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Happy Birthday, America! As you get older, may we all grow wiser.

Happy Birthday, America! As you get older, may we all grow wiser.

With careful planning and a bit of driving, patriotic revelers (and people who just like watching pretty colors in the sky) can maximize their intake of Independence Day-themed parades, concerts and fireworks displays.

Start a day early with the annual Elks Club parade down Fair Oaks Boulevard, from Marconi Avenue to Manzanita Avenue, in Carmichael. The procession begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 3. The celebration continues that night with a concert by the Sacramento Valley Symphonic Band and a fireworks display at 7 p.m. at Del Campo High School, located at 4925 Dewey Drive, in Carmichael. Call (916) 485-5322 for info. On the Fourth of July itself, there are many more opportunities for fun. River Park’s annual Independence Day parade begins at 11 a.m. at the Scottish Rite Temple at 6151 H Street and winds up at a family festival at Caleb Greenwood School, located at 5457 Carlson Drive. Admission is free.

Elk Grove gets its party started at 3 p.m. with music, food and kids’ activities, followed by fireworks at dusk. Admission is free, but parking is $10 at Elk Grove Regional Park, located at 9950 Elk Grove-Florin Road. Visit for info.

Raley’s Celebrate America event begins at 5 p.m. at Raley Field. The evening includes barbecue, live music by Mumbo Gumbo, a limbo contest, carnival games and a concert by the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, all culminating in a 15-minute firework display at 9:15 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults and $8 for children. Visit for tickets and info.

Lastly, local musicians Frances Rose and Stillwater Jack will present Salute to American Songwriters—a one-hour concert with music from the 1930s through the 1960s. This event will close with fireworks. Admission is by donation at the Albert Einstein Residence Center, located at 1935 Wright Avenue. Call (916) 529-7197 for more information.