AREA – Independence Day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, when the American colonies asserted their independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Though the holiday was celebrated as early as 1777, it was not formally recognized until the Massachusetts state legislature adopted it in 1781. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made it a federal holiday.
Fireworks are a traditional part of Independence Day celebrations. The 36th annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks will be set off from barges positioned on the Hudson River. This year’s “Ignite the Night” extravaganza will feature more than 40,000 fireworks and musical performances by pop star Katy Perry and country star Kenny Chesney. For viewing information and other tips, visit www.macys.com/fireworks
Closer to home, many communities will offer their own fireworks displays as well as concerts, outdoor family movies and other events.
• The Amboys are presenting a joint fireworks display funded by sponsor donations on Tuesday, July 3 at 9:20 p.m. South Amboy will host a free concert at Raritan Bay Waterfront Park, off John T. O’Leary Boulevard beginning at 6 p.m. Package Goods will open the show, followed by Return of the “Bomb Squad” at 6:45 p.m. and Rory Kelly’s Triple Threat at 7:45 p.m. Attendees are advised to bring a lawn chair. Free shuttle service will be provided from the NJ Transit parking lot. For additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-732-727-4600.
Perth Amboy will continue its festivities on Wednesday, July 4, with the ringing of a replica of the Liberty Bell in City Hall Circle, at 260 High Street. Beginning at 2 p.m., the bell will be rung 13 times to memorialize the 236th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
• Carteret’s annual Independence Day festival is on Tuesday, July 3, at Waterfront Park off Peter J. Sica Industrial Highway. Beginning at 3 p.m., enjoy rides, food, vendors and exhibits by local organizations. There will be live music by the Carteret High School Show Band at 5 p.m. and The Nerds at 7 p.m. The fireworks finale will start around 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.carteret.net or call 1-732-541-3801
• Clark’s fireworks show will be held at dusk (approximately 9 p.m.) on Wednesday, July 4 at the Arthur L. Johnson High School field, 365 Westfield Avenue. For more information, visit ourclark.com or call 1-732-388-3600.
• The Cranford Jaycees will again sponsor the annual Firecracker 4 Miler & Fun Run, known as one of the summer’s best road races, on Wednesday, July 4 at Nomahegan Park, 1033 Springfield Avenue. Day of race registration begins at 7:15 a.m., the fun run starts at 8:30 a.m. and the four miler begins at 9 a.m. There is a $22 entry fee for the four mile race and a $7 fee for the fun run. Afterwards, enjoy refreshments, music, and face painting for children. For additional information, visit cranfordjaycees.com
• Elizabeth’s 4th of July Fireworks will start at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Veterans Memorial Waterfront Park at Front Street and Elizabeth Avenue. For more information, call 1-908-820-4222 or visit www.elizabethnj.org.
• South Asian Community Outreach is organizing a 4th of July celebration promising spectacular fireworks at Edison’s Lake Papaianni Park on Wednesday, from 4-9:30 p.m. (Rain date: July 7) For more information, call 1-732-902-2106 or visit www.july4celebration.com.
• Fanwood’s Recreation Department will continue its free family movie series at LaGrande Park, at 2nd Street and LaGrande Avenue. This week’s movie is “Puss In Boots” and will begin at dusk, around 8:30 p.m., on Tuesday, July 3. Bring your own chairs or blankets. For more information, visit fanwoodrecreation.org or call 1-908-370-7092. In case of rain, the movie will be shown on Thursday, July 5.
• Linden will begin its summer concert series with a performance by the Sirius Orchestra, playing a mix of R&B, soul and funk at the Raymond Wood Bauer Promenade, 400 North Wood Avenue, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3. In the event of rain, it will be moved to McManus Middle School, 300 Edgewood Road, Linden. For more information, call 1-908-474-8600.
• Plainfield will hold a Returning Heroes Day parade, concert and fireworks on Saturday, July 7. The parade, to honor area veterans who served in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, will begin at 10 a.m. and will travel from Leland Avenue along East Front Street to Madison Avenue.
At 1:30 p.m., parade attendees can make their way to Cedarbrook Park where they will find a wide variety of entertainment. including live music and a classic car show. At 5:30 p.m., there will be an R& B concert by Howard Hewett and Alicia Myers, followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m. For more information, call 1-908-753-3097 or visit www.plainfield.com
• Springfield will celebrate Independence Day with a concert featuring The 1910 Fruitgum Company and Barbara Harris and the Toys, at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4 at Meisel Avenue Park. There will be a fireworks show beginning at dusk. Starting at 5 p.m., there will be rides and a petting zoo for children. A donation of $5 per person will be collected at the gates, and food and beverages will be available for purchase. For more information, call 1-973-912-2200 or visit www.springfield-nj.us.
• Union Township will start the 4th of July fun with the fifth annual “All American” Soapbox Derby at 10 a.m. on Wednesday on Stuyvesant Avenue between Mountainview and Tyler avenues. The summer concert series will continue with a show by The Classics at 7:30 p.m. on July 4 at Biertuempfel Park on Winslow Avenue off Vauxhall Road. There will be a fireworks spectacular starting at 9 p.m. In the event of rain, the concert and fireworks will be postponed until Thursday, July 5. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. For additional information, call 1-908-686-4200.
• Woodbridge and Royal Albert’s Palace restaurant will present the township’s fireworks display at Alvin P. Williams Memorial Park, off Cliff Road, on Tuesday, July 3. The park will be closed all day; gates open at 4 p.m. Spectators should bring lawn chairs or blankets. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted. In the event of rain, the fireworks will be held on Wednesday, July 5. For more information, visit www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us or call 1-732-634-4500.
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