Local celebrations

Fort Mill will host a July Fourth celebration beginning at 8 tonight at the Confederate Park bandstand on Main Street. Julia Matthews will sing the national anthem, Billy Fox will perform and the American Legion Post 43 will present the flag and later will fire a 21-gun-salute. Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9138 will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Master cannoneers Mike Short and Sam Griffin will fire the cannon at 8:45 p.m. with fireworks at 9. Admission is free. Details, 547-2116.

The McCelvey Center, 212 E. Jefferson St., York, will host its celebration from 6 to 10 tonight, with music, games, food and more. Festivities begin with the 6 p.m. opening ceremony featuring patriotic music from Nightcap and a posting of the colors. For the kids, there will be balloons, bubbles and inflatable games. The Flabbergasters will perform jazz, Big Band, beach, soul and swing music from the '60s to today's hits from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., followed by fireworks. Barbecue plates and hot dogs will be sold by Palmetto Fresh Market and other vendors will provide snacks. Admission is free. Bring lawn chairs. Details, Mary Lynn Norton, 684-3948, ext. 22, or www.chmuseums.org.

Historic Brattonsville in McConnells will host a living history program, "Celebrate American Independence at Historic Brattonsville" from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. The program will honor our nation's birth 1840s style with children's games, cooking demonstrations, musket firings, children's military drills and a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Costumed interpreters will present living history and relive how people in 1840s South Carolina recognized our nation's birth. Admission is $6 adults, $5 seniors, $3 students and free to children younger than 5 and Culture & Heritage Museum members. Details, 684-2327 or visit www.chmuseums.org.

The second annual fourth of July Ebenezer Grill hot dog eating contest will be at 12:30 p.m. today at Ebenezer Grill, 1525 Ebenezer Road, Rock Hill. Those ages 18 and younger must have parental permission. The registration fee is $10. Proceeds will benefit Pilgrims' Inn. The grand prize is a hot dog lunch for two at Ebenezer Boat Landing or $50. For details, call 327-6700.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the city of Tega Cay, and the party lasts from dawn to dusk. Festivities start with the Red, White and Blue Golf Tournament at the Tega Cay Golf Club. Shotgun start tees off at 8:30 a.m. Next up is the land parade from 9 to 10:30 a.m., winding down Tega Cay Drive; grand marshal will be Connie Iwinski, the longest termed Tega Cay resident. The party then moves to Windjammer Park, where family events are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Expect a shuttle ride from Turner Field, followed by a canoe joust from 11 a.m. to noon, the boat parade along Nivens Creek from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and a patriotic presentation by the Carolina Show Ski Team from 1 to 2 p.m. The Tega Cay Lions Club will have its annual fish fry at the golf club pavilion from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The same site will then shift gears to host the Tega Cay City Birthday Party from 8:15 to 9:15 p.m., featuring speakers and patriotic music. Fireworks cap the day at 9:30 p.m.

The Charlotte Knights will have a Skyshow tailgate party at 5 p.m. today, with food sold at the party and inside the stadium. Parking is $5 on the stadium grounds, or shuttles will run from Carolina Place beginning at 4:30 p.m. The Knights play the Durham Bulls at 7:15 p.m.; a VIP area will be reserved for veterans. Jeep will give away Independence Day T-shirts, while they last, and will have a contest to win a new Chrysler/Jeep by guessing a safe combination. Fireworks follow the game, synchronized to a patriotic soundtrack played live in the stadium and broadcast on WBT Radio 1110 AM and 99.3 FM.

Local parades

The Quail Run neighborhood in Rock Hill will hold its annual July 4th parade and picnic today. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. Anyone is welcome to bring their decorated car, truck, bicycle, go cart or lawn mower to the front entrance to line up at 10:30 a.m. Immediately following the parade will be the neighborhood picnic in the vacant lot beside 641 Mallory Drive. Bring your lawn chairs, hot dogs, a side dish or dessert and drinks for your family. Paper goods and trimmings will be provided. Details, Beth Cooper, 981-5185.

The Country Club Estates subdivision south of Rock Hill will have its 53rd annual Fourth of July parade today. The parade will form at 9:40 a.m. at the first entrance to the subdivision; the parade begins at 10. Decorate your car, boat, truck, bike, motorcycle, lawnmower, dog or yourself. Spectators are welcome.

Rock Hill's Johnsonville community parade begins at noon today at 528 Forest Lane, in the Forest Lane and Waverly/Sumter avenue neighborhood near Winthrop Lake. Details, call Mike or Laura Fuller, 327-9306.

Around the region

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden near Belmont, N.C., will host a Heritage Celebration beginning at 2 p.m. today, featuring live music, children's activities, a picnic contest and fireworks. Two stages are planned with entertainment, including the Blue Moon Puppets and Fettuccini Brothers variety act for kids and, for the adults, bluegrass music by The Roustabouts and big brass by The Ovations. Teams of up to 10 people may enter the picnic contest for $25. Register at the Web site, www.DSBG.org or call (704) 829-1252 for details. Garden admission is $10 adults, $9 seniors 60 and up, $5 children 4 to 12 and free for garden members.

As part of Uptown Charlotte's Red, White and Boom fireworks celebration, U.S. Airways will present a Family Fun Fest with family-friendly activities from 4 to 10 p.m. today at uptown's Memorial Stadium, with WLYT (Lite 102.9) and WKKT (96.9 Kat Country) as host radio stations. The event will include stadium and grass seating to watch the 10 p.m. fireworks. The event is alcohol-free; food and soft drinks will be sold. Some streets in the area will close at 7 p.m. for the fireworks show.