Fireworks, parades planned for the Fourth

Fireworks, parades planned for the Fourth

Northern Rhode Island hosts some of the state's most notable Fourth of July activities. Don your red, white and blue, grab a few lawn chairs and head out to celebrate Independence Day activities with your neighbors.

CUMBERLAND

The town is offering not one, but a three-day celebration:

* Wednesday, July 3, 7 p.m. at Tucker Field at the high school on Mendon Road.

The annual fireworks display starts with family-friendly games offered by the Office of Children Youth and Learning. At 8 p.m., the Great Ball Drop will see 500 golf numbered balls released from 25 feet high into a cup. The one that goes in - or is closest - will win the corresponding ticket holder $1,000. The rest of the cash goes to fund youth learning programs. At dusk, the fireworks will begin.

* Thursday, July 4, 9 a.m.

The annual 5K road race begins on Nate Whipple Highway. Runners will circle the neighborhood, finishing at the fire station.

At 11 a.m., the parade steps off from the Massachusetts line on Nate Whipple Highway and proceeds for a mile just past the Lafayette Lodge. Bring chairs and shade umbrellas if you like. Side streets offer lots of parking options - just beware that poison ivy flourishes along the edges.

After the parade, find your way to the Arnold Mills United Methodist Church for chowder and a 1 p.m. concert by the Nightlife band on the lawn.

* Saturday, July 6.

The first-ever Red, White and Blue Music Festival begins at 2 p.m. in the Heritage Park across from Town Hall, corner of Broad and Mill streets. Look for a full program of nationally known musicians who will perform until 10 p.m. Face-painting and a barbecue will be part of the afternoon.

SMITHFIELD

The Town of Smithfield Independence Day Celebration at Bryant University on Sunday, July 7, features an evening of family entertainment before fireworks light up the sky.

The Bryant campus, 1150 Douglas Pike in Smithfield, opens to the public at 7 p.m.

From 8 to 9:30 p.m., the United States Navy Band performs. Fireworks are scheduled for 9:30 p.m.

Personal fireworks, pets and alcoholic beverages are not permitted, but guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

The event is weather permitting. Date is subject to change.

GLOCESTER

Before you head over to the Ancients and Horribles Parade, which starts at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, lace up those running shoes and take part in the town's other Fourth of July tradition.

Road races will begin on July 4 at 9 a.m. on the grounds of Chepachet Union Church, 1138 Putnam Pike in Chepachet.

There are four events: a 5.5-mile race, a 1.75-mile race, a 1-mile race for children 8-12 years old, and a half-mile race for children 7 years old and under.

Register online at www.glocesterri.org by July 1. Registration fees will be paid the day of the race.

Fees were not immediately available, but youths run free and Glocester residents will pay less than nonresidents.

All participants receive a free T-shirt while supplies last.

PAWTUCKET

A three-night fireworks extravaganza, one that brings tens of thousands out with their lawn chairs, returns to McCoy Stadium July 1-3.

The fun kicks off with fireworks after the Pawtucket Red Sox 6:15 p.m. game against Scranton on Monday, July 1.

The bright lights and booming sounds continue on Tuesday, July 2, again following the 6:15 p.m. game against Scranton.

The main event is on Wednesday, July 3, again following the 6:15 p.m. game, when the biggest and best fireworks display is scheduled to go off. Prior to the July 3 game, the PawSox will be hosting a citizenship ceremony for 25 new U.S. citizens.

"One of the things that separates a PawSox fireworks show from any other fireworks show during the Fourth of July week is that patriotic music accompanies the fireworks, a moving experience," said Michael Gwynn, spokesman for the Pawtucket Red Sox.

NORTH PROVIDENCE

The town will hold its annual Independence Day Festivities at Governor Notte Park off Douglas Avenue on Wednesday, July 3, with the big fireworks display set to begin at 9 p.m., according to Mayor Charles Lombardi.

Entertainment, featuring the band Reminisce, will run from 6 to 9:30 p.m., while a food court will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. The rain date is Friday, July 5.

WOONSOCKET

The city of Woonsocket will celebrate Independence Day with a fireworks display at World War II Memorial Park on July 3 at 9 p.m. The park is located on the corner of Rathbun and Social streets. The rain date for the event is July 5.