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Fun on the Fourth: Where to find fireworks and festivities

July 4, 2018

Still making plans for what to do and where to go on Independence Day?

We’ve got you covered, with a roundup of where to find music, family activities and fireworks in Southeast Minnesota this Wednesday.

Rochester

Stick around for an afternoon and evening of music and activities at Salute the Fourth along Seventh Street, with events kicking off at 1 p.m. and wrapping up close to midnight. The Rochester Concert Band will provide a free performance at 8:30 p.m., followed by the fireworks at dusk. The best place to catch the show is at Silver Lake Park, but plan to park and walk a few blocks, because Seventh Street will be closed between East Silver Lake Park Drive and West Silver Lake Park Drive. Lane restrictions also may be in place for the event.

Oronoco

Looking for no-fuss fireworks to end your day? Oronoco’s Fourth of July fireworks start at 10 p.m., and can be viewed from Oronoco Park, 310 Fifth St. NW.

Stewartville

Enjoy Summerfest Runs in Stewartville with runs starting at 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and a free kids’ run at 10 a.m. in Florence Park on Lakeshore Drive NW. The Arts in the Park Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by the Summerfest Grand Parade at 6:30 p.m. Stick around and relax for a few hours before catching the “Fabulous Fireworks” display at dusk. Good locations to view the fireworks are Florence Park and Bear Cave Park (10th Street Northwest).

Austin

Austin’s Freedom Fest celebration will have a parade at 11 a.m. along Main Street, followed by live music from 12:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Bandshell Park at Fourth Street and Ninth Place. Other activities include free rides, an art and craft show, pony rides, balloon art, and water wars hosted by the Austin Fire Department. The fireworks will start at dusk and can be viewed right from the Bandshell park, so don’t go anywhere.

Blooming Prairie

The Old Fashioned Fourth of July celebration runs all day, with tractor pulls, trolley rides, a pickle and pie contest, water war, and other events throughout the morning and afternoon. Then the 125-unit parade runs from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., followed by live entertainment by piano band Mischief and Mayhem and DJ Peps at the city park between 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. View the fireworks at 10 p.m. from Victory Field, located across from the Blooming Prairie High School along Main Street.

Wanamingo

Celebrate Independence Day in Wanamingo with a dance at the fire hall, a parade at 2:30 p.m., a Fire and Rescue waterfight, and fireworks at dusk. Find parking near the junction of Minnesota Highway 60 and Minnesota Highway 57 to catch the show.

Cannon Falls

The Grande Day Parade starts at 11 a.m. at the East Side Park, followed by live music and activities at the Cannon Valley Fair — with free admission on July 4. View fireworks at dusk from the fairgrounds at 800 N. Ninth St.

Red Wing

The weekly Concerts in the Park will have a patriotic twist this week with music from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Central Park. The music will open with performances by the Universal Music Center students, followed by live bands. The fireworks will be at dusk, viewable from Central Park.

Preston

There’s no fireworks and no parade but plenty to do between noon and 4 p.m. at Historic Forestville’s old-timey Independence Day celebration at 21899 Fillmore County Road 118 in Preston. Listen to a reading of the Declaration of Independence, watch an old-fashioned baseball game, and compete in pie- and watermelon-eating contests.

Harmony

Bring your own toad to the toad races starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Village Green in Harmony. You can also enjoy a car show, a kiddie pedal pull, rides and balloon animals as well as plenty of food and music in Selvig Park throughout the day. The Fourth of July Grand Parade starts at 3 p.m., and at dusk, head over to North Park along Fourth Street Northeast to catch the fireworks.

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