Celebrate freedom with Fourth of July events throughout Greater Lansing


Independence Day became a federal holiday in 1941, but July 4 has stood as the birth of American independence for much longer. The date marks a pivotal moment in the American Revolution. According to PBS, the colonies were forced to pay taxes to England’s King George III despite having no representation in the British Parliament. “Taxation without representation” became a battle cry and was one of several grievances colonists had with Britain.

Conflict between the colonies and Britain had been going on for at least a year before the colonies convened a Continental Congress in Philadelphia in June 1776. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from England. Two days later, on July 4, delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence.

Richard Henry Lee of Virginia was one of the first people to present a resolution for American independence, and his commentary was the impetus for the formal Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson’s original draft underwent 86 changes before the final version was adopted. The document’s signing helped to solidify independence and eventually led to the formation of the United States of America.

Since then, the Fourth of July has become the most anticipated holiday of the summer. People across the country gather to host barbecues, set off fireworks and commemorate the freedoms afforded to them by the Declaration of Independence. Municipalities across Greater Lansing, plus Jackson Field, will celebrate this year’s holiday with events ranging from parades and fireworks displays to concerts and car shows. To discover all that’s happening in the area in the next two days, read on.


Eaton Rapids
Eaton Rapids’ two-day Fourth of July celebration will kick off from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight (July 3) with Chalk Fest, where community members are invited to create chalk art on Main Street sidewalks. The evening will continue with family activities from 6 to 9 at the Martin Hansen Amphitheater (315 W. Knight St.), including bounce houses, music and food trucks. A screening of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” at the amphitheater will begin at dusk.

Thursday (July 4) will offer a craft and vendor show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Hamlin Street, a parade beginning at 11 a.m. on Main Street, a chicken dinner hosted by the Rotary Club from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church (300 S. Main St.), a performance by variety cover group Universe Band from noon to 2 p.m. at the Martin Hansen Amphitheater (315 W. Knight St.), a Civil War living history encampment from noon to 4 p.m. at Island Park (150 E. Hamlin St.) and kids’ activities from noon to 4 p.m. at Howe Memorial Park (100 Howe Drive). Evening activities at Howe Memorial Park include a dance party at 7 and a fireworks display at 10:15.

Jackson Field

The Lansing Lugnuts’ Independence Day celebration tonight (July 3) will begin with a vintage baseball game between the Capital Base Ball Club of Lansing and the Monitor Base Ball Club of Chelsea from 5 to 6. The match between the Lugnuts and the TinCaps of Fort Wayne, Indiana, will commence at 7:05, followed by the biggest LAFCU fireworks display of the season, which will be set to patriotic music.

Thursday (July 4), a duo of members from ‘90s and 2000s alt-rock tribute band Be Kind Rewind will open Echoes of Pink Floyd at 7 p.m. on the field. The Pink Floyd tribute set will be synced to “The Wizard of Oz,” which will be screened on an LED wall. There will also be kids’ activities on the concourse, and the city of Lansing’s fireworks display will be visible from the stadium.


Delta Township
Delta Township’s fireworks show will begin around 10 tonight (July 3) at Sharp Park (1401 Elmwood Road). A concession stand will be open for food and refreshments. A free permit for alcoholic beverages can be obtained in advance from the township’s Parks and Recreation Department (7710 W. Saginaw Hwy.).


Portland’s Fourth of July parade will kick off at 10 a.m. Thursday (July 4), following the homecoming route from Water Street to Portland High School.


Lansing’s Independence Day parade will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday (July 4) and will travel around the Capitol Loop. The Fourth of July concert with the Lansing Concert Band will begin at 8 p.m. at Adado Riverfront Park, followed by a fireworks display.

River Town Adventures is offering the chance to view the fireworks from an LED-lit kayak on the Grand River. Rentals are available from 8:30 to 11 p.m. Single kayaks are $35, and tandem kayaks are $70. To reserve a kayak, call (517) 253-7523.


Thursday (July 4) at Fowlerville Community Park (425 N. Grand St.), food vendors will open at 11:30 a.m., a country music concert featuring Kari Holmes and Keith Ozment will begin at noon, a classic car and bike show will run from 1 to 4 p.m., and a parade will kick off at 7 p.m., with a fireworks show to follow.


Mason’s Independence Day parade will begin at 4:30 p.m. Thursday  (July 4) at Mason High School (1001 S. Barnes St.). There will also be a car show with food trucks, a DJ and door prizes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Courthouse Square.


St. Johns
Thursday’s (July 4) celebration at St. Johns City Park (801 W. Park St.) will commence with a performance by the Kathy Ford Band at 7 p.m., followed by a fireworks display at 9:45 p.m. Food will be available for purchase from Chuckie D’s BBQ and Papa’s Lemonade & Hot Dog Stand.


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