From community fireworks to colonial firearms, baseball to baritones, the areas surrounding Lake Wylie offer a plethora of ideas for ways to celebrate July 4. The Lake Wylie Pilot has compiled the following list of weekend Independence Day celebrations:
The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra hosts the final of three Summer Pops 2009 performances July 3 at Symphony Park at South Park. Preludes begin at 7 p.m., orchestra at 8:15 p.m. The "Celebrate America" performance features Albert-George Schram leading the orchestra in patriotic favorites, including "America the Beautiful," "Armed Forces Salute," Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" and Sousa's "Liberty Bell March." The concert culminates in an impressive array of fireworks. 704-972-2003; charlottesymphony.org
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• The Lake Wylie Fantastic Fireworks display begins at dusk, about 9:45 p.m., at Lake Wylie near Buster Boyd Access Area. The shots ring out from Camp Thunderbird, with best viewing from area restaurants. The event is run solely by community donations, which anyone may still help by sending checks to Camp Thunderbird Fireworks Fund, One Thunderbird Lane, Lake Wylie, SC 29710. 803-831-2827; lakewyliesc.com
• Tega Cay celebrates its birthday and the July 4 holiday beginning with the annual land parade from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Tega Cay Drive. The Windjammer Party at Windjammer Park runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., including a canoe joust from 11 a.m. to noon and ski show from 1 to 2 p.m. A boat parade will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. running on Lake Wylie from Nivens Creek to Windjammer Park. The Glennon Community Center then takes over with the Lions Club fish fry from 4:30 to 7 p.m., city birthday celebration 7:30-9 p.m. and a live band dance 10 p.m.-midnight. At 9:30 p.m., a fireworks display begins at the nearby Tega Cay Golf Club. 803-548-3512; tegacaysc.org
• Carowinds presents several activities as part of its Night of Fire Celebration, with fireworks beginning at 10 p.m. Activities include a salute to heroes with the national anthem, special country music performances, a swimsuit contest and live DJ music. Individual day passes cost $39.99 or $29.99 for junior/senior admission, and include an all-you-can-eat patriotic meal from noon to 3 p.m. 800-888-4386; carowinds.com
• The Charlotte Knights host the WBT's SkyShow at Knights Stadium following the Knights game with the Durham Bulls, presented by Jeep. The SkyShow fireworks display includes a Veteran VIP area before the game. Tickets start at $5. 704-364-6637; charlotteknights.com
• Uptown Charlotte brings the noise with Red, White & Boom! 6-10 p.m. at Memorial Stadium, 310 N. Kings Drive, Charlotte, featuring the US Airways Family Fun Festival benefitting Second Harvest Food Bank before the 9:30 p.m. fireworks show. Parking costs $5.
• The Charlotte Museum of History, 3500 Shamrock Drive, offers an Independence Day Afternoon Celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with free admission all day. Activities include colonial games and the summer exhibition schedule. 704-568-1774; charlottemuseum.org
• The U.S. National Whitewater Center events begin at noon with the Red Rocks, Whitewater & Bluegrass Fourth of July Festival. Children may play free in the carnival zone, and adults may try rafting, flatwater kayaking, climbing, a mega zip line and more with a $49 AllSport Pass. Live music, food and family activities will be part of the day, as well as an evening fireworks display. All-day parking costs $5. 704-391-3904; usnwc.org
• Historic Brattonsville opens the home of Dr. J.S. Bratton for July 4. The holiday was perhaps the most celebrated day in 19th century-era America. Activities include historic readings, militia muster and firearms demonstrations, cooking demonstrations and stories from slaves who were denied their own independence. Also included are re-enacting of the American Revolution. Todd Harrington, wet-plate collodion photographer, will demonstrate early photography and staging images to capture this day of celebration. Cost: $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $3 for ages 4-17. 803-684-2327; chmuseums.org
-- compiled by John Marks, firstname.lastname@example.org