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Fourth of July Fun

June 28, 2013, 12:15 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 7:07 PM
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Cheers to independence and all it entails. The island is prepping for a midweek celebration that will ease nicely into a long weekend. What will you be doing this festive, family-friendly holiday?

Hilo Proper

“A Salute to Our Veterans” Hilo Bay 5K Run/Walk will be held by Pahoa’s VFW Post 3830 beginning at 7 a.m. at Liliuokalani Gardens on July 4th. Proceeds from the event will help expand the post’s programs.

The annual Hilo Bay Blast at the Bayfront canoe-landing area runs from 10 a.m. and culminates with the fireworks display at 8 p.m.

It includes the Hilo Bay Cook-off at the Hilo Bayfront Commuter Parking lot adjacent to the Mooheau Ball Field.

The Blast’s Hot Rides Expo hosted by the Hawaii Classic Cruisers and Big Island Auto Club will feature more than 200 classic cars and drag racers. Performing on stage will be the Boni & Doug Group, Tomi Isobe Blues Bank, Ol’ School Band, Gin and Cronic Band and others. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Food vendors of course will also be on hand for the festivities, as will be a “Kupna and Ohana Comfort Station” consisting of canopy tents on the makai soccer field for use, free of charge, on a first-come basis. Limit one per family and no alcohol is allowed.

And what July 4th celebration would be complete without the Hawaii County Band playing its annual Independence Day concert beginning at 7 p.m. at Mooheau Park.

The July 4 fireworks show this year will be presented by the Hilo Jaycees and launched from a barge moored in Hilo Bay beginning at 8 p.m. The organization will have booths selling water at several locations, including Coconut Island where rides will be offered, to defray the cost of the display.

Because of limited parking at Bayfront, free shuttle service will be provided to various activity sites from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Parking is available downtown near the Mooheau Bus Terminal and at the Afook-Chinen Civic Center and the county’s Aupuni Center.

The shuttle route will begin at the Civic and travel down Banyan Drive and onto Kamehameha Avenue to the bus terminal, traveling back along Kamehameha to the Aupuni Center. Riders can also catch the shuttles at bus shelters along the route.

In Volcano Village

Fanfare, floats, music and more will parade down the street in Volcano Village from 9 a.m. on July 4th. The quaint sight begins at the Volcano Post Office and ends at the Cooper Community Center. Expect games, horses, demonstrations and lots of picture-taking opportunities.

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Get competitive with a live and silent auction held at the Cooper Center from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Jewelry, gift cards, crafts, massage, overnight stays, acupuncture, dinners and more will be up for auction. Proceeds to benefit the Friends of the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. For more information visit www.fhvnp.org.

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Racing Rubber Ducks

A glut of rubber ducks take to the water to raise money and awareness for cerebral palsy. On July 4, from 10 a.m., the Kings’ Shops at the Waikoloa Beach Resort turns into a live music, food and games venue. Adopt a rubber duck and cheer for a prize-winning performance at 3 p.m.

The Queens’ Marketplace in Waikoloa will have balloon sculpting, popcorn, cotton candy, entertainment and more from 12:30 p.m. on July 4. Stick around until 8 p.m. to watch the glow of explosive fire in the sky. Doors open to the Queens’ Garden for the fireworks show at 5 p.m. Free music begins at 5:15 p.m. Visit www.waikoloabeachresort.com for more information.

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Honu Release

Watch in awe as matured turtles gain their independence and are returned to the sea. The 3- and 4-year-old turtles that once inhabited the Honu Ponds at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows will be released on July 4. Visit www.maunalani.com, or call 885-6622 for more information.

Annual Horse Races and Rodeo

Pony rides. Must anything more be said? Bring the keiki to the annual Parker Ranch Rodeo on July 4 from 9 a.m. to noon. Be amazed at the roping, mugging, dally team roping, horse races and more. Fill up on goodies for sale, buy omiyage for the friends who couldn’t make the trip out to Waimea, and snap a lot of pictures at this high-energy event.

For more information visit www.parkerranch.com. Tickets are $6 for adults at the gate and $5 pre-sale.

Explore the options for the fourth and enjoy memory-making moments with family and friends. Don’t forget to sport the red, white and blue, and take a minute to savor and celebrate the magnitude of this day.

***Updated at 11:55 a.m. with Hilo activities ***

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