July 4, 2017 Can Include a Combination of Fact, Feasting and Fun!
The birthday of the United State of America as an independent nation is July 4, marking the Continental Congress’ approval of the wording of the Declaration of Independence. Congress declared Independence Day a national holiday in 1870.
There are a lot of ways to mark the occasion, from watching patriotic movies to having a roundtable discussion of what independence means to you, listening to music with an American theme, or attending a local event (see a list of happenings in South Florida, below) to name a few.
Screen scenes to view include:
- “1776” – This historically accurate tribute to America’s Founding Fathers features actor William Daniels as John Adams. The 1972 musical film was based on a Broadway play.
- “Born on the 4th of July” – Tom Cruise starts as paralyzed Marine veteran Ron Kovic, who became an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist following his discharge from the Marines after serving in Vietnam.
- “Glory” – Colonel Robert Shaw is put in charge of the Union’s first all-black infantry in this 1989 film starring Denzel Washington.
- “Independence Day” – Will Smith, Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum, along with the earth’s resilient residents, stand up to an alien invasion in this 1996 sci-fi epic.
- “The Patriot” – Mel Gibson starts as a former war hero who becomes a peaceful farmer, before becoming the leader of a Colonial Militia Group after the death of his son, played by Heath Ledger.
- “Yankee Doodle Dandy”—The 1942 film starring James Cagney as entertainer George M. Cohan, the actor-composer, lyricist, singer-songwriter, playwright known as “The Man Who Owned Broadway,” with song and dance musical numbers.
Sing along to songs that make you feel red-white-and-blue:
- “America” –Neil Diamond
- “America” — Simon & Garfunkel
- “American Pie” – Don McLean
- “America the Beautiful” – Ray Charles
- “Born in the U.S.A.” – Bruce Springsteen
- “Firework” –Katy Perry
- Gold Bless the U.S.A.” – Lee Greenwood
- “Party in the U.S.A.” – Miley Cyrus
- O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” – John Cougar Mellencamp
- “Star Spangled Banner” – Whitney Houston
Local Palm Beach and Broward County events feature fun for the whole family. Spend a few hours or an entire day!
In Boca Raton
Head over to the Sunset Cove Amphitheater, 20405 Amphitheater Circle, for the 10th Annual July 4th Celebration at 5:30 p.m., presented by the West Boca Community Council and the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. A fun zone for kids, concessions, interactive prize wheel, live music by “Gypsy Lane” and fireworks will be featured. Pack a blanket and/or lawn chair to sit on. Call (561) 488-8069 for details.
The annual Fabulous Fourth Celebration at the Spanish River Athletic Facility at deHoernle Park, 1000 Spanish River Boulevard, will feature free family activities like rides, including slides, carnival food and games, food trucks, and toddler center, starting at 6:30 p.m. Hear Classic Rock from the Boogie Brothers at 7:00 p.m. Fireworks are scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Trolley service will be available from the Boca Corporate Center and Campus, and the City of Boca Raton Public Library. Phone 561-393-7995.
Live music, food, local vendors and fireworks display await South Floridians at an All-American 4th of July Celebration from Noon to 9:00 p.m. at Deerfield Beach at the Main Beach Parking Lot at Ocean Way and SE 1st Street. Free shuttle service will be available from Hillsboro Boulevard Bridge. Park for free at the Cove Shopping Center. Log-on to Deerfield-Beach.com/4thOfJuly for information.
In Delray Beach
An all-day cool, classic free July 4th celebration that’s bound to raise your spirits, starts at 8:00 a.m., with a sandcastle-building competition, presented by Rotary Sunrise. There will also be al fresco brunch dining, rock-climbing, bungee trampolines, live music, mini-golf course, a baby bathing suit contest, Kid’s Corner and flag-raising. Location: Atlantic Avenue and A1A. Fireworks will launch at 9:00 p.m., from the north end of the beach. Park at the Robert Federspeil Parking Garage at 22 SE First Avenue, or the Old School Square Parking Garage at 95 NE First Avenue. Call 561-278-0424.
