Fourth of July

In case you've forgotten, on Tuesday the United States will be celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. (It's surprising how many people forget this little factoid.) Bust out the earplugs, grab a blanket and head out to see Fourth of July fireworks around the area.

Take a drive to the 'Couv or make the bike ride down to the waterfront. And do your dog's ears and nerves a favor and leave him at home. He doesn't really enjoy the fireworks as much as you think he does.

All events take place, obviously, Tuesday, July 4.

Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival Fireworks

Ride your bike or take MAX down to the waterfront to catch the visually stunning and louder-than-loud fireworks on the Willamette River near the Hawthorne Bridge. Both the east and west banks of the river are great for viewing Oregon's largest fireworks display. You can watch the fireworks for free outside the festival gates.

10:30 p.m. (fireworks following the last performance), Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Naito Parkway between Southwest Harrison and Northwest Glisan streets, 503-973-3378,, $8 plus two cans of nonperishable food per person per day at gate; $25 five-day passes available from TicketsWest (224-8499) through June 30, subject to service charges

PGE Park: Baseball, Fireworks

Get your good old independence-lovin' self out to watch some baseball, have a hot dog, drink a local beer, cheer on the Beavers as they take on the Las Vegas 51s, then check out post-game fireworks.

7:05 p.m. PGE Park, 1844 S.W. Morrison St., $8-$13, available through Ticketmaster (503-224-4400) and the PGE box office, subject to service charges

The Big Bang

A full day of Fourth of July fun is planned for this year's Big Bang celebration, beginning with a parade, followed by family activities including games, inflatable rides, rock walls, vendors and live entertainment.

Clackamas County's largest fireworks show, dedicated to fallen U.S. Army medic Jeremy Loveless, tops off the festivities at dusk.

Noon (parade), 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. (events), Estacada High School, 355 N.E. Sixth Ave., Estacada, 503-630-3909,, free, donations accepted

Historic Reserve

Show up early to enjoy a full day of music, food, historic re-enactments, tours of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and the Pearson Air Museum, and, of course, to beat the inevitable traffic jam as dusk draws near.

The annual fireworks extravaganza concludes the day of festivities; it's one of the largest fireworks displays west of the Mississippi.

9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (activities), 10:10 p.m. to 10:40 p.m. (fireworks), Vancouver National Historic Reserve, 360-992-1800,, $4 suggested donation; from Portland, take Interstate 5 north to Vancouver, exit at Mill Plain Boulevard (exit 1C), turn left from the off-ramp and park in downtown Vancouver

-Suzie Ridgway

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