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Festivities on the Fourth

Here’s a last-minute guide for area celebrations of Independence Day.


Fredericksburg will host the annual downtown Heritage Festival on the Fourth, taking over the streets with a 5-mile race, a children’s parade and vendors, games and food lining Sophia street.

Registration for the race begins at 6:30 a.m. at the Fredericksburg Visitor Center, and kicks off at 7:45 a.m.

The children’s parade, sponsored by the Richmond Children’s Museum, begins at 9:30 a.m. on Lafayette Boulevard and Caroline Street.

The Rappahannock River Raft Race will begin at 11:30 a.m. from the waterfront park in Falmouth and end at Fredericksburg’s City Dock.

To end the day, Pratt Park in Stafford will open at 4:30 p.m., with the Quantico Marine Corps Band and Riverside Dinner Theatre’s “West Side Story” cast entertaining until the 9:15 p.m. fireworks.



George Washington’s boyhood home will be accessible by trolley from the downtown events.

With the theme of “Home Sweet Home,” Ferry Farm will welcome the county’s national bluegrass artist, Mark Newton, with Steve Thomas, onstage at 3:30–5 p.m.

Visitors will also see archaeology displays, educational programs, Colonial and Civil War re-enactors, exhibitors and hands-on games and activities.

Admission for the 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. event is $1 and parking is available at the Fraternal Order of Eagles on Cool Springs Road with shuttle service to the farm.



Downtown Culpeper offers another all-day celebration on the Fourth, with a 5K race, a car and bike show, a parade and fireworks.

The 5K race begins at 8 a.m. at the Town Municipal Building, and ends after a loop around town.

At 10 a.m., the Culpeper Renaissance car and bike show will begin, and the Museum of Culpeper History will open at its new location until 5 p.m. on South Commerce Street.

The annual Main Street parade begins at 4 p.m., and Yowell Meadow Park will open for food, music and children’s activities at 5:30 p.m., leading up to fireworks at 9:15 p.m.


Fireworks will go off along the Potomac River at 9:15 p.m. in Colonial Beach.

The fireworks will shoot off from the Town Pier and visitors can line the beachfront, where food and glowsticks will be sold.

Visitors pay $10 to park in public lots for the day. Once the lots are filled, attendants will assist visitors with parking options starting on Town Hill and moving into surrounding areas.



The Lees and Independence Family Fun Festival at Westmoreland County’s Stratford Hall will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free admission.

The event is kid-friendly with arts and crafts, a scavenger hunt and Colonial fashion dress-up.

The gristmill will also be running, and tours of the Great House are offered for free.

Info: 804/493-8038;

Regina Weiss 540/374-5444