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Kick off the holiday with Stars and Stripes Spectacular

MORE: Read more Spotsylvania County news

RELATED: Here’s a complete rundown of fireworks and other Fourth events around Fredericksburg.

The area’s July Fourth celebration gets off to an early start today with the 10th annual Stars and Stripes Spectacular in Spotsylvania County.

Beginning at 3 p.m., the Spotsylvania Courthouse area will host a variety of activities for the whole family at the free event.

History lovers can soak in some local lore with tours of the 1855 jail and Historic Courthouse from 3 to 8:30 p.m., or watch the Rappahannock Colonial Heritage Society do living history presentation on the historic courthouse grounds.

In addition, the Spotsylvania County Museum in the Merchants Square Building will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There will be three stages around the courthouse area for local and visiting musical acts. Food vendors will be available at four different food court sites. Carnival rides, face painting and other activities for children will be offered by the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office and Spotsylvania Volunteer Fire Department near the Judicial Center.

The Spectacular’s fireworks display, sponsored by W.J. Vakos and Co., will begin at about 9:20 p.m. The display will be viewable throughout the Courthouse area. The launch area is between the Courthouse Road Bypass and Courthouse Road, behind Robert E. Lee Elementary School.

To accommodate the crowd, which typically averages 25,000 to 30,000 annually, handicapped-accessible shuttles will run from Courtland High School beginning at 2:45 p.m.

The Vakos Co. will offer pay parking for $5 per car. Robert E. Lee Elementary’s parking lots will not be open to the public.

Visitors are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets to the event, but to leave all pets at home.

If bad weather cancels the events, only the fireworks will be rescheduled. The forecast calls for partly sunny conditions with a high of 84 and some clouds in the evening with a low of 64.

Dawnthea Price: 540/374-5403


Here’s a listing of road closures for today’s 10th Annual Stars and Stripes Spectacular at Spotsylvania Courthouse:

Beginning at 9 a.m.: Old Battlefield Boulevard between Brock Road and Courthouse Road Bypass, Judicial Center Lane and Richard Samuels Lane

6–10 p.m.: Event area of Courthouse Road near the Holbert Building and Courthouse

9–10 p.m.: Sections of Brock Road, Courthouse Road and Courthouse Road Bypass near fireworks display area. These roads will reopen immediately after the show.

Sheriff’s deputies will direct traffic.