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Rogue Valley sparkles with July Fourth celebrations

Southern Oregon communities are planning a full day of patriotic fun for July 4, with parades, live music, barbecues, foot races and booming pyrotechnic extravaganzas.

Here’s a list of activities you can use to find the fun that fits your family.

Medford

The 17th annual Red, White and Boom — an Independence Day tradition since 2001 — takes place at The Expo, 1 Peninger Road, Central Point. A 20-minute fireworks extravaganza begins at around 10 or 10:30 p.m., launched from the grounds overlooking the pond.

Leading up to the fireworks display, DJ Veach will emcee a live show with rock band The Evening Shades, rockabilly band Gino and the Lone Gunmen, and country band Fogline. Also look for an a cappella performance by the Rogue Valley Harmonizers.

The event is put on by the Chamber of Medford/Jackson County. Red Robin of Medford will host a beer garden, and food trucks available at the site will include Pita Pit, Man Food and Catering, Jan’s Ohana Grill and Ice, and Fired Up! Food Truck.

There will be a kids zone with bounce houses, “Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math” activities, face-painting and more.

A presentation of colors will be by the Southern Oregon Young Marines, and singer Jennifer Davis DePuglia will perform the National Anthem.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. Please note: No illegal fireworks, barbecues or outside food or alcohol will be permitted inside The Expo.

When the show ends, Peninger Road will be closed to incoming traffic for more than an hour, a move designed to allow vehicles to exit the Expo parking lot more quickly.

“Drivers in the area can anticipate congestion and delays as vehicles leave at the conclusion of the fireworks display,” said a news release from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department. “Deputies urge drivers to plan ahead and be patient during the end-of-the-show egress.”

This includes parents who had hoped to pick up their children immediately following the fireworks display.

Exiting drivers will be directed to drive one way in both lanes on Peninger Road. Vehicles leaving the north parking lots will be routed toward Upton Road, while those exiting from the south parking lots will be directed toward Pine Street. Traffic signals will also be adjusted.

Sheriff’s deputies will be watching for drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs, police said.

Ashland

Ashland’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration embraces the theme “Empowering Wellness Through Community,” and several of the parade entries will focus on family fitness, spa treatments, medical care, lifelong learning and more.

The event begins at 7:45 a.m. with 2-mile and 10K runs leaving the Ashland library, corner of Gresham and East Main streets.

The annual Fourth of July parade begins at 10 a.m. at Triangle Park and follows Siskiyou Boulevard and East Main Street to the downtown Plaza before it finishes on Water Street.

The 2018 parade’s grand marshals include Joyce Epstein and Mary Mastain.

Epstein and Mastain have volunteered at the Ashland Chamber for more than 20 years, each named “volunteer of the year” at the chamber’s past annual dinner awards banquets. They’ve greeted countless visitors and guests to the Ashland Chamber office.

Mastain, a former school teacher, has led nature walks in Lithia Park and volunteers at the Ashland library.

Epstein is a poet and believes in the importance of art. She represents the Schneider Museum of Art each week at Ashland Chamber Greeters meetings.

Another organization honored at this year’s July Fourth celebration is Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Service vehicles, including Ashland’s “amphibious” fire engine, will be featured. This fire engine began its service more than 70 years ago, before it fell into Ashland Creek during a flood in 1948. Donated last spring to the Southern Oregon Historical Society, volunteers began efforts to return it to service. After the parade, it will be displayed in the Ashland Plaza.

Free shuttle service to and from the event leaves the RVTD bus stop on Tolman Creek Road and arrives at the downtown Ashland bus stop every 30 minutes. Free shuttle parking will be available at the Ashland Family YMCA, 540 YMCA Way. Do not park in the Albertsons parking lot.

After the parade, more than 100 craft, art and food vendors will be available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Lithia Park. Look for informational booths, along with a family activity zone.

