There is nothing more American than celebrating Independence Day with fireworks, food and fun.
Throughout the Three Rivers Edition coverage area, cities and communities will host events to recognize July Fourth.
In Fairfield Bay, the Fairfield Bay Marina hosts a fireworks show over the water. Each year, the marina sells tickets for the 60 seats on the Veterans Barge for a full barbecue meal and the best seats in the house.
“The city actually built the Veterans Barge — that’s what they named it — years ago, but they couldn’t afford or couldn’t get the liability insurance,” marina manager John Conry said. “That’s when we got it, and we use it for stuff like this, or we rent it out throughout the year.”
Conry said the tickets are just about sold out, and those 60 people are going to have a great time on the Fourth of July.
“We position the barge in the best place to see the fireworks,” he said.
Those who don’t have seats on the Veterans Barge will still have a great time watching the fireworks from the water or land near the marina, Conry said.
“They can come down to the marina,” he said. “There are all sorts of places they can watch the show.”
The fun won’t stop on Wednesday, though.
“We expect less of a crowd this year on the Fourth because it’s on a Wednesday, and people need to go to work on Thursday, but we’re expecting a bigger crowd on the weekend,” Conry said.
The Independence Day celebrations will end Saturday with a concert by the rock band Six Ways From Sunday.
The same Veterans Barge that will be used Wednesday at the fireworks show will be turned around and made into a floating stage for the band. The concert will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday.
For more information on Wednesday’s fireworks or Saturday’s concert in Fairfield Bay, find Fairfield Bay Marina on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FairfieldBayMarina.
Closer to the middle of the state, the loud noises coming from the Jacksonville Shooting Sports Complex the evening of July Fourth won’t be from gunfire. The shooting range will be the location for the Big Bang on the Range Fireworks Show, hosted by Jacksonville Parks and Recreation.
“We’ve done the fireworks there for five years,” said Marlo Jackson, marketing manager for Jacksonville Parks and Recreation. “It was done by another group before that, and they did it at the high school stadium. The range is a great place for us to do it now.”
Gates will open at 6 p.m., and fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m.
Guests are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets for the fireworks show. There will be inflatables for the kids, and concessions will be sold.
“We’re going to have concessions, including Kona Ice, hamburgers, hot dogs and barbecue,” Jackson said. “It’s going to be a good gathering for people to come together.”
Jackson said there is talk of expanding the event in the future, but this year’s Big Bang on the Range Fireworks Show will provide all the family fun for which the holiday is known.
“Plus, folks will have a front-row seat to the fireworks,” she said.
The event also allows people to tour the shooting range and see what it has to offer.
Call (501) 982-4171 or visit www.cityofjacksonville.net for more information.
Following is a list of other Independence Day celebrations happening this week in the Three Rivers Edition coverage area:
The Greers Ferry City Fireworks, hosted by the Greers Ferry Chamber of Commerce, will take place at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Greers Ferry City Park. There will be free hot dogs, as well as arts-and-crafts vendors. For more information, call (501) 825-7172.
The 2018 Fireworks Extravaganza in Heber Springs will take place Tuesday at Sandy Beach on Greers Ferry Lake. The day will begin with the gates opening at 10 a.m. People can arrive by boat or by car for a day of fun before the live music, provided by the 106th Army Band Charlie Rock, at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks over the lake at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free, but there is a $10 parking fee for those arriving by car. For more information, find the Heber Springs Area Chamber of Commerce on Facebook at www.facebook.com/heberspringschamber.
Pangburn City Park will be the location for the Pangburn Fourth of July Celebration from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday. The schedule for the day includes a parade, a horseshoe-pitching contest, free barbecue dinners, the Luke Williams Band and fireworks. Call (501) 728-4611 for more information.
The city of Ward will celebrate Independence Day on Wednesday with the annual Fourth of July Picnic and Fireworks Show at the Ward Sports Complex, 9 Industrial Drive. The event will take place from 4-10 p.m., with free hot dogs, hamburgers and water. There will also be live music, vendors and a water slide. For more information, visit www.wardparksandrec.com or call (501) 843-7686.
Cabot will make use of the Cabot Sportsplex at 1245 Bill Foster Memorial Highway for the city’s July Fourth celebration. The free event will take place from 6-9 p.m. and will include face-painting, a dunking booth, inflatables, concessions, live music by the Steve Hester Band and, of course, fireworks at the end of the evening. For more information, find Cabot Parks & Recreation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cabotparks.