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Betsy Waters: A festive Fourth of July awaits you and your family in the Bluegrass region


The Fourth of July is a great time to celebrate with family and friends. Many local communities have events planned that are ideal for children and adults alike. Check it out!

Downtown Lexington festivities

Lexington kicks off the day’s events with the Bluegrass 10,000. The wheelchair divisions hit the course at 7:20 a.m., with the foot race starting at 7:30 a.m. The Fun Run starts at 8:15 a.m., and there will be live music at the finish from Brother Barrett & The Barrows from 8–10 a.m.

Following the race the downtown street festival is hopping from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Enjoy live music, vendors and booths set up throughout downtown, and of course there will plenty of food for purchase. The Kids Zone in the Billboard Parking Lot will have free craft activities and usually there are bounce house activities you can purchase tickets for from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The reading of the Declaration of Independence will take place at Main Street and Fifth Third Bank Following the Bluegrass 10,000 Awards Ceremony. Then grab your flags and practice your wave for the parade. It runs from Midland Avenue down Main Street to Broadway and starts 2 p.m.

Enjoy more live music with Central Bank Thursday Night Live at Fifth Third Bank Pavilion at Cheapside Park from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Stick around for the downtown fireworks presented by RJ Corman at 10 p.m. at the corner of Short and North Limestone and children’s free craft activities from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

For more details click here.

Red, White and Boom

This annual concert at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington will be held Friday, July 5. Enjoy a large lineup of musical acts followed by a fireworks display. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the concert kicks off just before 6 p.m. Tickets are $9 and children 12 and under are free. The fireworks are set to start after the last act (around 10:45 p.m.)

See more here.

Festival Of the Fourth in Wilmore

The RJ Corman Festival of the Fourth One-Mile Fun Run starts at 7:30 a.m. with a 5K to follow at 8 a.m. The Wilmore parade starts at 10 a.m. and has a great hometown feel. Immediately following, join in the festival with crafts, kids activities, food and entertainment, a cupcake contest and a spelling bee. For more information click here.

Old-Fashioned Fourth of July in Frankfort

Head to our state’s capital city Thursday for an old-fashioned celebration of America’s 237th Birthday, held from 2-4 p.m. There will be patriotic music, free watermelon slices, a craft for kids, and game on the lawn at Liberty Hall. Enter your red, white and blue dessert for a chance to win a prize in their fourth annual baking contest. For more information, click here.

Scott County festivities

Georgetown is getting the Fourth kicked off with a downtown parade. Join the fun starting at 11 a.m. then celebrate with other events held throughout the day at Brooking Park. Fireworks are set to start at 9 p.m.

Madison County events

Enjoy the Fourth at Lake Reba Park with music, kids activities, and more from 2-10 p.m. The celebration will conclude with fireworks at 10. Parking: $5. For more information, click here.

Woodford County celebrations

Woodford County’s festivities begin tonight, July 3, with Sparks in the Park in the city of Midway from 6-9 p.m. at Walter Bradley Park. Come with a big appetite for barbecue. Children’s games and live entertainment also available. Then celebrate on July 4 at the Woodford County Park in Versailles. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. There will be live music by Eddie Barber and Off the Wagon at 6 p.m. and fireworks at dusk. Cost is $4 per person, $12 per carload, free for children younger than 6.

Jessamine County fun

If you’re just looking to enjoy some fireworks, head to the R.J. Corman property at 1410 Jessamine Station Road. Gates will open at 8 p.m.

Fort Boonesborough State Park activities

Enjoy camping out and celebrating the Fourth at Fort Boonesborough. Celebrations run from July 4 – 8t. There will be patriotic activities, contests, crafts, bingo, free tours, hayrides and a parade. Events are free with camping registration. Call 859-527-331, ext. 234, or visit parks.ky.gov.

Berea celebration

Enjoy a Fourth of July spectacular in the small town of Berea. The celebration starts at 5 p.m. at Berea City Park. Enjoy children’s activities, live entertainment and fireworks, which are set to start at 10 p.m. For more information contact Berea Parks and Recreation at 859-986-9402.

Staying home

If heading out and fighting the crowds isn’t your thing enjoy a night at home with family and friends. Celebrate with red, white and blue foods, set up a lemonade stand and donate proceeds to LemonAid Days, or grab a few small fireworks from a local shop and have your own end-of-the-driveway display. I have many memories of those special nights with family and friends gathered at home to watch someone’s dad light the fuse and then wait to see what colorful magic the little box or cone would create.

I hope you enjoy honoring our nation’s history this Fourth of July and take time to teach your children about the reason behind all the fun!

Betsy Waters was born and raised in Lexington. She spent more than six years teaching elementary school before becoming a stay-at-home mom to her two boys, now 5 and 7. She enjoys working as a preschool director, Sunday school teacher and PTA president. Her passion to get out and enjoy the city with her children led to the creation of her website LexFun4Kids.

To read more from Betsy Waters, click here

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