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What to Do for America’s Big Do

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All the Fourth Fit to Print

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There are some holidays that are ginned up by greeting card companies. Other you could easily sleep through without missing much. Between every high school student in the county marching down the street blowing a trombone, the copious wearing of red and white pinstriped trousers, and the night sky being lit up like a warzone from fireworks, that’s not the case with The Fourth of July. America’s B-day engulfs Southern Oregon, accepting all comers with an elbow elbow wrist wrist and a pack of sparklers. Give us your tired, your hungry your poor, yearning for the freedom to barbecue and pop open a brewski. There’s so much going on it can be hard to keep track.

Here’s The Messenger‘s guide to keep up with the best of what’s going down.



The city’s 39th annual 4th of July Run offers two courses: a 10K run (6.2-mile) and the traditional 2-mile run/walk. Both races start at 7:45 a.m., are chip-timed, and both start and end at the Ashland Library at 410 Siskiyou Blvd. Roads are closed for the race and routes are scenic. Awards are given after the race and all finishers get a participant ribbon. Register online at Ashland.OR.Us

Run 4 Freedom—Central Point

Central Point closes down streets so participants can run a 5k, one mile or short kids race, all departing from 3rd and Pine in Central Point. The 5k and one mile courses both start at 7:30 am, and the kids run goes down at 8:45 a.m. Packet pickups are Friday, July 3 at City Hall from 2-5pm. $15-$25. Register online at centralpointoregon.gov

Eagle Point 4th of July Fun Run

Eagle Point’s 10th Annual Betty Ann Marlia Memorial Fun Run offers 5k, one mile and courses, both beginning and ending on Main Street in front of the city’s flag poles. The race starts at 8 a.m. Race day registrations will be accepted from 7 – 7:45 a.m. $25.



Despite occasionally being slandered as a pinko-haven, Ashland’s old-timey Fourth of July celebration is small-town Americana at its finest, with a parade that completely takes over the city’s downtown area for hundreds of floats showing the best of the community. Parade begins at Triangle Park, proceeding down Siskiyou Boulevard to East Main, finishing down Water Street. This year’s grand marshalls are Dan Bulkley and Stan Smith, aka Mr. Raider. Bring a chair and stake out your spot early. Parade starts at 10 a.m.

Central Point

Central Point’s Fourth of July extravaganza is a effusive celebration of community pride, with bands, gloats, local politicians, tractors cars and more. This year’s parade emcee is Kingsley Kelley, VP & General Manager at KTVL Channel 10. The route will run down 2nd St. to Pine and 8th. The parade will start at 9:30 a.m., after which there is a street fair.


Ashland Street Fair

Ashland’s parade turns into an all-day downtown party, with information, food, activity and craft booths filling up the space between the downtown plaza and the Lithia Park bandshell from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Expect dunk booths, vaudeville performers, all things grilled and more.

Central Pfaff Park Festivities

Central Point knows how to ‘Merrica like no other, packing Pfaff park with food vendors, a beer garden, kids activities and live country and blues music from 11 a.m.- 5p.m.

Jacksonville All-Town Independence Day Picnic

Some folks they picnic with friends; others with family. Jacksonville does it with the whole darned town, because on the 4th of July, everyone is friends or family. The pinicing will be going down from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Merlin BYO-Fireworks Picnic

Who needs floats when you have potato salad and bottle rockets? Merlin residents getting wild at their own pace at Merlin Community Park from noon-midnight. 100 Acorn St, Merlin

Smithfield’s Annual Fourth of July Barbecue

Ashland’s foremost meat temple doesn’t hold back on the Fourth. The downtown restaurant will be grilling to the dulcet tones of The Stamps and The Bathtub Gin Serenaders, while doing a fancy pie walk and marveling at the piece de resistance: the 50-foot slip and slide down the giant hill in front of the restaurant.

Homestate BBQ First-Anniversary Party

It’s been a full year for the downtown Ashland restaurant, and they’re holding nothing back for the big day, with food specials, games, a beer garden, a watermelon seed spitting contest, a cornhole tournament and live music all day from The Brothers Reed, Trevor Jones and The John Dough Boys. They will also be serving coffee before and during the parade.

Fourth Of July party at Out’n’About Treehouse Treesort

Parades too much for you? Want to celebrate off the grid? Then get thee to the Out’N’About Treehouse Treesort near Cave Junction, where they’ll be partying like 1799, with camping, softball, fireworks and live music from Ol’ Mount ‘N Due, Herbal Crew, Maca Rey, Jive Coulis and Brother. Gates at noon. Softball at 1 p.m. Music starts at 3 p.m. Rvs welcome, but not pets. $10-$20.

Red, White and Boom

The Jackson County Fairgrounds will be rocking fair food, games, jumphouses for the kids and music for the adults. And when the lights go out in Medford, more fireworks than a Floyd Mayweather hook to the temple. 5:30 p.m.-midnight. Free.


Lithia Park Bandshell

Starting at noon, and running until 4:30 p.m., there will be a patriotic music from the city band and others. There will also be readings of The Declaration of Independence and The Gettysburg Address.

American Band College Fireworks Concert

Why see fireworks on their own when you can see them complete with booming brass, just as our lord and savior John Philips Sousa intended? Goes down at Ashland High School Stadium at 8 p.m.



Ashland’s fireworks display will be shot off from the Southern Oregon University softball fields at dark. Viewing is free.

Grants Pass

Party like it’s 1950 with local band Sound Stage Revue, and the most spectacular fireworks show in Josephine County. Make a day of it by watching the horse races in the afternoon and the colorful skies with groovy tunes at night. Goes from 7-10pm at Josephine County Fairgrounds, 1451 Fairgrounds Road, Grants Pass.


See the valley’s largest fireworks display at The Jackson County Fairgrounds as part of the Red, White and Boom festival.

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