Technically, the chunk of land around here wasn’t even a part of the fuss in 1776. A small American Revolutionary force “established a claim” in Kaskaskia in 1778, according to www.illinois.gov.
Regardless, we take the right to watch fireworks as if we were really at Fort McHenry with Francis Scott Key himself, and we can celebrate with these five-ish things this weekend.
The Millstadt VFW Post 7980 is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, and is celebrating with music from World War II through Vietnam era. There is no charge for the 7 p.m. Sunday event at Zion Evangelical Church, 117 W. White Street in Millstadt. The second half of the concert will honor the USO, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary.
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Carlyle Lake recreation areas are sporting the “Spectacular Dam Jam” on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
The Sand Castle Contest starts at Dam West Beach with registration at noon Saturday and judging at 2 p.m. Live bands play from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, finishing up with a fireworks spectacular at dusk Saturday.
Water Safety Games and more are Sunday and Monday. Go to www.carlylelake.com for more information.
▪ Granite City is home to carnival rides, concerts, carriage rides at Wilson Park and more — including the all-important fireworks show at 9:15 p.m. Monday at the Coolidge Middle School — for Patriots in the Park this weekend. The fun starts Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 1 p.m. each day; armbands are $22 for four hours, starting at 1 p.m. Go to park.granitecity.com for more information.
▪ Mascoutah’s July 4th Festival is from 4 to 11 p.m. Monday, at Scheve Park in Mascoutah. Features food and crafts booths and softball and kickball tournaments. Don’t forget the rides, kids games, raffle, music and more, including fireworks at dusk.
▪ Caseyville Independence Day Picnic — Opens at 5 p.m. Saturday, Caseyville Park, 40 W. Reynolds St., Caseyville. Music, food, novelties, contests. Corn-on-the-cob-eating contest at 7:15 p.m. Fireworks after 9 p.m.
Outdoor African Village
The Katherine Dunham Museum is hosting an Arts & Entertainment Festival from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at 1005 Pennsylvania Ave., East St. Louis. The Outdoor African Village will showcase talented East St. Louis performers, artisans and vendors. Food vendors available. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. For more information, call 618-219-6482 or go to www.iamestl.com.