Friday, June 28, 2013

Totally Texas -- The glorious 4th -- bright & loud

Too many Fourth of July events this coming week to list -- so I’ll give a modest nod to my neighborhood’s favorite, the Lakewood parade, running for the 50th year from the intersection of Lakewood Boulevard and Cambria in East Dallas to the tennis courts at Tokalon and Winstead.

It boasts thousands of floats, vehicles, bikes, kid and dog paraders ( no need to register -- just gather at 9:15 Thursday morning at the starting to pick up a number) and thousands of spectators along the tree-shaded streets, while keeping the small town vibe that makes Lakewood one of Dallas’ best-loved neighborhoods.

This year’s theme is “Lakewood Makes History” -- the interpretation’s up to each participant, but please, no commercial or political advertising.

No parking along the parade route, but when I visited last year, parking space was surprisingly easy to find within a few blocks. Grand marshalls Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and his wife Micki head the parade starting at 10 a.m. For info, see

In some ways, I think of the monthly First Monday Trade Days in Canton as the official start to July 4th festivities. This month’s trade days are in progress through Sunday, June 30 (actually Thursday through Sunday BEFORE the first Monday of each month). About an hour east of Dallas on I-20, Canton bills itself as the world’s oldest and largest flea market -- and at 450 acres, it no doubt qualifies for the “largest” part of that title. For details, see

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the shopping grounds in Canton, you’ll be ready to head back July 4th for free fireworks on the west side of the grounds, at Highway 64 and FM 859. Fireworks begin at dark, approximately 9 p.m.

But you don’t have to wait for the 4th to experience fireworks. The Dallas-area suburb of Addison gets a head start with its annual Kaboom Town! Wednesday, July 3. The entertainment at Addison Circle Park, at Beltline Drive between Addison Road and Quorum Drive, starts at 5 p.m. with music, food, and fly-bys of historic warplanes from the nearby Cavanaugh Flight Museum. The party cumulates after dark with a thirty-minute fireworks show choreographed to music and a radio simulcast. See

Almost every town has its own fireworks displays. For more listings, check

You can spend the entire day of the 4th in progressive celebrations, from:

-- 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Dallas Heritage Village’s Old-Fashioned Fourth, ($10 for adults, free for kids age 12 and under),

-- 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. for the Dallas Arboretum’s concert by the Dallas Wind Symphony ($25 for nonmembers -- some tickets still available when I checked yesterday afternoon, June 27; free parking for evening events),

-- 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Dallas Fair Park from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., with fireworks at 9:30 p.m. in the Cotton Bowl. The Fair Park event is free, but you’ll need to take DART or pay for parking.

And yes, I’m getting inquiries about where to buy fireworks. But even though I grew up in a rural area where do-it-yourself pyrotechnics were legal, I still recommend leaving them to the pros. Have a happy and safe Fourth!

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