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A Gorge-ous party: your July 4th guide

Spend America’s birthday in the New River Gorge! With dramatic fireworks over the canyon, parades and old-fashioned family games, it’s summer done right.

Check out local favorites like:

Adventures on the Gorge’s Family Carnival: July 2

Independence Day gets a head start at this Lansing resort. From 4-8 p.m., it’s the “land of the free” with free games, contests (like seed spitting), pool admission and music. There will even be bounce houses— a sure sign that it’s summer.

Bring your wallet for lunch or dinner, though. Adventures on the Gorge will fire up the grills for some smoky barbecue, and you don’t want to miss that!

Fireworks over the river: July 2

Adventures on the Gorge continues the party from 8-10 p.m. with its glorious fireworks show. Admission is free. Catch a shuttle to and from Mountain State Campground or settle anywhere by the south rim for awe-inspiring views.

And guess what? It’s not even Independence Day yet!

Fayetteville Lions Club 4th of July Celebration: July 3-4

Why limit Independence Day to just 24 hours? Instead, come to downtown Fayetteville for two days of entertainment.

Live music and vendors warm things up July 3 from 5-10 p.m. A classic rock band and eclectic funk-jazz group will perform as you shop. Then do what the locals do and have dinner at Fayetteville’s hip restaurants! Whether you order artisan burgers at Secret Sandwich Society or zesty, flavorful pizzas at Pies & Pints, you’ll get into a festive mood for sure. Just make sure you save room for some ice cream at The Stache.

Independence Day in “America’s Coolest Town” starts at 9 a.m. for shopping. Then, traditional Fourth of July events follow: a parade at 11, car show at noon, and music and kids’ games until dusk.

Highlights include water balloon tosses, watermelon seed spitting contests and a turtle race. Once darkness arrives (roughly 9 p.m.), settle in for fireworks and music by the Ann Sumpter Band at the town park.

Independence Day at Fayette County Park: July 4

Pack a lunch and blanket. Fayette County Park is the perfect spot for a timeless summer picnic. And in honor of Independence Day, shelter rentals will be 25 percent less! Book one for your family or party while they’re still available. Each has a grill, electricity, ice coolers and trash cans.

The park also has lots of leisurely summer activities. Walk beneath shady trees, visit the game room or plunge into the swimming pool. Folks aged 16-54 may swim for $5, while passes for seniors and kids 4-15 are just $4 each. Anyone 3 or younger is free!

Where do you like to spend the Fourth of July?

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