Contributed by Opelika Parks and Recreation

Fireworks will reign over the skies next week in celebration of Independence Day. Opelika Parks and Recreation  is hosting the 68th Annual Freedom Celebration on Saturday, July 3 at the Opelika High School Track.

This year’s celebration will begin at 6:30 p.m. Following the presentation of colors and pledge allegiance by local boy scout troops,  Route 66 will be taking the bandstand and playing crowd favorites throughout the night.        

Since the event begins right in the middle of dinnertime, outside food and beverages are allowed, but those who are trying to keep their loads minimal will have numerous food vendors onsite to choose from. Hamburgers, hotdogs, popcorn, ice cream and other snacks will be in abundance.

All children are encouraged to stop by the plate drop table to write their name and phone number on a paper plater prior to 7 p.m. because the Silver Wings Parachute Team will be making their big jump from the sky at 7:30 p.m. All the collected paper plates will be scattered on their landing site, and the lucky children whose plates are nearest to each parachute team member upon their landing will win a prize.

When the skies get dark around 9 p.m., the largest fireworks display in the area will commence, lighting up the skies in a multitude of colors. This year’s show will last approximately 15 minutes and will be bigger than ever, thanks to contributions by the Orthopaedic Clinic.

Due to lingering concerns about the spread of COVID-19, children’s inflatables have been canceled for this year’s event, but all other aspects of the event will remain as they have been in the past.

This event would not be made possible without the collaborative efforts of Opelika Parks and Recreation, Opelika City Schools, Mayor Gary Fuller, the Opelika City Council, the Opelika Police Department, the Opelika Fire Department, ESG Operation, Inc., the Orthopaedic Clinic and the Kiwanis Club of Opelika.

This event is free and open to the public.