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2040704 FireworkThousands of Valley residents will be celebrating America’s 238th birthday this weekend by firing up the grill, going on picnics, setting off fireworks and/or attending parties. Countless others will be gathering up the kids, loading them up in their cars and heading out to one or more of the public celebrations being held within a short driving distance from pretty much any Valley neighborhood.

With municipalities, churches and private businesses from McAllen to South Padre Island putting on Fourth of July celebrations, there will be plenty for Valley residents to do this weekend. Parades, eating contests, concerts, cook-offs and the ever-popular and awe-inspiring fireworks displays are just some of the activities that will be available for Valley residents to attend or participate in this Friday and Saturday.

The fact that admission to most of these events is free of charge makes this one weekend that even the most budget conscious Valley resident will want to know what, when and where the action is going to be.

City of McAllen’s 86th annual Independence Day Celebration

The City of McAllen will be hosting several events in observance of the Fourth of July holiday. For more information about these events, call the McAllen Parks and Recreation Department at (956) 681-3333.

Main Street Parade

Archer Park - 101 N. Broadway, McAllen – Friday, July 4, 9 – 10:30 a.m.

Celebrate America’s independence during the 86th annual Fourth of July parade. Enjoy watching numerous patriotic floats, marching bands and entertainers make their way down Main Street from McAllen City Hall to Archer Park (Houston Avenue to Cedar Street).

Freedom Festival

Archer Park - 101 N. Broadway, McAllen – Friday, July 4, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

With arts and crafts, games, music, concessions and plenty of other fun activities there will be something for everyone at the City of McAllen’s Freedom Festival. Those wanting to try their hand at competitive eating and seed spitting can sign up for the hot dog eating and watermelon seed-spitting competitions by calling (956) 681-3333.

Aquatic Splash Bash

McAllen’s Municipal Pool – 1921 N. Bicentennial Blvd., McAllen – Friday, July 4, 1 – 4 p.m.

Spend your Fourth of July in the pool. Fun for everyone includes games, contests, crafts, music and more. Cost - $2.50 per person.

Concert in the Sky Fireworks Extravaganza

Municipal Park - 1921 N. Bicentennial Blvd., McAllen – Friday, July 4, 9 p.m.

You won’t want to miss the annual Concert in the Sky Fireworks Extravaganza beginning at approximately 9 p.m. at Municipal Park. Listen to patriotic music on local radio stations while watching the fireworks display and enjoy food concessions and kiddie rides in the park throughout the evening.

Calvary Baptist Church Fourth of July Community Tailgate

1600 Harvey Drive, McAllen – Friday, July 4, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen’s Fourth of July Community Tailgate includes food, games, fellowship and a great view of the Concert in the Sky fireworks. Admission is free but attendees should bring their own lawn chairs. For more information, call the church office at (956) 686-4364

Edinburg’s Texas Cook’em 2014

Edinburg Municipal Park - 714 S. Raul Longoria, Edinburg – Friday, July 4 and Saturday, July 5

Texas Cook’em is the Valley’s only International Barbeque Cookers Association (IBCA) sanctioned steak cook off. It features T-bone steak, chicken, ribs and brisket. Join Texas Cook’em for live music, barbeque, a family fun zone and more.

The festivities will begin Friday at noon with the Family Fun Zone and a classic car show. Rattlesnake Republic’s Robert Ackerman will put on rattlesnake shows at 2 and 4 p.m. Live concerts will begin at 3 p.m. and will continue until 11. Saturday’s festivities will begin at 9 a.m. and will continue throughout the day.

Cost is $5 per person (good for both days with bracelet). For more information, call the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce at (956) 383-4974.

Harlingen’s Freedom Fest

Lon C. Hill "Fair Park" - 702 N. Fair Park Blvd., Harlingen – Friday, July 4, 5 – 11 p.m. and Saturday July 5, 6 - 11 p.m.

Hosted by the Harlingen Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, the second annual Freedom Fest will feature two concerts, fireworks, food vendors, kids’ activities and much more. Headliners will be Greg Bates (Country Music singer) on Friday and La Sombra de Tony Guerrero (Grupo Tejano) on Saturday.

Admission is free. For more information call (956) 423-5440.

Brownsville’s Fourth of July Parade

East Elizabeth Street, Brownsville – Friday, July 4, 10:15 a.m. -12 p.m.

Come out and celebrate with your family and friends at the Brownsville Convention and Visitors Bureau’s 14th Annual Fourth of July Parade. The parade will take the same route as the Charro Days parade. For more information call (956) 982-6645.

Brownsville’s Salute to Freedom

Brownsville Sports Park, 1000 Sports Park Boulevard, Olmito, Texas – Friday July 4, 3 p.m. - midnight

The Brownsville Convention and Visitors’ Bureau will be hosting its Salute to Freedom featuring fireworks, live music, food and drinks. Headliners will include Juan Longoria, Jr. (Grupo Norteno) at 5 p.m., Wink’s Wild Horses Country Band at 6:30 p.m., Joe “King” Carrasco and The Connectors at 8:23 p.m. and the Red Velvet Band at 10 p.m. The fireworks show is scheduled to begin at 9:23 p.m. For more information call (956) 548- 6000.

South Padre Island’s Fourth of July Fireworks Display

Laguna Madre Bay, South Padre Island – Friday, July 4, 9:15 p.m.

A barge in the center of the bay will be releasing its payload into the summer night once again this Friday evening for South Padre Island’s annual Fourth of July Fireworks display. With the bright and colorful bursts reflecting off the water, it’s going to be a breathtaking display that will cap off your Fourth of July in a spectacular way.

The best viewing will be on bayside between Palm and Red Snapper Streets. For more information call the SPI Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 767-2373 or (956) 761-6433.

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