Locals can don their red, white and blue at celebrations in Oxford, Heflin, Jacksonville and Talladega.
“The Armed Forces Are Our Heroes: Independence Day Festival” will take place at the Jacksonville High School football stadium Friday beginning at noon. The festival is a day of games and performances by various groups, as well as a 6 p.m. tribute to honor the 2025th National Guard unit.
Radio station Alabama 810 will give away a new grill, cooler of meat and tickets to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Concessions will be provided by the Jacksonville High School Boosters. The festival ends with a fireworks show, which begins at sundown.
Oxford’s Freedom Festival is a full day of events, taking place from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at Oxford Lake Park. The festival features a parade, tricycle and bicycle races, free pedal boat rides, karate demonstrations, swimming races and more.
Children dressed in patriotic costumes can walk or ride in non-motorized vehicles as part of the Freedom Festival parade. They must wear a helmet if riding. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., local art will be featured inside the Oxford Civic Center. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. For more information, call 256-831-2660.
Heflin’s Salute to America celebration, which will be in McIntyre Park on Saturday, will be filled with live band performances, bingo, miniature boat races, duck derby and ending with fireworks. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. with the national anthem being sung by Janessa Chandler. Local food vendors will participate, and the public is invited to bring picnic baskets and lawn chairs. Watermelons donated by Brandon Harlan will be available.
The Talladega Chamber of Commerce will host a special First Saturday Market at The Historic Downtown Court Square with free Blue Bell ice cream and a bake and Boston butt sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
The Talladega Recreation Department will host its annual Independence Day celebration at Veterans’ Memorial Park from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday. The Dusty Cooper Band and Pell City Idol Roger Dale Parks will perform. Local food vendors, inflatables and face-painting will be on offer. Fireworks begin at dusk.
For the fourth consecutive year, the city of Anniston will be without a fireworks display for the Fourth of July.
In 2007, the display was postponed until New Year’s Eve because a drought made fireworks unsafe. The New Year’s Eve show was so popular that the city held the event during that time again in 2008.
In 2009, the display was cut from the budget. It was left out of this year’s budget as well. The estimated cost of a fireworks show was $14,000, said Steven Folks, director of Anniston's Parks and Recreation Department.
“We can’t this year because of the economic downturn,” he said. “We’re going to make every attempt to have something next year.”