Have a blast on Fourth of July

Members of the First State Corvette Club, Anne and Bruce Cain, ride in last year’s Fourth of July Parade on State Street in Dover. This year’s parade, sponsored by American Legion Walter L. Fox Post 2, will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday.

As the nation celebrates another birthday next week, Delawareans are always up for a party and the state’s towns and cities are ready to oblige.

As has been a tradition for many years, the capital city of Dover will put on perhaps the biggest party around.

The evening’s festivities start at 5 p.m. with free children’s activities on the west end of Legislative Mall, near the Liberty Bell replica and in front of the Biggs Museum with moonbounces, pony rides and petting zoo

The annual parade, sponsored by the American Legion Fox Post No. 2, kicks off at 6. It will include music, marchers, antique cars and more through downtown Dover. The route is along State Street, starting at Hazel Road and ending just past The Green.

Back on Legislative Mall at 7 p.m., the 287th Army Band of the Delaware National Guard performs, showcasing a variety of musical styles and performing in different ensemble arrangements, including brass ensemble, rock band and full concert band.

At 8 p.m., the opening ceremony features a C-17 flyover, pledge of allegiance and national anthem, led by Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen in front of Legislative Hall, followed by fireworks set to this year’s musical theme “Coming To America” at dusk.

In case of rain or high winds, fireworks will be rescheduled for Saturday.

During the day starting at 9 a.m., the Biggs Museum of American Art, at 406 Federal St., and the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. North, will be open.

Sites within the First State Heritage Park, including the John Bell House on the Green, Legislative Hall and the Johnson Victrola Museum, will be holding special programs and giving folks a chance to complete a special holiday scavenger hunt – with new interactive challenges – through Dover’s cultural treasures and win a prize.

Also Thursday, the Delaware Public Archives will celebrate the nation’s birthday with a special scavenger hunt. To participate in the activity, visit the Welcome Center located in the Delaware Public Archives building on 121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. North, in Dover.

The activity can be completed as a team or as an individual. The Welcome Center staff will provide each team or individual with a booklet titled “Can You Find Olde Dover: A Photographic Scavenger Hunt.”

After studying the map within the booklet, participants will need to search the designated area to find the buildings and sites that appear in the booklet. A “selfie” must be taken in front of the location to prove that it has been identified and documented. After the 10 locations have been photographed, the teams return to the Archives to have their pictures checked for accuracy. If all of the locations are deemed to be correct, the team will receive a prize.

Mason Flores of Magnolia waves his American flag during last year’s parade at Dover’s Fourth of July Celebration.

Finally at 2 and 4 p.m. there will be a bell-ringing ceremony at The Old State House on The Green.

The Declaration of Independence will be read aloud from the spot where the citizens of Dover first heard it in 1776.

For more information, visit Dover4thofJuly.com.

If you miss the fireworks in Dover on Thursday or you want to see more, Dover Downs Hotel and Casino will feature a free display for the first time on July 5.

WDSD-FM will be on-site from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will be giving away Six Flags America theme park tickets as well.

Other areas will also join in the fun. All events are Thursday unless otherwise noted:

Bethany Beach

The parade goes from noon to 3 p.m., featuring a variety of floats, bands and organizations.

A concert at 7:30 p.m. by Jimi Smooth and Hit Time kicks of at the bandstand followed by fireworks at dusk.

For details, visit townofbethanybeach.com.

Dewey Beach

Fireworks will be launched at 9 p.m. from the beach and will be seen all up and down the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk and shoreline.

Laurel

From 4 to 8 p.m. around Market Square Park, there will be a parade, live music, vendors, a petting zoo, a clown, a car and truck show, and a Little Miss Independence Pageant (ages 4-7 years old) followed by fireworks at dusk. The rain date for fireworks will be Friday.

Visit TownofLaurel.net for more information.

Lewes

Children’s activities will start at 9 a.m. on Second Street, followed by the boat parade on the canal at 2 p.m., the Doo Dah parade around town at 5 p.m., and then fireworks at night.

Information on festivities, including times, parking information, road closures and detours can be found at www.leweschamber.com,

Middletown

A fireworks display will begin at at dusk at Silver Lake Park. Rain date is Friday. Check out MiddletownDE.org for more information.

Milford

The First Presbyterian Church of Milford will be playing patriotic music on its carillon starting at noon.

Millsboro

On Saturday, there will be a Fourth of July festival at Cupola Park from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

There will be food trucks and vendors and fireworks at dusk. Rain date is Sunday.

The patriotic parade procession around St. Mark’s Episcopal Church labyrinth in Millsboro gets underway at last year’s Fourth of July Children’s Celebration and Parade. This year’s celebration will be at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.

The 13th Annual Children’s Celebration and Parade will start at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the labyrinth of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, located at the corner of State Street and Ellis Street.

Children and often their parents typically dress in red, white and blue while bikes, wagons, strollers and even pets, most notably dogs, often sport patriotic colors in observance of America’s independence.

Following a brief ceremony which will feature the voice of Sussex County’s own Cathy Gorman, children dressed in patriotic colors and costumes will parade on the church grounds to the Parish Hall. Each will receive a special gift for participating.

There’s also a free lunch of grilled hot dogs, chips, desserts and beverages.

In case of rain, the celebration and parade will be held in St. Mark’s Parish Hall.

For more information, contact Gale White at 644-0777.

Rehoboth Beach

On Wednesday, a fireworks display will take place at approximately 9:30 p.m. The fireworks are launched from the beach south of Rehoboth Avenue and visible up and down the boardwalk and beach. Depending on the weather, the fireworks may be launched any time after 8 p.m.

The Funsters will perform on the bandstand from 8 to 9:15 p.m. before the fireworks and then again until 11 p.m.

For more information on parking and road closures, visit CityofRehobothBeach.com.

Smyrna Police enlisted the aid of two children to toss candy from a patrol car to those watching last year’s Smyrna-Clayton Parade. This year’s parade will be on Thursday starting at 9:30 a.m. in Clayton.

Smyrna/Clayton

The day starts with a parade through Clayton starting at 9:30 a.m., kicking off at Clayton Elementary School.

A Fourth of July Baby Contest at North Smyrna Elementary School and a Beard Contest at George C. Wright Municipal Park will both start at noon.

Also at Wright Municipal Park will be the Zerbini Family Circus both Wednesday and Thursday. Show time on Wednesday is 6 p.m. On Thursday, times are 2 and 6 p.m.

Discount coupons are available at area merchants. Two children are admitted free with the purchase of an adult ticket. Cost for the adult is $15. Online tickets may be purchased at www.zerbinifamilycircus.com Camel and pony rides are available one hour before each showtime at an additional charge. A fireworks display begins after dusk at the Little League Park on Duck Creek Parkway. For more information call 302-653-6235.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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