While sitting in one’s own backyard grilling with friends and neighbors would make for a delightful Independence Day, for those who want to go out and celebrate with the town, the local community offers incredible opportunities.

For those looking to start the party a little early, the N.C. Symphony offers a perfect opportunity on July 1. The symphony will perform its annual patriotic concert in Festival Park as a gift to the community. The free performance will be followed by traditional fi reworks and a silent tribute to veterans with Liberty Luminaries sponsored by the Pilot Club all along Ray Ave. 06-27-12-freedom-rings.jpg

Dunn is also offering an early celebration with their Patriotic Explosion to be held on July 1. Festivities are presented by Central Baptist and will begin at 7 p.m. with music and a dramatic performance by the CBC choir and drama team. There will be free hotdogs and fi reworks at dark.

The town of Hope Mills; however, is celebrating all day on Independence Day. A parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the Hope Mills Municipal Park. The route begins at Hope Mills Middle School and ends at the park. Immediately following the parade, it is time for the annual Party in the Park. The party includes food, games, vendors, live entertainment, cheerleading exhibitions, competitions and of course ... fireworks. Both events are free and open to the public. Find out more at www.townofhopemills.com.

But to no one’s surprise the military provides the biggest celebration, which was recognized as the Best Independence Day bash in the whole of the Southeast by visitsouth.com in 2010, This year’s celebration is sure to please. The gates open at 3 p.m. with Kiddieland and food vendors offering snacks and entertainment. At 3:45 p.m. Tyler Hilton performs, followed by Natalie Stovall at 5 p.m. Then the acclaimed U.S. Army Special Operations Command Black Daggers parachute demonstration team is scheduled to drop in at 6 p.m., followed by a concert by Gloriana. At 7:45 p.m. the senior commander will speak, and the evening portion of the festivities begins with the National Anthem and flag ceremony. A patriotic event of this magnitude would not be complete without a performance by the 82nd Division All American Band featuring the 1812 overture with live cannon fire.

Finally, the evening comes to an end with a spectacular fireworks display, which is scheduled to run from 9:42 to 10 p.m. providing for a long day stuffed with patriotic fun.

For those early birds, an early morning run to honor veterans will be held by the RWB Team. The 4th of July Fun Flag Run will be held on July 4 at 8:30 a.m. at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum. It is unoffi cial and there will be no sign ups. People are encouraged to just show up in patriotic garb and participate to support veterans.

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