A free all-day celebration will be held on Ft. Lauderdale Beach, along A1A and Las Olas Boulevard. Family activities, including bounce houses, water slides, face painting and games, along with hot-dog – and watermelon-eating contests are scheduled from 1:00-4:30 p.m., and live bands will be playing until 9:00 p.m., when fireworks commence over the Atlantic Ocean. Music on 101.5 LITE FM will be simulcast with the pyrotechnic display. Learn about stress-free parking and shuttle options at FortLauderdale.gov/July 4 or phone 954-828-5363.
The City of Greenacres will host its free annual Independence Day Celebration from 5:30-10:00 p.m. at the Greenacres Community Park, 2905 Jo Road. “Ignite the Night” will feature a “Most Patriotic Costume Contest, rides, games, a stilt walker, arts & crafts, and food vendors, along with music from “The Groove”. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.
In Lake Worth
Annual Independence Day festivities at Bryant Park, 100 S. Golfview Road, start off with a parade at 11:30 a.m., followed by a raft race at 1:00 p.m., and activities that include a car show, kids’ area and bounce house up ‘til 9:30 p.m. Musical groups scheduled to perform include the Gravel Kings, JM & the Sweets, Brothers of Others and Matthew Curry, a blues artist. Fireworks are on schedule for 9:00 p.m. Visit LakeWorth.org or phone 561-533-7395.
A festive fireworks extravaganza on July 4th begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Pompano Beach Fishing Pier at 222 N. Pompano Beach Blvd., with country music’s the “Jamie Mitchell Band”, the warm-up band for “Speakerbox Band”, the Top 40 event headliner. Fireworks will launch at 9:00 p.m. by the end of the fishing pier. Call 954-786-4111 or visit PompanoBeachFl.gov for more information.
A Star-Spangled Spectacular at the Royal Palm Beach Commons Park at 11600 Poinciana Boulevard kicks off at 1:00 p.m., with carnival-style rides, slides and games in a Kinds’ Fun Zone, where the fun runs until 8:00 p.m. Purchase a $10 wristband for each child. Eat from more than 20 gourmet food trucks and view arts & crafts for sale from local vendors. Local musicians will entertain throughout the day; hear “Lazy Bonez” at 6:00 p.m. and “The Boss Project” at 8:00 p.m. Tournaments include volleyball, cornhole and bass-fishing competitions. Rent a paddleboard or kayak. Bring a lawn chair and blankets for comfort. Shuttle service will be available at 4:00 p.m. and after the Zambelli Fireworks International Show, scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Log-on to RoyalPalmBeach.com or call 561-790-5149.
The Wellington Parks and Recreation facility at 11700 Pierson Road will present a Fourth of July Celebration that will feature pie- and watermelon-eating and Hula-Hoop contests, an egg toss, sack races and tug-of-war competitions, bounce houses, face-painting, a petting zoo, food trucks, vendors and free bingo, starting at 6:00 p.m. A Zambelli Fireworks display, accompanied by simulcast music from a Studio 54 Tribute band, begins at 9:15 p.m. Chairs, blankets and drinks may be brought in. Free shuttle transportation service will be available from the Mall at Wellington Green at the Palm Tran bus stop from 6:00 p.m. Phone 561-791-4005 or visit WellingtonFL.gov.
A five-hour outdoor Independence Day celebration from 5:00-10:00 p.m., “4th on Flagler,” at the Waterfront Promenade and City Commons at 101 N. Flagler Drive, will feature two stages of local performances, a military honor ceremony, games, and free kids’ activities. Purchase food and drink. Fireworks over the Intracoastal start at 9:00 p.m. Log-on to WPB.org/CRA or call 561-822-1515.
Whatever you do, have fun, and stay safe!