“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America,” he wrote. “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
While Adams was off by a couple days on the date (a long disputed topic among historians — some say that the Declaration of Independence was signed as late as Aug. 2) he was spot on in his estimation that 238 years later, we’d still be partying on Independence Day as if we’d just sent the Redcoats packing.
Greater Lansing has plenty of options for those who want to celebrate America’s birthday in the grand fashion Adams hoped we would: Evenings filled with music, parades and synchronized firework “oohs” and “ahhs.”
Delta Township gets a head start on the festivities with its annual fireworks display on Thursday. Held in Sharp Park just north of the Lansing Mall, guests can show up early to enjoy the park’s amenities and refreshment stand. The fireworks display starts around 10 p.m.
For those looking for a localized version of the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, the Meridian Community Band will fill the Lake Lansing Band Shell at Lake Lansing Park South with patriotic and popular songs, 7-9 p.m. Friday. The show wraps up just in time to catch the annual Meridian Township fireworks display, which launches from Central Park South behind the Meridian Mall right around 10 p.m.
Mason has an entire day of events planned for the Fourth, starting with classic car show on the Courthouse Square from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., followed by a bouncy house at 6 p.m. — you know, for kids. Then at 7:30, Mason will host the largest Fourth of July evening parade in mid-Michigan.
Rayner Park gets a little nontraditional with a performance by the Celtic fiddle group CrossBow at 8:15. The night is capped off with a firework display, launching at dusk just east of the Ingham County Fairgrounds.
And finally, downtown Lansing will host a day of events on Friday, starting with a parade at 11 a.m. with classic automobiles and uniformed soldiers. At 8 p.m., the Lansing Concert Band hits the stage at Adado Riverfront Park with special guests Uneven Ground, a Celtic outfit from Muskegon. Immediately following the concert will be a fireworks display.
Be sure to check the websites for the event’s respective townships for rain delay dates for firework displays, just in case Mother Nature is feeling unpatriotic.