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4th of July Fireworks and Fun!

Kathi Caldwell-Hopper - June 25, 2012

If you are lucky enough to be vacationing in the Lakes Region during the Fourth of July week, you are in for a treat. There are many parades and fireworks, not to mention concerts, barbecues and other fun activities in the area, and many are free of charge.

Weirs Beach is the place to be on July 3, when fireworks light up the sky at midnight. Before the fireworks, there is plenty to do in Weirs Beach, where the M/S Mount Washington boards passengers for daily lake tours. There are many restaurants and shops and arcades, as well as the wonderful beach.

For a good, old-fashioned parade, head to Laconia for the annual Independence Day Parade held this year on July 4. The parade forms at Wyatt Park at 3:30pm and winds to Opechee Park where vendors and activities will offer family fun. Fireworks end the day with a great display at 10pm. The rain date for fireworks is July 7. Two bands will be playing during the Lake Opechee festivities starting at 5:30pm: Living on a Bad Name, a Bon Jovi tribute band and the popular Eric Grant Band.

On July 7, there will a Fourth of July parade in downtown Bristol starting at 10am, sponsored by the Bristol Lions Club. Fireworks illuminate the sky over Kelley Park on July 7 at dusk. (Plan to be back in Bristol on July 9 for the Kelly Miller Circus at Kelley Park at 4:30 and 7:30pm.)

Alton Bay is the place to be for great Fourth of July festivities. The Bay area is alive with fun on July 3, with a bandstand concert at 7pm in Alton Bay. The band is East Bay Jazz Ensemble. Bring a chair, a blanket and a picnic supper to enjoy during this free concert. A great fireworks display begins at dusk over the Bay. The rain date for the fireworks is July 8. Call 875-0109 for further information.

Center Harbor has many Fourth of July activities, beginning with the 34th Annual Road Race and Fun Run on July 4. Call Sandy Frost, Parks and Recreation Director at 455-1632 for registration information. The race begins at 10am.

At 2pm on July 4, the annual parade comes to Center Harbor, starting at Chase Circle and going to the downtown area. A free band concert at the Center Harbor bandstand with music by the Center Harbor Town Band starts at 7pm. Bring a picnic, a blanket or lawn chairs for an evening of entertainment, culminating with a fireworks display at dusk over Center Harbor Bay.

On July 4, there will be an Independence Day Parade in Moultonborough. The parade forms at Moultonboro Central School and goes on Rt. 25 to the Lion’s Club on Old Rt. 109. The parade will feature floats, marchers, children’s bicycles, and other categories. After the parade, there will be a barbecue at the Lions Club.

If you like a good book, get in line early for Moultonborough Library’s annual book sale, taking place on July 7 and 8. This is one not to miss! The sale will be held in the library parking lot from 9am-5pm. Paperbacks and hard covers will be on sale. Call the library at 476-8895 for details.

When it comes to celebrating the Fourth, no one does it better than those who plan the festivities in Meredith. Plan to attend the American Legion barbecue at Hesky Park; also in the park you can enjoy a Fourth of July concert at 7pm featuring Occasional Brass and Strings and Amy McCabe. Bring lawn chairs and enjoy the show, then stay for the fireworks!

The fun and popular Rubber Duckie Race takes place at the Inns at Mill Falls in Meredith on July 4. You can get tickets via the Lions club; call 279-6016.

Fireworks begin at dusk over Meredith Bay on July 4, ending a fabulous day of fun.

For old-fashioned farm fun, head to the NH Farm Museum on Rt. 125 in Milton for their Fourth on the Farm event held on July 4 from noon to 4pm. The old-fashioned Independence Day event offers strawberry shortcake with homegrown strawberries, music and a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Visitors can play croquet on the lawn, and tour the historic farmhouse, as well as visit farm animals. Call 652-7840.

Ossipee has a full schedule of activities planned for the Fourth of July (the holiday falls within the many activities for Ossipee Old Home Week). On July 2, the East Bay Jazz Ensemble will perform in Veteran’s Memorial Park on Main Street in Center Ossipee. The concert is free. An Art Show takes place, also on July 2, from 5:30-8:30pm at the Town Hall.

On July 3, the Norman Magic Experience comes to the Ossipee Town Hall at 10:30am.  The show is free and open to the public.

The 4th of July parade takes place in Center Ossipee on July 4 at 10am. At 11am the Family Fun Fair offers a flea market, live music, kids’ games, a horseshow tournament and more. The fair takes place on Dore Street in Center Ossipee.

Fireworks end the day in Constitution Park off Rt. 25 in Center Ossipee at dusk on July 4; from 5–10:30pm, there will be food and music in the park. Rain date is July 5.

An Independence Day Celebration takes place in Wolfeboro on July 4 at the Cate Park bandstand in the downtown dock area. A band will perform at 7:30pm; the concert is free. The parade will be held on July 4 at 10am and will travel down Main St. Fireworks will begin at dusk over Wolfeboro Bay. Call 569-2200.

Many people say that the fireworks display in Ashland is the best anywhere; if you are heading to the area for the display, plan to spend the weekend in town for some great holiday events. On July 3, the fun begins at the Ashland Ballfield at 5pm, with fireworks to follow at dusk. On July 4, there will be a pancake breakfast at the Common Man restaurant on Main St. at 8am. Following this there will be a traditional parade on Main St. at 10am.

Also in Ashland, stop by the Library Book Sale, Bake Sale and Silent Auction on July 7 from 8am–2pm at the Ashland Town Library on 41 Main Street.

Waterville Valley will celebrate the holiday with an Independence Day Family Festival on July 4 at the Town Square area. On July 4 at 11am, the community holds its traditional 4th of July parade. There will be a concert with the Josh Logan Band on July 4 at 6:30pm and fireworks end the weekend of celebrations on July 4 at 9:30pm. Call 236-8175.

Get crafty at the 41st Annual Gunstock Summer Craft Festival at Gunstock on Rt. 11A in Gilford. The event takes place June 30, July 1 and 2, and features over many juried artisans in wood crafting, photography, fine jewelry, glass, knits, pottery and much more. The event is held rain or shine; the event starts at 10am daily. Call 293-4341, or visit

A Fourth of July Celebration will be held at Steele Hill Resort in Sanbornton on July 4. It’s a great chance for the entire family to celebrate with food and a wonderful fireworks display. The fun begins at 4pm and runs until the evening fireworks. Call 524-0500 for information on the celebration.

The Gilmanton 4th of July Association invites the public to an array of entertainment and celebrations. The day of July 4 begins with a fun parade at 10am. Following the parade, there will be socializing, demonstrations and food on the Academy Grounds in downtown Gilmanton.

Crystal Lake Park opens at 6:30pm and fireworks light up the sky at dusk. 

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