With the Fourth of July right around the corner, area residents will have their pick of fun with numerous events taking place to celebrate Independence Day.

Celebrate America

For the first time, the Richmond Area Arts Council is holding its annual Fourth of July event at the First Baptist Church on the Eastern Bypass in Richmond.

Starting at 7:30 p.m., the free and open to the public event will see more than 50 musicians on stage. RAAC Director Randy Westbrook said the event will bring together the Madison Singers, the Madison Community Band and the First Baptist Worship Choir. The concert will be led by Tim Wilson with WKYT's Amber Philpott emceeing the event

"The Richmond Area Arts Center aims to provide a patriotic concert for the community every summer," Westbrook said. "We feel that it is important to recognize those who have served in the United States Military and to express the pride and honor we feel concerning our country."

Westbrook said while the event is free to attend, donations are always welcome. Last year's concert was held at the RAAC headquarters on Water Street, which was packed full of folks. There will also be more parking and more space for guests.

"We're going all out for this event to give back to the community," Westbrook said.

For more information about Celebrate America, visit www.artsinrichmond.org, or by calling 859-624-4242.

Fourth of July Celebration in Richmond

The Fourth of July festivities kick off when the gates open at 5 p.m. to Ann L. Durham Lake Reba Recreational Complex.

A big change this year is the free entry for parking at Lake Reba, whereas previous years attendees had to pay $5 to get in. Families and friends can take advantage of the park's open grounds to set up camp for the rest of the evening.

Also included in the fun is free swimming from 5 to 9 p.m. at Paradise Cove and free mini golf at Adventure Falls from 5 to 11 p.m., as well as plenty of inflatables. From 5 to 10 p.m., residents can get good food and visit craft vendors on the soccer fields.

While they wait for the fireworks to light up the night sky at 10 p.m., people can jam out to several live acts.

First on deck at 5 p.m. is Whiskey River, a veteran female-male duo folk group out of Richmond. April Allen and Cole Bixler will perform a diverse array of popular covers from all eras, including alternative, country, folk and rock, as well as original songs.

Then at 6, Bent Penny Band, a multi-generational band with music genres ranging from Eric Clapton and The Eagles, to Elvis Rock-a-Billy and BPB originals, takes the stage. They are made up of family and friends of different musical backgrounds and generations.

The headliner for the evening is Dallas Remington, who takes the stage at 8 p.m. The no-nonsense country recording artist and songwriter is a Kentucky-born 19-year-old who thrives with a passion for life, her music and her faith. Dallas' vocal talents are marked by her striking lyrics and textured phrasing; her fiery verve and vigor comes to life in every performance.

For more information, check out the Facebook event page at http://parks.richmond.ky.us/july-fourth-celebration or by calling 859-623-8753.

Fourth of July Spectacular in Berea

Those wanting to celebrate the Fourth of July in Berea can head over to the Berea City Park.

The Berea Pool will be offering free swimming from 3 to 7 p.m. and park festivities start at 6. Families and individuals can look forward to face painting, a climbing wall, food vendors and tons of kid activities.

Attendees also are invited to stop by and thank Berea Police K9 Parko for his eight years of service.

In addition to the fireworks and fun, renowned sand sculptor Damon Farmer will be in attendance working on a special piece just for the Fourth.

The live musical act headlining the spectacular is Soul Creek, featuring frontman Tony Toy.

The best place to view the fireworks, which will start at 10 p.m., is at the recently rebuilt Duerson Stadium.

Also on the Fourth

• The Richmond Lions Club sponsors the American Flag Program during patriotic holidays including the 4th of July. Flags will be placed at the courthouse and businesses in Richmond on the Fourth of July. For information on mounting a flag at a business or at the courthouse, contact Ordelle Hill at 624-2182.

• Guests can stop by Fort Boonesborough to check out their celebration of the historic occasion with tea and games in the tavern. Hosted by the Fort Boonesborough Living History, Bart Cain will read aloud the Declaration of Independence at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. After visiting Fort Boonesborough, registered campers can head over to the campground to enjoy free tours, crafts, camper decoration contest, hayride, parade and lots more.

• Take part in Alpaca Vinyasa at River Hill Ranch at 6:45 p.m. for an hour of relaxing yoga, led by Jann Knappage. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/RiverHillRanch.

Reach Kaitlyn Brooks at 624-6608; follow her on Twitter @kaitlynsbrooks.

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