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Gazette file photo.

From Stillwater to Marine, check out some of the Independence Day festivities going on in the St. Croix Valley.

Stillwater

The City of Stillwater’s fireworks display over the St. Croix will be visible from anywhere downtown. The fireworks are musically choreographed and begin around 10 p.m.; if you can’t catch the broadcast in Lowell Park, it will be simulcast on WDGY FM Radio. Both Pioneer Park and Lowell Park will have live music throughout the evening leading up to the display.

Light a Spark at the Stillwater Public Library offers a fantastic view that benefits the community. The celebration takes place on the library’s rooftop terrace and will feature live music and entertainment (including a magician), plenty of activities for kids, small bites from Scheel’s Catering, and of course a panoramic view of the fireworks over the St. Croix River. Tickets cost $50 for adults and $25 for children (those under the age of 5 are free). Additionally, $10 from each adult ticket sale are tax-deductible. Visit stillwaterpubliclibraryfoundation.org/light-a-spark/ to find out more.

Afton

For some family-friendly fun, check out Afton’s Fourth of July Parade and Celebration. Kids can decorate their trike or bike for judging before the parade at 11 a.m.; then the whole family can settle in to wave at passing floats, including this year’s grand marshals, Afton community members Brad and Shelly Holz. The parade will begin at 12:30 p.m. then make its way down Main Street. The River City Drum and Bugle Corps will be performing during the parade. After the main event is over, you can head to Afton’s Town Square Park, where there will be food, crafts, and a beer tent, as well as music and a bounce house for kids.

When you’re not participating in parade festivities, there are plenty of other things to do around town; for lunch or dinner, choose between Current Restaurant or Afton House Inn, or patio seating and entertainment at Swirl Wine Bar. Free trolley rides down Main Street will be running from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Full event information is available at aftonparade.com.

Lake Elmo

Lake Elmo will host its 31st annual 4th of July Kids Parade. The parade begins at noon at Lake Elmo Ave. and 32nd Street, and will end at Lions Park. Ice cream will be donated and served by the Lake Elmo Rotary. Try to dunk Lake Elmo mayor Mike Pearson in the dunk tank to benefit Family Means. Check out the City of Lake Elmo’s Facebook page or website for more information.

Hudson

Put on by the Hudson Boosters, the annual Booster Days celebration will take place July 3-7, 2019. It will feature a carnival beginning Wednesday afternoon, as well as live music Thursday through Sunday. Musical performers include The Chubs, Bigly, Stone Daisy, Rhino, Wicked Garden, Miller Denn + Ditch Creek Dixies, and Hudson natives Yam Haus. Fireworks will take place July 5 at dusk; there will be a parade that runs down Second Street on Saturday. To keep you energized for all the entertainment, a variety of food vendors will be present, as well as a beer garden and a hot dog eating contest presented by RJ’s Fresh Meats and Groceries. For more information on Booster Days, visit hudsonboosters.org/page/show/657024-booster-days-hudson-s-4th-of-july-celebration-.

To get up close and personal with the fireworks displays over the river, you can purchase tickets for a St. Croix River Cruise. There are holiday cruises both July 4 to view Stillwater Fireworks, and July 5 to view Hudson Fireworks (as a part of Booster Days). You can choose to purchase a dinner cruise or non-dinner cruise where food will be available for cash purchase; a cash bar will be available with either option. Visit https://stcroixrivercruises.com/public-cruises/fireworks/ for more information and to purchase.

Marine On St Croix

The Fireworks Express Train will depart from the historic Osceola Depot at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 3 then drop passengers off in downtown Marine for the annual fireworks show, beginning at dusk. After the fireworks are over, buses will shuttle passengers back to Osceola. If you want, you can bring fold-up chairs, blankets, snacks, or even a small cooler with you (just no “adult beverages”). Tickets must be purchased in advance and cost $20. For more information visit transportationmuseum.org/fireworks/.

Even if you don’t take the train, you can view fireworks in and around Burris Park the evening of July 3.

If you’d prefer to be active the morning of the Fourth, consider participating in the 2019 Marine on St Croix 4th of July Race and Walk. Both the 4 mile running race and the 2 mile run/walk benefit the Marine on St Croix Restoration Society. The 4 mile run starts at Hay Lake School and finishes at Marine Elementary, while the 2 mile run starts at the halfway point between the two. Course maps and registration information can be foumd at https://marine4thofjulyrace.com, along with registration information. At noon on the Fourth the Kids Parade and annual 4th of July Parade will take place downtown- more information can be found at marineonstcroix.org/fourthofjuly.

Contact Jaimee Hood at jaimee.hood@ecm-inc.com

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