Starting the Fourth with a Bang:
Vestavia Kicks Off Independence Day Celebrations
By Keysha Drexel
The Vestavia Hills Parks and Recreation Department and the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce will kick off Independence Day celebrations in the Over the Mountain and surrounding areas.
Events this year will include fireworks shows, historical re-enactments, wine tastings, free concerts and more.
The 32nd annual “I Love America” Summer Celebration Series in Vestavia Hills starts on July 3 with free swimming at Wald Park on U.S. 31 from 6-7:30 p.m. and children’s activities presented by Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church from 6-8 p.m.
There will also be a business expo from 6-8 p.m. on July 3.
The Shades Mountain Baptist Church Orchestra will present “Pops in the Park,” a concert of patriotic and pop favorites, at 7 p.m.
A movie showing of the family-friendly film “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” begins at dusk, about 8 p.m., capping off the first day of the Independence Day celebration.
The second event of this year’s “I Love America” series is Aug. 16 at Wald Park. The August event will include free swimming from 6-7:30 p.m. and a business expo and children’s activities from 6-8 p.m.
At about 8 p.m., the movie “The Croods” will be shown.
For more information on the “I Love America” Summer Celebration Series, visit www.vestaviahills.org or call 823-5011.
Additional Fourth of July celebration events in the area include:
32nd Annual Peavine Falls Run
July 4, 6:30 a.m.
Oak Mountain State Park
The Birmingham Track Club will present the 32nd annual Peavine Falls Run on July 4 at Oak Mountain State Park. The 8.2-mile out-and-back run starts at the Dogwood Pavilion and runs 3.5 miles to the Peavine Falls parking lot. The return trip is on the same road but takes a scenic 1.2-mile single track detour back to the picnic area. The race begins at 7 a.m. Walkers are also welcome and will start at 6:30 a.m. Admission is $10. Oak Mountain State Park is at 200 Terrace Drive in Pelham. For more information or to register for the run, visit www.birminghamtrackclub.com.
With photos special to The Journal
The Independence Day celebration at American Village in Montevallo will conclude with a fireworks show.
Fourth of July festivities at American Village include re-enactments of historical events. Here, an actress portrays Abigail Adams in the Oval Office.
An actor portrays Thomas Jefferson at the American Village in Montevallo.
Celebrate Independence Day 1776
July 4, 11 a.m.
Take a trip back in time this Fourth of July by celebrating Independence Day at American Village in Montevallo. The Celebrate Independence Day 1776 event runs from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on July 4. Gates open at 11 a.m., and events begin at noon. Full Moon BBQ and other vendors will offer food for sale. Throughout the day, costumed historical interpreters will tell the story of the nation’s founding. There will also be Revolutionary Army drills and a chance to play 18th-century games. The event ends with a fireworks show at 9 p.m. Admission is $5 but free for ages 4 and younger, active military personnel and veterans. American Village is at 3727 Highway 119. For more information, visit www.americanvillage.org or call 665-3565, extension 1301.
Fourth of July Festival
July 4, 5:30-9 p.m.
The City of Homewood and the Homewood Parks and Recreation Board will celebrate the Fourth of July in downtown Homewood from 5:30-9 p.m. Downtown area streets will be closed to vehicles to make way for pedestrian traffic. The event will include inflatables and rides for children of all ages, DJ music and other activities. Admission is free, but wristbands for unlimited rides must be purchased for rides and attractions. Proceeds will benefit the Homewood High School Band as it prepares to perform in the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade in California. For more information, contact Rusty Holley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo special to The Journal
Three on a String will perform at Hoover’s Freedom Fest on July 4.
July 4, 5-10 p.m.
The City of Hoover will present a free Fourth of July celebration for the whole family with Freedom Fest at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The event is from 6-10 p.m. on July 4. Gates will open at 5 p.m. There will be a car show in the stadium parking lot. Music by several performers, including Three on a String, will be from 6-9 p.m. A fireworks show begins at 9 p.m. Concession stands will be open for food purchases. For more information, visit www.hooveral.org or call 739-7361 or 739-7362.
Photo special to The Journal
Cutline: Dense Gainey will perform at the UAB Summer Band Independence Day Concert at Bartow Arena Park.
UAB Summer Band Independence Day Concert
July 4, 7:30 p.m.
Bartow Arena Park
The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Summer Band will perform a free Fourth of July concert at 7:30 p.m. on July 4 at Bartow Arena Park. The band will perform patriotic standards and favorites, show tunes and Broadway classics. The UAB Summer Band includes adult amateur musicians from various professions as well as current UAB student musicians, faculty members and area professionals who come together each year for the July 4 concert. This year’s concert will feature Antoinette Sands, vocalist, and Denise Gainey, clarinetist. Those attending will have the chance to conduct the band playing “Stars and Stripes Forever” for the grand finale. The concert will be conducted by UAB Music’s Sue Samuels, director of bands. Concert-goers should bring their own blankets and chairs. For more information, visit www.uab.edu/music or call 934-7376.
Thunder on the Mountain
July 4, 9-9:30 p.m.
Vulcan Park and Museum
Thunder on the Mountain will once again illuminate the skies above Vulcan. Free to the public, this year’s fireworks show will last about 20 minutes and include a variety of firework shells that will brighten the sky with new colors and patterns. The show will be choreographed to a musical soundtrack featuring a mix of patriotic favorites and popular musical performances. Prime viewing locations include Five Points South, Homewood, Vestavia, Mountain Brook and the UAB campus. Organizers are advising spectators to stake out a viewing point well in advance of the 9 p.m. show. For more information, visit www.visitvulcan.com.
SE Outings Potluck Dessert Get-Together
Bartow Arena Park
Southeastern Outings will hold a potluck dessert get-together in Bartow Arena Park following the UAB Summer Band’s Independence Day Concert and the Thunder on the Mountain fireworks show. Those attending are encouraged to bring a friend, a dessert and non-alcoholic drinks. Southeastern Outings will provide plates, napkins, forks and spoons. This is a free event. For more information, contact Dan Frederick at email@example.com or at 631-4680.
July 4, 8 p.m.
The City of Chelsea will hold its seventh annual Big Kaboom Fireworks Celebration. The event will feature entertainment by local musical artists starting at 8 p.m. and fireworks at the Chelsea Park subdivision and Chelsea water tower starting at 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.cityofchelsea.com or call 678-8455.
Music and Fireworks in the Vineyards
July 4, 6-9:30 p.m.
Morgan Creek Vineyards and Winery
Morgan Creek in Harpersville will host Music and Fireworks in the Vineyards July 4 from 6-9:30 p.m. The event will include live music by local performers. Tours and wine tasting will be available, but the event is family-friendly. The celebration will end with fireworks at 9 p.m. Those attending may bring picnic baskets, blankets and lawn chairs. Morgan Creek Vineyards and Winery is at 181 Morgan Creek Lane in Harpersville. For more information, visit www.morgancreekvineyards.com or call 672-2053.
Fourth of July Crafts
July 5, 10 a.m.
Oak Mountain State Park
Independence Day fun continues on July 5 at Oak Mountain State Park with flag making and a Fourth of July crafts session. The 10 a.m. event is free after park admission, which ranges from $1-$3. The event will be held at the campground pavilion. The park is at 200 Terrace Drive, Pelham. For more information, call 620-2520.