In addition to the "Dancing in the Street" Parade in Mendham Township, NJ featuring Martha Reeves and the Vandellas this year, and the Fourth of July Fireworks event at North Branch Park in Bridgewater, NJ, there are Independence Day celebrations going on all over the Morris County and Somerset County areas. Here are just a few highlights I found online:
Bridgewater Township: Saturday, July 4, 2009. Washington Campground Association's annual one-hour Fourth of July ceremony will take place at 10:00am at the Middlebrook Encampment Site at Mountain Avenue and Middlebrook Road. It will include a retiring of the colors by an honor guard, followed by the reading of the Declaration of Independence by Sallie de Barcza, a direct descendant of John Hancock. 5:00pm North Branch Park on Milltown Road. Family festival with live musical entertainment. Activities include a moonwalk, giant slide and cartoon characters for children, Revolutionary War-period groups and other attractions. Live music will be performed by Bounce Ooolala and Daniel, Shorty Long and the Jersey Horns and Fortune. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. For all the details, check online (somersetcountyparks.org) or call (908) 722-1200, ext. 225.
Chatham: Chatham Borough's annual Fourth of July parade begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday on Hillside Avenue and continues down Main Street to Chatham Middle School, 480 Main Street. A picnic on the school grounds begins after the parade, with hot dogs and other refreshments. Fireworks are scheduled at dusk. For more information, please call (973) 635-9090.
Chester: The West Morris Community Band presents an Independence Day weekend concert at Chubb Park (off Routes 24 and 206) on Friday, July 3rd at 7:00 p.m. For details please call (908) 879-5100. On Saturday, July 4th, an Independence Day celebration will take place from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at Cooper Mill on Route 513. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and blanket or folding chair. Admission is $3, $2 for seniors and $1 for ages 4-16. Call (908) 879-5463.
Denville: A Fourth of July band concert will kick off activities at Gardner Field, just off Route 46 West at Savage Road from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by fireworks. Call (908) 964-0026.
Dover: Holiday activities begin with food, refreshments and musical entertainment by Tropical Storm at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 3rd on Hamilton Field, 302 E. McFarlan Street at Route 46. Fireworks start at 9:45 p.m. For more information, please call (973) 366-2200.
East Hanover: Festivities begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 4th, in Lurker Park on Eagle Rock Avenue including children's rides, pony rides, food, refreshments, DJ music and games. At 8:00pm, Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra will perform, followed by fireworks at dusk. Call (973) 428-3091 for details.
Flemington: The Flemington-Raritan Recreation Committee will sponsor fireworks at the Reading-Fleming Intermediate School on Allen Street at dusk Friday. Call (908) 284-7501.
Florham Park: Independence Day events begin with a flag-raising ceremony at Firehouse No. 1 on Brooklake Road at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 4th. A parade steps off at 9:30 a.m., rain or shine, at Ridgedale Avenue and Brooklake Road. A family picnic will be held on the borough hall lawn at Ridgedale Avenue and Elm Street from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with children's rides, games, pony rides, a petting zoo and the Saint Barnabas "Fire Safety House." Fireworks are scheduled for about 9 p.m. Look online (www.fpjuly4th.com/schedule.html) for more details.
Franklin Township (Somerset County): Food vendors, inflatable children's amusements, crafts, games and a clothesline arts exhibition will take place at the municipal complex, 475 DeMott Lane in Somerset, from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, followed by fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Parking will be available at the Sampson G. Smith School. Call (732) 873-2500.
Glen Gardner: There will be firetruck rides for children Saturday in celebration of Independence Day. The first truck will depart Glen Gardner Borough Park at School Street and Hampton Road at 10 a.m. and rides continue until noon. Call (908) 537-2370.
