John Adams wrote a letter to his wife on July 3, 1776, the day prior to the Continental Congress adopting the Declaration of Independence, in which he predicted the importance festivals and fireworks would have in future July Fourth celebrations.
Adams wrote, “The day will be most memorable in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations (another word for fireworks), from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.”
Here's where you can celebrate the Fourth of July just like Adams predicted in the metro-east with fireworks, picnics and festivals:
June 29-30 — Caseyville Fireman's Picnic
Friday and Saturday. V.F.W. Park, Caseyville. The Caseyville Fire Department is celebrating its 100th year of service. The picnic features music, rides, games and food. Parade at 6:30 p.m. Friday and fireworks at dusk on Saturday. No coolers or outside alcohol allowed.
June 29-30 — Brighton Independence Day at the Park
Starts at 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Schneider Park, 206 S. Main St., Brighton. The event features a home run derby, hot dog eating contest, carnival rides, live music and more. Fireworks at dusk on June 30.
June 30 — Fourth Fest Celebration in Greenville
Saturday. Downtown square, Greenville. This event features live music, vendors, kids' activities and "Firecracker 4K" at 8 a.m. There will be a parade at 1:30 p.m., Lincoln Portrait unveiling at the Bond County Courthouse at 2:45 p.m., and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. All concerts and inflatables are free.
June 30 — Carlyle Lake "Fireworks Spectacular"
Saturday. Dam West Recreation Area, Carlyle Lake. Activities include games, a sandcastle building contest at noon, and live music starting at 12:30 p.m. Fireworks at dusk. 618-594-2484.
June 30 — Fireworks in Grafton.
9 a.m. Saturday. Grafton Riverfront, west end of Main Street, Grafton. Fireworks begin when the sun goes down.
June 30 — Independence Day Celebration and Fireworks in Edwardsville.
5 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Edwardsville American Legion Post 199, 58 S. State Route 157, Edwardsville. Event features concessions, kids' activities like bounce house and corn pit, food and drinks. Fireworks begin at dusk.
July 1 — 1st MidAmerica Credit Union Fireworks Show.
5 p.m. Sunday. St. Louis Regional Airport, northwest grounds, 8 Terminal Drive, East Alton. Fireworks display will start at dusk. No pets, coolers or individual fireworks are allowed on airport grounds. Event also includes activities for children like horseback rides, bounce houses, games and more. There will be live music at 7:30 p.m. by Slow Down Scarlet. This is the first year the event is sponsored by 1st MidAmerica Credit Union rather than Cornerstone Church.
July 3-4 — Centralia Homecoming Carnival
All day, Tuesday and Wednesday. Fairview Park, 1055 W. Broadway, Centralia. The carnival features games, food vendors, cake walk, parade at 10 a.m. Wednesday and fireworks at dusk on July 4.
July 3 — Alton Fireworks Spectacular.
5 p.m. Tuesday. Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater, 1 Riverfront Drive, Alton. Fireworks begin around 9:30 p.m. Live entertainment from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. General admission is free.
July 3 — Albers Blast-Off Parade and Fireworks.
4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. American Legion Pavilion, Albers. Food and drinks, music by Short Circuit Entertainment, parade at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks show at 9 p.m. Donations for the fireworks show are accepted at the Albers Village Hall.
July 3-7 — Patriots in the Park
6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, 1 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, 1 to 10 p.m. Thursday, 1 to 11 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. Wilson Park, 2900 Benton St., Granite City. Event features food vendors and carnival rides each day, live music, softball tournaments Thursday through Saturday, and fireworks at 9:15 p.m. July 4. Full festival schedule available online at www.park.granitecity.com.
July 4 — Godfrey Family Fun Fest with Fireworks
5 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. Robert E. Glazebrook Community Park, 1401 Stamper Lane, Godfrey. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m. The event includes a Patriot Bike Decorating contest for children ages 5 to 11, dunk tank and more. 618-466-1483.
July 4 — Annual Independence Day Celebration in Troy.
9:15 p.m. Wednesday. Tri-Township Park, Troy. Fireworks start at dusk. The park will have a beer stand and booth selling funnel cakes and soda.
July 4 — Display of Independence Fireworks in Millstadt
Dusk. Wednesday. Millstadt Village Park, Millstadt. In addition to the fireworks, Boy Scout Troop 622 will have nachos and hot dogs available for purchase from 6 to 9 p.m.
July 4 — Fourth of July Celebration, Columbia
11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday. American Legion Park, 375 E. Locust St., Columbia. Event features bingo, Kloepper and washers tournaments throughout the day. Food stands open at 11 a.m. Fireworks begin at dusk. A children's bike parade will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday at Immaculate Conception School to Metter Park, Columbia. The cost to participate is $5.
July 4 — Highland's Fourth of July
4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. Glik Park, 12525 Sportsman's Road, Highland. Free event features food, drinks and inflatables. Fireworks at dusk. Coolers are not permitted.
July 4 — Mascoutah's Annual 'Old Fashioned' July Fourth Celebration
Starts 4 p.m. Wednesday. Scheve Park, Mascoutah. Event features carnival rides, pony rides, food and drinks, crafts, artisans, live music from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
July 4 — Litchfield Firework Display
9:30 p.m. Wednesday. Lake Lou Yaeger, Marina 1, 4932 Beach House Trail, Litchfield. Hosted by the Litchfield Tourism Office.
July 4 — Jerseyville Independence Day Fireworks Display
9:30 p.m. Wednesday. Jerseyville American Legion Fairground, 300 Veterans Memorial Parkway, Jerseyville. Free admission. Information: 618-498-3312.
July 4 — Dupo Fourth of July Picnic
Noon to 10 p.m. Wednesday. Dupo Community Park, Dupo. The picnic features food, rides, games, music and booths. Fireworks at 9 p.m.
July 4, 6-7 — Fair St. Louis.
Wednesday, Friday-Saturday. Arch Grounds, St. Louis. Free admission to live music, a "Festival Zone," "Interactive Zone" and fireworks each evening. More festival information is available online at www.fairsaintlouis.org.
Do you know of a fireworks display going on near you that we missed? Please send information about the firework display including date, time and location to firstname.lastname@example.org.