The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with Steve Free and the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra performing a free concert at Tracy Park, in Portsmouth. Free will open the show, and the Symphony will perform from 7-8:30 p.m.
"It's actually going to be an old-fashioned band concert in the town square. The theme is 'The Sound of Music,' and we're playing some show tunes. Also, Bob McCoy, a longtime music director at (Portsmouth High School) is going to be conducting the complete PHS march," said Carl Daehler, of the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra.
There will also be a tribute to our armed forces, and a recital of the Declaration of Independence by local radio personality Steve Hayes.
Also at 7 p.m. that evening, Doc Roc and the Remedies will perform at the river front amphitheater along the Ohio River. The band is hosted by the Portsmouth Civic Forum.
At 10 p.m., the Civic Forum will continue its 75-year tradition with the annual fireworks display. The show will last about 30 minutes and is expected to draw a large crowd.
"It has been accurately counted over the years, and for that one night show we have 18,000 people in that area on the river front. That includes the boat clubs and the people on top of the levy all the way up to the bridge," said Gene Arms, of the Portsmouth Civic Forum.
Even more people will be watching from nearby buildings and neighborhoods, and on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River.
Because it is always so crowded, people typically arrive as early as possible to guarantee themselves a good seat.
"We have a good number of concession stands. Most of them have been with us for probably the last 20 years or better," Arms said.
Arms also asks that nobody brings sparklers with them to the river because they burn at 1,800 degrees are very dangerous in a large crowd. He said police will be patrolling the area for violations.
"When a kid gets done with one of those things they just toss it, and then if someone comes along and sits down on one of those they've got a burn. Or if it lands on some woman's bare back, she's got a burn. They're just too dangerous in a crowd," Arms said.
The fireworks are handled by Hamburg Fireworks Display, from Lancaster. The Civic Forum purchased a fireworks package from Hamburg for about $10,000, and Arms said it would be a little bigger than last year's display. The fireworks are set-off from a barge floating in the Ohio River. The barge has been donated to the Civic Forum by Marathon Oil.
Last year's fireworks were postponed one day due to rain. If rain dampens our area again this year, Arms said the display would be postponed until 10 p.m. on July 5.
Other activities and events may also be scheduled to celebrate July 4th. Check local community calendars for listings.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.