July 4 fireworks nearby

By KATHRYN ACREE

Independence Day Celebration at The American Village. Photo courtesy of The American Village.It’s just not the Fourth of July without fireworks. Here is a listing of fireworks venues nearby that are always worth catching:

The Big Kaboom, Chelsea Park

Chelsea’s free fireworks celebration is always fun and close by. The fifth annual Big Kaboom event is set for Sunday, July 3 in the Chelsea Park subdivision off Highway 280. This event attracts about 10,000 viewers each year.  Come early, around 8 p.m., for pre-firework entertainment from various local artists and groups singing the city song, “Heart of Chelsea.” Food vendors will be available, and it’s recommended that visitors bring folding chairs and blankets.

Representatives from the City of Chelsea say that there is plenty of space for everyone to enjoy the show throughout the Chelsea Park subdivision as well as at an empty gravel lot at the intersection of Highway 280 and Highway 440. If you can see the water tower, you will have a great view of the fireworks.

Morgan Creek Vineyards, Harpersville

As part of their summer concert events, Morgan Creek Vineyards will celebrate on July 2. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with winery tours, wine tastings, music and fireworks. Admission is $10 for adults while children under 10 are free. Picnic dinners are welcome and BBQ will be for sale onsite.

Thunder on the Mountain, Vulcan Park and Museum

Vulcan Park and Museum is the “launch site” for Birmingham’s long-standing July 4th fireworks event, Thunder on the Mountain, which begins at 9 p.m. The park and museum close by 6 p.m on the 4th to prepare for the evening extravaganza.

“We actually shoot fireworks from the observation deck for Vulcan, so for safety reasons, the park is closed,” said Audra Bean, director of PR and marketing.

Bean gives another hint for the best viewing experience of the 20-minute show— make sure you have a clear view of the iron man himself, Vulcan. “The simulcast music is timed with the fireworks and certain features spotlight Vulcan such as fireworks that appear to shoot from his spear,” Bean said.

Prime viewing locations include Five Points South, Homewood, Vestavia, Mountain Brook and the UAB campus. Based on growing crowds in recent years, organizers are advising spectators to stake out a viewing point well in advance of the 9 p.m. show.

The event is simulcast on television on Fox6 and on the following radio stations: 104.7 FM WZZK, 106.9 The Eagle, 97.3 The Buck, 101.9 FM WENN, 95.7 JAMZ, 98.7 Kiss FM and 610 Heaven WAGG.

Independence Day 1776, The American Village, Montevallo

Take a step back in time to the founding of our nation at The American Village in Montevallo on Monday, July 4. The civic education and historical village offers unique entertainment and great food all day long.

Costumed interpreters such as George Washington, Patrick Henry, Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson showcase the “Spirit of 76.” There will be Full Moon BBQ and a variety of other foods. The evening winds down as the American Village celebrates our nation’s 235th birthday with an unusual candle blowout followed by a fireworks spectacular with great patriotic music from the Montevallo Community Band.

The American Village is located at 3727 Highway 119 in Montevallo. Admission is $5 for adults and children 5 and over; all active and military veterans are free. Children 4 and under are free. Gates open at 11 a.m.

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