State Park on July 4. Stop by the park for a variety of fun and educational activities. The fun includes a reptile roundup from 9-10 a.m., a hike on the Kingfisher trail from 1-2 p.m. and a time to learn about a view different bugs from 3-4 p.m. For info call 501-868-5806 or visit www.ArkansasStateParks.com/PinnacleMountain. The event is free.
• Red, White & You Picnic in the Park at Hot Springs National Park from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 4. Join this family-friendly, old fashioned celebration in Hot Springs National Park. Food is available for purchase and kids can pay a nominal fee for bounce houses, temporary tattoos and face painting. No charge to attend. For info call 501-538-4547 or visit www.HotSprings.org. The event is free.
• July 4th events at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa on the Quachita Lake begin at 9 a.m. with a patriotic Fourth of July Four Wheeler Parade. After a heart-warming flag raising ceremony with kids, dogs and group singing, the parade rolls through Harbor South and heads to the lodge. At 9:30 p.m., the lake’s largest fireworks display is set to light up the lake with patriotic music. For info call 870-867-2191 or visit www.MountainHarborResort.com.
• July 4th Fun and Games Day at Petit Jean State Park starts at 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Join the park staff at the picnic area for a celebration of our nation’s birthday. There will be a bicycle parade, wheelbarrow race, watermelon eating contest, water balloon volleyball and more. For info call 501-727-5441 or visit www.PetitJeanStatePark.com. The event is free.
• July 4th Island Fest at DeGray Lake Resort State Park goes from 8 a.m to 10:30 p.m. Park guests and community members enjoy traditional Independence Day games and activities, including a watermelon eating contest, water balloon games, a 5K and more. Activities culminate for those 12 and under with an underwater treasure hunt in the lodge pool. The traditional fireworks show lights up the night sky over the lake after dark around 9:30 p.m. For info call 501-865-5810 or visit www.DeGray.com. The event is free.
• Maumelle 4th Fest at Lake Willastein Park starts with the Fourth 4th of July parade at 4:30 p.m. and the cardboard races begin shortly after followed by games, music and more with the fireworks display set for 9:30 p.m. Celebrate Independence Day in traditional Maumelle style. For info call 501-851-6990.
• Independence Day Bash at Holland Chapel Baptist Church in Benton, Ark., goes from 7-9:30 p.m. on July 3 with fireworks set for 9 p.m. Enjoy live music, face painting, a mobile video game station, bouncy houses and prizes for the first 300 kids admitted. For info call 501-776-5900 or visit www.BentonAR.org. The event is free.
• Let Freedom Roar at the Little Rock Zoo. Celebrate Independence Day with special activities at the Zoo, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 4 with special activities beginning at 11 a.m. First meet and greet with a bald eagle at 11 a.m., then head to the front plaza for activities and crafts at 11:30 a.m. and at 1:30 p.m. watch the freedom parade starting at the front plaza and ending at the big cats overlook. Regular admission applies.
• 4th of July Skate at Arkansas Skatium from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 4. Celebrate the holiday with some afternoon fun. Burn some calories in the cool air conditioning roller skating and ice skating. Hot dogs and corn dogs will be sold for only $1. Regular admission and rental fees apply. For info visit www.ArkasasSkatium.com.
• Cabot’s 4th of July Celebration goes from 6-9:30 p.m. July 3. Fireworks show starts at 9;15 p.m. It’s a great time for the whole family in Cabot with live music, face painting, balloon animals, bounce houses, food trucks and a dunking booth to keep everyone entertained all evening. The event is free.