High Bridge: In addition to hosting its sixth annual traditional Fourth of July celebration Saturday at the Solitude House Museum, 7 River Road, High Bridge will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Lake Solitude Falls. There will be free food, including hot dogs, soda, ice cream, popcorn and snow-cones, and entertainment by Billy D. Hunter. The High Bridge Mini-Historians will read their compositions from this year's competition. Call (908) 638-3200.
Lebanon: The 62nd annual Lebanon Borough Fourth of July parade will kick off 10 a.m. Saturday with a theme of "Many Faces, One Nation." It will run from Main Street to Myrtle Avenue, then down Brunswick Avenue, Beforehand, there will be a baby parade at 9:30 a.m. on Sutton Place, and a "Borough Students of the Month" presentation at 9:50 a.m. in Holjes-Sheppard Park, 6 Maple St. behind Lebanon Borough Elementary School. Call (908) 236-8464.
Lincoln Park: Paired with the grand opening of the Jerry and Dolores Turco Medical Rehab Center, the Lincoln Park Care Center at 499 Pine Brook Road will host a variety of activities 6 p.m. Saturday, including carnival games, pie-eating contests, a moonwalk, an "Elmo & Friends Revue," an obstacle course, face-painting, watermelon-eating and hula hoop contests, rock climbing, balloon-making and a DJ. Foods will be available, and fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. Call (973) 696-3300.
Mendham Township: Saturday, July 4, 2009, 9:00am. "Dancing in the Street" parade down Main Street in Brookside.
Morristown: A Fourth of July celebration is scheduled to begin noon on Saturday, July 4th, at Washington's Headquarters Museum in Morristown National Historical Park, 30 Washington Place. Stories, riddles, jokes and an inspection of the troops will precede a reading of the Declaration of Independence at 1p.m. Costumed park rangers will denounce tyranny and praise liberty, and the festivities will conclude with celebratory musket volleys. Call (908) 879-5463. Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, 73 Kahdena Road, will host a patriotic celebration from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 5th, with old-time games. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lunch. Admission is $6; $5 for seniors; $4 for ages 4-16; $2 for ages 2-3. Call (973) 326-7645.
Mount Arlington: A fireworks display over Lake Hopatcong will begin at dusk Thursday, sponsored by the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club, 75 Bertrand Road. Call (973) 398-4324.
North Plainfield: The 4th of July Parade begins at 10:00am on Saturday at Wilson Avenue and Greenbrook Road and ends at the North Plainfield Community Center on Clinton Avenue. The honorary grand marshal is the North Plainfield Volunteer Rescue Squad, celebrating 60 years of service. Call (908) 769-2902 for detais. On Sunday, July 5th, there will be a concert by Mylan starting at 7:30 p.m. at West End School, with fireworks to follow at dusk. Call (908) 769-2900 for more informations.
Parsippany: The annual Parsippany fireworks display will take place at dusk Saturday at Parsippany Hills High School, 309 Baldwin Road. Call (973) 263-7001.
Randolph: Randolph's annual Independence Day parade will be held at noon on Friday, July 3rd, beginning at Dover Chester Road and Randolph Avenue and marching to the County College of Morris. It will be followed by a Freedom Festival Fair from 2 to 11 p.m. at the college. The fair will continue on Saturday, from 2 to 11 p.m., with fireworks set to begin at 9:45 p.m. Call (973) 442-7608. Nash Dancenter at 10-12 Emery Ave. will host a Fourth of July party with a picnic-themed ballroom and Latin dance social 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday. Participants are invited to dress in casual red, white and blue clothing. Admission is $20. Call (973) 328-7979.
Somerville: Somerville, where Roxy went to high school way back when, marks the 100th anniversary of its historic courthouse from noon to 4 p.m. on Friday, July 3rd with music, children's games and entertainment, all part of an event called Picnic on the Green. The courthouse is at 20 N. Bridge St. Call (908) 231-7110 for details.
If any of you Roxiticus Desperate Housewives out there attend these events, we hope you'll come back here and share a comment with the rest of us. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!