Although the COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed many large annual Fourth of July gatherings throughout Greater Cincinnati, that doesn't mean communities have given up on celebrating America's independence this weekend.
As a matter of fact, many of the events below reflect what some might believe are the best qualities of the United States — the spirit of its people and their ingenuity.
FIREWORKS AND PARADES
Red, White & KaBOOM!: 10-10:30 p.m. Friday. Harbin Park, Fairfield. Free. Red, White & KaBOOM will once again celebrate Independence Day in Fairfield with a fireworks display from Rozzi Famous Fireworks. Unfortunately, Fairfield is hosting the aerial display a day early and without the usual park festivities due to COVID-19. Rozzi has worked on a special show that will be higher and easier to view throughout the city. www.fairfield-city.org
The BOOM: 9:30-10 p.m. Berachah Church, 1900 Johns Rd., Middletown. Free. Join the residents of Middletown for "The BOOM," a dazzling patriotic pyrotechnic skydiving spectacular that will light up the sky for a celebration of freedom. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
City of Florence presents Independence Day Firework Display: 10 p.m. Friday. Florence Department of Public Service Maintenance building, 7850 Tanners Lane, Florence. The city of Florence will host a special edition of its annual Independence Day fireworks display. The display should be visible for up to two miles away and will be launched from the city's maintenance building instead of from the UC Health Stadium as in years past. www.florence-ky.gov
City of Hamilton Fourth of July Fireworks: 10 p.m. Saturday. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Rd., Hamilton. Free. The city of Hamilton recommends the following locations for the best views: Joyce Park, Miami University-Hamilton's parking lots, Officer Bob Gentry Park, Lodder Park and the BTW Community Center. City officials remind everyone to practice social distancing and to tune into 1450 WMOH for accompanying music. For more information, visit the city of Hamilton's Facebook page.
Fourth of July Fireworks: Starting at sunset on Saturday. Harrison Community Center, 300 George St., Harrison. Free. Weather permitting, Harrison residents are invited to watch this July Fourth fireworks display from the grounds of the community center. Residents are reminded to maintain proper social distancing between families. Also, there will not be family activities. Miss Jacque, though, will perform at 7 p.m. Residents also may watch the fireworks from parking lots of surrounding retail centers. www.harrisonohio.gov
July Fourth"Reverse Parade": 10 a.m.-noon Saturday. Sycamore High School, 7400 Cornell Rd., Montgomery. The city of Montgomery's Reverse Independence Day Parade will take place in the Sycamore High School parking lots. What is a reverse parade, you might wonder? According to organizers, the parade floats will be stationed in a route in the parking lots as motorists drive through the lots to observe the parade. For more information, visit the event Facebook page.
Middletown Rolling Fourth of July Parade: 10 a.m.-noon Saturday. Smith Park, 600 Tytus Ave., Middletown. Free. Middletown's Rolling Parade invites residents to decorate their vehicles and be part of the fun. Lineup for the inclusive parade starts at 9 a.m from the back entrance of the park. All participants are asked to remain in their vehicles during the lineup process and while on the parade route. For more information, visit the event Facebook page.
Edgewood July Fourth Concert: 7-9 p.m. Saturday. Presidents Park, 385 Dudley Pike, Edgewood, Ky. The city of Edgewood will host the band Don't Tell Steve this Fourth of July at Presidents Park. The band will perform at the Madison Shelter. Kona Ice will be serving snow cones during the performance. For more information, visit the event Facebook page.
Independence Day Celebration: 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday. City of Independence, Ky. Free. While the weekend-long festival held at Memorial Park may be canceled due to COVID-19, the city of Independence will host its annual Fourth of July parade from Summit View Academy to the city building starting at 11 a.m. Rozzi will hold its regular fireworks display starting at 10 p.m. from Memorial park. For more information, visit the city of Independence's Facebook page.
Pendleton County Fourth of July Parade: 2 p.m. Saturday. Pendleton County Fairgrounds, 320 Fairground Rd., Falmouth, Ky. This will be a mobile parade with cars, trucks, floats, classic cars, motorcycles, and horses. There will be no walking groups in the parade due to restrictions of COVID-19. Parade participants are asked to not throw candy or prizes to the spectators. Spectators also are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing along the parade route. For more information, visit the event Facebook page.
Metamora Volunteer Fire Annual Fireman's Festival: 3 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday. Whitewater Valley Gateway Park, 19067 US 51, Metamora, Ind. Free. After careful consideration, the Metamora Volunteer Fire Department is going forth with its Fourth of July festival as usual. A traditional parade starts at 6 p.m., Briar Stone Band will perform in the evening and fireworks will begin at dusk. For more information, visit the event Facebook page.
Star Spangled Surprise: 9-11a.m. or 3- 5:30 p.m. Friday. Summit Park, 4335 Glendale Milford Rd., Blue Ash. Free. The City of Blue Ash Parks and Recreation Department will give the community a boost of fun and patriotism to help them celebrate July Fourth at home. Residents are invited to participate in one of two “Star Spangled Surprise” drive-thru pop-up event times and pick up a cooler bag filled with glow sticks, flags, patriotic tattoos, sidewalk chalk, cookies, patriotic props for photos and more. www.blueash.com
2020 Red, Rhythm and Boom: Friday-Sunday. City of Mason. The traditional Red, Rhythm and Boom event will look a little different this year in Mason. While COVID-19 curtailed the community's ability to gather en masse, Mason, in partnership with local businesses, is providing residents and businesses a way to celebrate American independence. Beginning Friday, enjoy patriotic videos and participate in multiple virtual activities planned for Red, Rhythm and Boom and Independence Day Weekend. www.imaginemason.org
Live from Music Hall: A Virtual July Fourth Concert: 7-8 p.m. Saturday. Online streaming event. Free. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic might have canceled the annual July Fourth Red, White and Boom concert at Riverbend Music Center this year but the show must go on. Conductor John Morris Russell and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra will host a virtual version of the concert performed and streaming live from Cincinnati Music Hall. Guest performers will include vocalist Melinda Doolittle, ensemble Over the Rhine, bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers and the U.S. Army Chorus. www.cincinnatisymphony.org