Happy Birthday to U.S.: A guide to area July 4 celebrations

The rocket's red glare, the comfy lawn chair—you get the picture. Happy 4th of July! Photo: Jack Looney The rocket’s red glare, the comfy lawn chair—you get the picture. Happy 4th of July! Photo: Jack Looney

From the mountains of Wintergreen to the valley where Scottsville sits, the Charlottesville area is exploding with Independence Day celebrations. Bonus: Since July 4 falls on a Thursday this year, party time stretches out over a long weekend. What this means is that, in addition to barbecuing in your local park or backyard, you can also partake in one (or more) of the many patriotic offerings by local municipalities and businesses. Boom! Just like that.

June 29

Crozet Independence Day Parade and Celebration

The parade, led by the volunteer fire department, starts at Crozet Elementary School and snakes along Crozet Avenue through downtown to Claudius Crozet Park, where all sorts of fun will ensue. Roots rock band Jacabone takes the stage, and kids’ games and rides (including bounce houses and laser tag) will be available, along with plenty of food. Adults can enjoy local refreshments by Bold Rock Cidery, and Starr Hill and Pro Re Nata breweries. 5pm parade and party, 9:30pm fireworks, suggested donation $4 per adult and $2 per child 12 or younger, crozetcommunity.org.

June 30

Free Union Independence Day Parade

Decorate a wagon, bicycle, scooter, dog, horse, or float and join the parade from the Church of the Brethren to Free Union Baptist Church. 4pm, free, Millington Road, Free Union 973-7361.

Charlottesville’s Khizr Khan, whose speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention made him a prominent advocate for religious tolerance, will deliver the keynote address at Monticello’s July 4 naturalization ceremony. Photo: Eze Amos

July 4

4th of July in Scottsville

The little town on the James River’s annual Independence Day features a morning parade led by the Scottsville Volunteer Fire Department, complete with floats and musical performances. The party continues all day long and into the night at Dorrier Park, with more music, food, and fireworks. This is a biggie—estimated attendance is 7,000! 9am-10pm, free, James River Road, Scottsville. 531-6030, scottsville.org/events.

Independence Day Concert and Celebration

Celebrate at the home of President James Monroe, a Revolutionary War veteran who died July 4, 1831. Enjoy a live performance by musicians from the Heifetz International Music Institute, as well as children’s crafts and historic games. 2pm, free, 2050 James Monroe Pkwy. 293-8000, highland.org.

Independence Day Celebration at the Frontier Culture Museum

This annual event includes a reading of the Declaration of Independence, games, a pie eating contest, crafts, and historical re-enactments. 9am, free, 1290 Richmond Rd., Staunton. (540)332-7850, frontiermuseum.org.

July 4th at Monticello

Monticello hosts its 57th annual Independence Day celebration with a not-to-be-missed naturalization ceremony; this year, more than 70 people will take the oath to become U.S. citizens. (The scheduled tour of Thomas Jefferson’s residence is sold out.) The keynote speaker is Charlottesville resident and Gold Star parent Khizr Khan, whose son, UVA grad and U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, died in 2004 trying to stop a suicide bomber in Iraq, and was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. Since Khan’s headline-making speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2016, he has continued to advocate for religious tolerance. 9am, free, 931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy., 984-9800; attendees are urged to register at monticello.org for free shuttle transportation to the event from Piedmont Virginia Community College (501 College Dr.), monticello.org.

Nelson County Fourth of  July Parade

Nelson County kicks off Independence Day with a children’s bicycle parade followed by a bigger one with floats, marching bands, antique cars, and more. 10am, free. Front Street, Lovingston, 906-1200, nelsoncounty-va.gov.

Patriotism in the Park

McIntire Park is the epicenter of Charlottesville’s July 4 celebration, with local bands, food, and family-friendly activities leading up to the annual fireworks display. 5pm, free, shuttle service available from the Albemarle County Office Building and Charlottesville High School, 970-3260.

Red, White, Blue in Greene Independence Day Celebration

Greene County’s celebration begins this year with a parade down Main Street, and the festivities end with a major fireworks display. Live music, food trucks, and many activities for children and adults. 5-10pm, free, Stanardsville, (540)290-8344, rwbng.org.

Happy Birthday America at Carter Mountain Orchard

Hayrides, family-friendly games, live music all day, and a nearly 360-degree view of the area’s fireworks displays. Oh, and adult beverages from the Bold Rock Tap Room and the Prince Michel Wine Shop. Noon-9:30pm, 1435 Carters Mountain Trail, 977-1833, chilesfamilyorchards.com

July 4-7

July 4th Jubilee

Wintergreen Resort’s celebration churns on through the weekend with live music and activities including a bonfire, arts and crafts, stargazing, an outdoor movie, a block party for kids, chairlift rides, games, and axe throwing (yes, you read that correctly). 9am July 4 through 8pm July 7, activity prices and times vary, Route 664, Wintergreen, 325-2200, wintergreenresort.com/July-4th-Jubilee.