Free live music will be presented from noon to 4 p.m. in the park’s Butler Band Shell. Ashland City Band, conducted by Don Bieghler, will perform “National Emblem March” and “American Civil War,” with narrator Bob “Abe Lincoln” Miner, along with a medley of music from Mexico in recognition of Ashland’s Sister City guests from Guanajuato, and “Armed Forces Salute,” honoring our country’s veterans and today’s members of the military. Also look for Brother Angus and the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum Corp.

Mayor John Stromberg will present a welcome address, Miner will deliver the Gettysburg Address, and Livia Genise will read the Declaration of Independence.

The Siskiyou Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Oregon will present the Irene Hollenbeck Memorial Wildflower Show from 10 a.m. to noon in the Ashland Community Center, 59 Winburn Way (across the street from the park). The show features more than 300 species of native flowers from the Cascades, Siskiyous and the valleys in between. Admission is free.

At 8 p.m., the 30th annual American Band College — more than 200 members of the ABC’s master’s degree program — will present “Star-Spangled Spectacular” in the stadium at Ashland High School. Tickets are $19, $17 for seniors and kids, and can be purchased at bandworld.org, Cripple Creek Music in Ashland, or at the gate.

The fireworks display will start at 10 p.m. at the Athletic Field at SOU. The best place to watch the fireworks is at the AHS stadium while the American Band College performs award-winning music for its annual “Ashland Pops,” featuring guest artists Canadian Brass and flute soloist Marianne Gedigian.

Central Point

The Boy Scouts Crater Lake Council will host a 7 a.m. pancake breakfast at the Central Point Grange Hall, 436 E. Pine St.

The Central Point Run4Freedom 5K starts at 7:30 a.m. on East Pine Street between Third and Fourth streets. A 1-mile fun run, for ages 5 to 12, starts at 8:45 a.m. For information and to register, see centralpointoregon.gov/parksrec/page/run-4-freedom. Kids 16 and younger run free.

A parade begins at 9:30 a.m., and a festival starts in Robert Pfaff Park, 635 Manzanita St., at 10:30 a.m. The fun includes kids games and activities, pie-eating competitions, musical entertainment, a beer garden, food and vendors.

Butte Falls

A Fourth of July festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the city park on Broad Street. Look for a parade, kids activities, bingo, vendors and food. A fun run starts at 8 a.m., and the parade begins at 11 a.m. Country band Diamonds and Denim will perform in the park.

Eagle Point

The theme for the Eagle Point and Upper Rogue Chamber of Commerce celebration is “Welcome to the Neighborhood.” The day kicks off with the “Avenue of the Flags” 1-mile and 5K fun run at 8 a.m., along with a Boy Scout pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. at the Eagle Point Grange, 5 Shasta Ave. At 9 a.m. a street fair opens along West Main Street. A parade begins at 11 a.m., and there will be a kids zone and live music by Rewind from noon to 3 p.m.

A prolific collection of large-scale photographs by Michael A. Campanelli, taken during his 60-plus road trips east and west on Route 66, will be displayed from 9 a.m. to dusk at the Ashpole Community Center, 17 N. Buchanan Ave. Route 66, known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System. Posters featuring photos by Campanelli and designed by Eagle Point artist Jesse Gifford will be available, along with photographs by Campanelli’s granddaughter Rebecca.

Also look for a pie, jam and jelly contest from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Ashpole Center.

The sports stadium at Eagle Point High School, 203 N. Platt, opens at 6 p.m. Family activities begin at 6:15 p.m., and lawnmower races start at 6:30. Live music by Billy Lund and Whiskey Weekend will be at 8:15 p.m. Look for sky divers parachuting onto the field at 10:15 p.m. and a fireworks display at 10:30 p.m.

Grants Pass

A hometown Fourth of July celebration kicks off at 7 p.m. with live music by Danielle Kelly’s Soul Project, followed by Nashville recording artist Jackson Michelson at 8:15 p.m., in Reinhart Volunteer Park, 1690 S.W. Webster Road, Grants Pass. The concert ends with a fireworks show at 9:45 p.m.

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