Celebrate your independence

This Week

With unseasonably cool temperatures forecast through this week, we have a feeling this Independence Day is going to be extra spectacular. Towns across Oklahoma will have their annual July 4th gatherings, but here are a few of the big shows in the area that are worth watching and (in a few cases) listening to. On Wednesday, July 3, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic sets a patriotic scene with Red, White & Boom, a free outdoor concert at Oklahoma State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing Blvd., Oklahoma City. Concert is at 8:30 p.m. with guests Kristy Cates and Steve Blanchard. Fireworks set the night just right. Tulsa’s Signature Symphony brings out the American sound, too, with its annual 4th on the 3rd concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, at the VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education at Tulsa Community College’s Southeast Campus, U.S. 169 and 81st Street South. Head west where veterans are honored during Yukon’s Freedom Fest on Wednesday, July 3, and Thursday, July 4, with dinners, concert bands, a parade, sand volleyball tournament, the OKC Phil, free watermelon and ice cream and a fireworks show and more from 4:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday. Chisholm Trail Park is located at 500 W. Vandament, Yukon.

The City of Edmond keeps up the good times with its famous LibertyFest celebration that continues through Thursday, July 4. One of the country’s top-rated Independence Day festivals (CNN and USA Today), Edmond’s holds its downtown parade (9 a.m.), ParkFest at UCO (6:30 p.m.) and fireworks show (10 p.m.) over the University of Central Oklahoma campus, Second Street and University Drive, Edmond, on Thursday, July 4.

Tulsa celebrates with the spectacular ONEOK Freedom Fest, a multi-venue day of activities for families and all. Look for the big family picnic, activities and music at Veterans Park, 1875 S. Boulder Ave., from noon-9:30 p.m. Thursday, July 4. The children’s bicycle parade will be at 7 p.m. Across the Arkansas River, River West Festival Park, 2100 S. Jackson Ave., kicks-off a night of exciting events at 6 p.m., Thursday, July 4. Look for a rock-climbing wall, tethered hot-air balloon rides, children’s inflatable features and more. There will be remarks and the national anthem at 7 p.m. followed by live music from 7:30-9:30 p.m. by Something Steel with fireworks bringing in the finale from 9:30-10 p.m. Visit www.riverparks.org for information on parking and admission to the reserved Stars & Stripes Pavilion. You’ll also find plenty of music and fun in downtown Tulsa at the Guthrie Green, 111 E. Brady St., as the Starlight Band offers a musical Salute to America, 6-10 p.m. Thursday, July 4, complete with patriotic songs, Sousa marches and a salute to the U.S. Armed Forces. Families and friends should bring blankets or lawn chairs and the pets for this evening that climaxes to a great view of fireworks set to go off over neighboring ONEOK Field following the Tulsa Drillers’ home game against San Antonio. Fireworks are also scheduled following baseball games on Wednesday, July 3, and Friday, July 5 (www.tulsadrillers.com).

Looking for more on July 4?

Spend some time on Grand Lake for the Arts, Crafts, Music & Cajun Festival with Jana Jae and her magic fiddle, a hearty helping of jambalaya and more on Thursday, July 4, in Grove (www.grandlakefestivals.com). Stillwater’s Boomer Blast brings fun to the lake with fireworks at dusk, fishing and water events leading up to them (www.stillwater.org). Jenks America Freedom Fest offers the Sooner Boomfest fireworks show over the Arkansas River along with bluegrass music and food and activities along Main Street, along the RiverWalk and at Oklahoma Aquarium (www.jenkschamber.com). Look north of Tulsa to Owasso’s Freedom Fest at Stone Canyon, 7500 N. 177th East Ave., the third annual festival at the community surrounding the Patriot golf course (www.stonecanyonliving.com). Finally, Bartlesville 4th of July Freedom Fest lights up the night in downtown Bartlesville with a kids’ patriotic parade, a talent contest, water spray and inflatable features, food vendors and more leading to a program honoring veterans and active duty persons in the U.S. Armed Forces that includes a fly-over by the 138th Fighter Wing. Fireworks will begin at 9:45 p.m. (www.bartlesvillefreedomfest.org).