Instead of providing the usual midway mark of the workweek, Wednesday, July 4, will see most of the valley off work and enjoying Independence Day celebrations.
Four cities — Ashland, Central Point, Eagle Point and Butte Falls — will host morning parades and the first three will be the scene of fireworks displays in the evening. Lake of the Woods will beat them all to the punch this evening with its annual Fourth of July eve display of fireworks.
The following are some of the highlights of celebrations planned for the Fourth:
Running events start at 7:30 a.m. with a 5-kilometer run for ages 12 and older at the corner of Third and Pine streets, Central Point. A fun run for ages 5 through 12 will follow at 8:45 a.m.
The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at Crater High School and ends at Eighth Street in Central Point. Following the parade, the Henrion sisters will sing the national anthem, and F-15 jets will fly over the celebration.
Craft booths, food vendors, children's activities and live music will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Robert Pfaff Park on Manzanita Street in Central Point.
Bands will perform at various times after the parade at Robert Pfaff Park.
Entertainment and a fireworks display organized by The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County will begin at 6 p.m. at the Lithia Amphitheater at the Expo, 1 Peninger Road, Central Point. Gates open at 5 p.m. Concessions and a beer garden will be available, but no outside food, drinks or alcohol will be permitted. The event will include music and other entertainment, a tribute to veterans, a jet flyover and color guard. The fireworks display will begin at 9:45 p.m.
The theme for Eagle Point's Independence Day celebration is the city's new motto, "Positively Eagle Point."
Events kick off with a Boy Scout breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. at the Eagle Point Grange, located at Shasta Avenue and Main Street.
A 1-mile and 5-kilometer fun run event starts at 8 a.m. Registration runs from 7 to 7:45 a.m. at Bob Moore Park.
Vendor booths will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the park.
Vocalist Frank Ricci will perform on the front porch of the Judge Stewart House on Main Street. F-15 Eagle fighter jets will fly over the celebration from 10:45 to 11 a.m.
The parade starts at 11 a.m. with emcees Stan Deupree and Leon Sherman. Registration for the parade runs from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at the Eagle Point High School parking lot.
Children's activities will be available in the Life Lawn area.
The fireworks pre-show and karaoke event starts at 7 p.m. at Eagle Point High School stadium. Frank Ricci will perform. The fireworks show begins at dusk.
The theme for the Ashland Chamber of Commerce's 2012 Independence Day celebration will be "Freedom to Learn" all day in downtown Ashland. Free shuttle bus service will run from Tolman Creek Road at the Albertsons parking lot to downtown Ashland every 20 minutes from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Running events start at 7:45 a.m. at Gresham and East Main streets.
F-15 Eagle fighter jets will fly over the celebration at 10 a.m. The parade will start at 10:15 a.m. at Triangle Park down Siskiyou Boulevard, and finish on Water Street.
Food, games, arts and crafts will be available from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Lithia Park. Live music performances run from 12:30 to 4:50 p.m. at the Lithia Park bandshell.
Mayor John Stromberg will give a welcome address, and there will be a reading of the Declaration of Independence starting at 1:15 p.m. at the Lithia Park bandshell.
The American Band College fireworks concert will be at 8 p.m. at the Ashland High School football stadium; and a fireworks display viewable from most parts of Ashland will be held at 10 p.m. at the Southern Oregon University athletic field.
A community Fourth of July picnic will be held on the grounds of the former Jackson County Courthouse in Jacksonville from noon to 3 p.m.
The picnic will be a bring-your-own food and beverage event. Picnic tables with tablecloths and chairs will be set up on the lawn with seating for 150 people at a time. The Jacksonville/Applegate Rotary Club is donating use of its large gas grill, formerly used at the Britt Festival, for the event.
The event is open to anyone and not limited to Jacksonville residents.
Picnickers are asked to bring their own table service to help reduce costs, although the city will have items available. Watermelon and bottled water will be provided by the city, Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on the courthouse grounds.
Children's events include a tug-of-war, watermelon eating contest and dunk tank.
The parade, themed "American Pride in Service" will begin at 11 a.m. at Butte Falls Elementary School, 23 Main St., and will travel along Broad Street and around the Ernest W. Smith Memorial Park.
Games, booths and live music by country-rock band The Renegades will be at the park from noon to 3 p.m. The Butte Falls Cafe and Sugar Pine Company Cafe will host outdoor barbecues.
Prospect will celebrate the Fourth with a roasted pig in the ground from noon to 2 p.m. at the Prospect Lions park. The menu will include pork, salad, bread, baked beans, dessert, iced tea and lemonade. Cost is $7 per adult and $3.50 for kids 10 and younger. Call 541-560-3655.
Lake of the Woods
A fireworks display hosted by the Lake of the Woods Homeowners Association will take place at dusk Tuesday, July 3, at Lake of the Woods.
An F-15 flyover will take place at 10 a.m. at the Lake of the Woods Independence Day Celebration.
Reach Nick Morgan at email@example.com.