With celebrations up and down the state, commemorating Independence Day in Delaware is easy. In Hockessin, festivities start early with relay races and field day events and conclude with fireworks at dusk. And, if you're looking to get out of town, it looks like all roads lead to fireworks this year.

Independence Day: The federal holiday in the United States that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, when a budding nation of 13 colonies declared its independence from Great Britain. Now celebrated and associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, beach trips, concerts, family reunions and concerts.

Delaware, one of the original revolters, celebrates up and down the state with activities the whole family can appreciate and participate in.

Here are a few, near and far, that are worth the gas and the heat.


Hockessin The Hockessin Community Activity Center kicks off July 4th festivities bright and early at 7:30 a.m. The whole day is devoted to competitions in softball and field day events like running and jumping. At 3 p.m., the parade kicks off on Kenwick Road, takes a left onto Old Lancaster Pike and ends on Valley Road. Fireworks will begin at dusk.

Wilmington At the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park, the merriment starts at 4 p.m. with a crab feast, a beer garden, barbeque, a carnival and live music from Macy Gray, Mosaic Flow and Tilting Windmills. The Fireworks start at 9:45 p.m. For more details, call (302) 547-9526 or visit www.riverfrontwilm.com.


Middletown Between neighborhood parties and barbeques, the Middletown Jaycees' Fourth of July Parade and the Silver Lake fireworks, MOT residents can save the gas money this year and celebrate Independence Day at home.

1. The parade will kick off Thursday morning at 10 a.m., marching from Everett Meredith Middle School and up through Main Street. This year's grand marshal will be the Delaware Jaycees State President Eric Norimatsu, who will lead about 15 local organizations through the parade route.

2. Kid's Corner is back by popular demand and will take place in the Forest Presbyterian Church parking lot, located at 44 W. Main Street. Tiny tots can jump in the moon bounces, have their chubby cheeks painted, get glitter "tattoos," balloon animals and more.

3. The town of Middletown's annual fireworks display at Silver Lake Park will commence at dusk. Non-profit groups may be on-site selling food or other novelties and people are invited to pack a picnic as well. However, the town cautions that no open fires or dogs are allowed during the fireworks.

Smyrna-Clayton This year's parade will be in Clayton and will step off at 9:30 a.m., Thursday morning at Clayton Elementary, 410 West Main St., Clayton. There will be more than 100 participants, including fire companies, various organizations and floats. The parade even boasts the honor of having the Dublin, Ireland All Stars Marching Band as one of its participants. Afterwards, head over to the park for activities, a carnival, a baby contest and the Annual Dressed Up Dog Contest. Cap the day off with fireworks at the Smyrna-Clayton Little League Fields on Duck Creek Parkway.

Dover As the home of the state legislature, Dover plans a jam-packed day of food, fun, music, pageantry and, of course, fireworks.

Museums, from the historic to the artistic, will be open all day. Gather up the family and participate in the Historic Dover Scavenger Hunt that begins at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center, tour Legislative Hall or take the Dover's Heroes of the Revolution Walking Tour.

Every Independence Day, the 13 original colonies jointly ring bells to mark the birth of the nation. At 2 p.m., join the ceremony as the National Bell-Ringing Ceremony takes place at the Old State House on The Green.

At 8 p.m., the 287th Army Band from the Delaware National Guard will treat spectators to a live concert at Legislative Mall. Finally, at approximately 9:20 p.m., look towards the skyline at Legislative Hall for a fireworks show that can be seen and heard all over the city.

For more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit www.dover4thofjuly.com.


Rehoboth Beach The shores and boardwalk of Rehoboth regularly draws in crowds of more than 50,000 people for a fireworks display visible up and down the coast. The pop and crackle of explosive firecrackers will start about 9:15.

Rehoboth Beach Main Street recommends making a day of it and getting down there early to avoid as much of the traffic congestion as possible. Plenty of parking will be available as well as transportation services. For more information, visit www.downtownrehoboth.com.

Bethany Beach On Thursday, July 4, the parade will kick-off at 12 p.m. on the dot with the "Star Spangled Banner" at the reviewing stand. The day is chock-full of old-fashioned family fun with a horseshoe throwing contest for both professionals and amateurs. Awards will be given out at 7:15 p.m. followed by a concert by the Milford Community Band, who will entertain the crowds until dusk, when the fireworks start. For more information, visit www.townofbethanybeach.com.

Dewey Beach The Rusty Rudder is hosting this year's fireworks, to be launched at 9:30 p.m. on the beach between the restaurant and North Beach.

For more information, call (302) 227-3888.