Hold tight, because it's a busy weekend and skies will be filled with the rockets’ red glares across Richmond.
1. If you'd like to get things going Friday night instead of waiting for the Fourth, head over to Pasture. No fireworks, but a whole lot of yacht rock -- to enjoy ironically or honestly -- will headline with frozen drinks and Jell-O shooters. Dressing the part is strongly encouraged.
2. Alternately, you could enjoy the free fireworks on July 3 at Brown’s Island.
3. Or spend your July 3 getting crafty. You’ve heard about the variety of classes at the Visual Arts Center that bring out your creative side, but maybe you want to dip your toes in the water first. First Friday Samplers offer a way to do that. Registration begins at 5 p.m. visarts.org.
4. On July 4 proper, the breweries always make sure beverages are covered, but they also remember the food too. Isley Brewing will hold its second annual Fourth of July celebration from noon to 10 p.m. with food trucks, a great view of the fireworks at The Diamond and a cornhole tournament.
5. Over at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, they've invited a dozen food trucks, five bands and will release Float beer, a dry-hopped session pale ale. Its view of The Diamond's fireworks isn't too shabby either. Those festivities will start at 3 p.m. on July 4.
6. For a country celebration, you can drive out to Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery for its Fourth of July pig roast, hosted by Belle & James. Two whole pigs will be mojo-spiced and braised in Three Chopt Tripel ale while the Illbillys play a few tunes, all from noon to 6 p.m.
7. And on the more traditional blankets-and-fireworks front, well you're not lacking for options. In the city, The Diamond and Byrd Park will hold their annual, megaboom celebrations, leaving canines for miles either cowering in horror or barking like crazed Paul Reveres.
8. Out in Chesterfield, nonlethal bombs will burst at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds.
9. North on Interstate 95, there will be a host of family-friendly activities, including a daytime walking parade, apple pie and patriotic pet contests, and music by the Hanover Concert Band at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center in Ashland.
10. For history buffs, Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier will hold a day filled with costumed interpretations, history tours, Civil War rifle and cannon demonstrations and commemoration ceremonies.
11. If all of this is just not historic enough for you, why not fully immerse yourself in patriotism? The Fourth of July falls on a Saturday, which brings a special reading of the Declaration of Independence at St. John’s Church. This happens alongside the popular re-enactment of the Second Virginia Convention and Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech, which helped ignite the American Revolution. The event is free, but it’s bound to be crowded. First-come, first-served — a democratic process. Starts at 11 a.m. And if you miss it, re-enactments happen throughout the year. historicstjohnschurch.org.
12. Finally, visit a park you’ve never visited on National Hop-a-Park Day on July 5. (parksandrecreation.richmondgov.com). … Here’s a picnic idea: Garnett’s Café in the Fan will provide you with a picnic basket and blanket when you get something to go. A park’s right across the street. garnettscafe.com.