But Independence Day on the North Olympic Peninsula is more than a fireworks show:
* You can watch parades in Port Angeles and Forks.
* Forks’ daylong “Old Fashioned Fourth of July” also has a demolition derby and events stretching through into Friday and Saturday.
* The Port Townsend area hosts a street dance, the unveiling of historic signs and a time capsule at Union Wharf, Centrum Fiddle Tunes and the Indian Island Deer Run.
Fireworks displays will light up the skies over Forks, Port Angeles and Port Townsend at dusk, about 10 to 10:30 p.m.
Here’s what’s planned across the Peninsula:
4 p.m.: Parade begins — marching groups, unusual trucks and vintage cars, fire engines and bike racers. Grand marshal is Scooter Chapman, celebrating 50 years with KONP radio.
The parade features 35 participants and starts at the west end of the downtown, intersection of Valley and West First streets.
The parade travels down First to Lincoln Street, where it makes a left toward Front Street. Completing the downtown loop, the parade concludes when it come back to Valley.
There are plenty of viewing spots on First and Front streets from which to watch the parade.
The Chamber of Commerce encourages you to attend the parade and then walk over to the City Pier where stages will host five bands before the fireworks explode over the harbor.
You can get dinner from restaurant vendors who will have outdoor grills on the waterfront. There will be ice cream and games for kids.
4-10 p.m.: Bands will perform
* The 20-person Home School Band will play at the downtown fountain at First and Laurel streets from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
* At the pier: Billy Corvette and the Smashers, 4-5 p.m.; George Snyder and the Olympic Jazzmen, 5-6 p.m.; Tongue and Groove, 6-7 p.m.; Luck of the Draw, 7-8 p.m.; The Vibratones, 8-10 p.m.
Dusk: Fireworks over Port Angeles Harbor.
8-11 a.m.: Pancake feed at the Forks Elks Lodge, 941 Merchant Rd.; $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and children 5 and older. Children 5 and under eat free.
10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Arts, crafts and photo show sponsored by Far West Art League will commence at Forks Middle School’s multi-purpose room. (This show continues Thursday, Friday and Saturday.)
11:45 a.m.: Main Street hosts a Kiddies Parade through downtown.
12 noon: The grand parade through downtown.
1 p.m.: The Forks Lions Club sponsors its annual salmon bake at Tillicum Park. While the salmon is being served, Heidi’s School of Dance will perform on stage 1:15 p.m.- 2 p.m.
2 p.m.: Gates open at Tillicum Park Arena for the annual Fourth of July Demolition Derby, which begins at 3 p.m. Cost is $6.
8:30 p.m.: Music in the park until dusk, when the fireworks begin.
Forks’ Old Fashioned Fourth of July celebration continues Friday and Saturday
Friday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Frog jump contest, Tillicum Park, followed by Kiddie’s Playday, 2-4 p.m.
7-11 p.m.: Downtown merchants will have their annual Moonlight Madness sale.
Saturday: 9 a.m.: Horseshoe Tournament, Tillicum Park.
10 a.m.: Firecracker Fun Run, Spartan Track.
11 a.m.: Log Show eliminations, Tillicum Park Arena.
2 p.m.: Log Show, Tillicum Park Arena.
8 a.m.: Arrive at the gate to Naval Magazine Indian Island to register for the 12K Indian Island Deer Run, or you can register for a walk through the area’s dense forests; both are from 9 a.m. to noon. Participants and their families can stay afterward for a picnic at Crane Point.
1 p.m.: A historical bronze plaque will be unveiled at Union Wharf by Mayor Geoff Masci, part of the celebration of Port Townsend’s 150th anniversary. Inside the base of the sign will be a time capsule, containing pieces of the city’s history, from photos to a roof tile from the courthouse.
2 p.m.: The first of Centrum’s Fiddle Tunes concerts kicks off in McCurdy Pavilion at Fort Worden State Park.
Four groups of performers will be on stage, from Alan Jabbour and James Reed playing “hot fiddle tunes from Virginia” to Kenny Hall playing “old-time” mandolin. Tickets are $14; $3 for children 14 and under.
5 to 9 p.m.: Jefferson Transit will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a party and community street dance at the Haines Place Park and Ride. The event will feature the music of Haywire, corn on the cob, hot dogs and soft drinks.Beginning about 9 p.m.: Free shuttle buses will take people from the Park and Ride to beachfront viewing locations and then back to Haines Place. A $10,000, 35-minute fireworks display will be launched from a U.S. Navy barge between Indian Point and the entrance to the harbor.