Here’s the plan for Concord’s Fourth of July

From left, Sydney Carter, 14, and her cousin Ashley Gearing, 11, watch from the roof of a van as fireworks are launched and explode near Memorial Field in Concord on Thursday, July 5, 2012. The firework show was pushed back to Thursday after they were cancelled due to storms in the area on July 4th.(John Tully/ Monitor Staff)Sydney Carter (left) and her cousin Ashley Gearing watch from the roof of a van as fireworks explode near Memorial Field in Concord in 2012.
From left, Sydney Carter, 14, and her cousin Ashley Gearing, 11, watch from the roof of a van as fireworks are launched and explode near Memorial Field in Concord on Thursday, July 5, 2012. The firework show was pushed back to Thursday after they were cancelled due to storms in the area on July 4th. (John Tully / Monitor file)

With America’s birthday right around the corner, you’re probably scrambling to figure out your plan for summer’s biggest day.

Sure, you could trek down to Boston or up to Ashland if you want, but who’s got time for that?

You really only need to travel as far as Memorial Field, which will once again host the city’s annual July 4 celebration.

There had been some talk about moving the shebang to the area behind the post office on Loudon Road, but the leaseholder of that property wasn’t too excited about that idea, so it will be at Memorial Field once again.

The main attraction is obviously the fireworks, but that’s not all that’s going on Monday night.

Starting at 5 p.m., there will be food vendors serving up their best dishes and DJ Nazzy broadcasting live and spinning the hottest tracks to keep things fun and energetic.

All the while, there will be all kinds of games and giveaways that will be fun for the whole family, said David Gill, director of Concord Parks and Recreation.

At about 7:45, the music switches from the DJ variety to the live variety, with the Nevers Band taking over for Nazzy on the musical front.

And then comes the main event: the fireworks. Fireworks displays are always dependant on darkness and weather, so it’s hard to pinpoint an exact start time so far in advance. However, there is a ballpark figure you can write down.

“We’re telling people 9:20, but it all depends on Mother Nature and how dark the sky is,” Gill said.

And just because the fun starts at 5 doesn’t mean you can’t show up a little later.

“Traditionally, most people start getting there between 7:30 and 8,” Gill said. Use this information however you wish: maybe you want to get there before the masses, or maybe you want to wait out the rush and push it closer to fireworks time.

One thing you may want to plan on is parking. Memorial Field has its own parking lot, but that will be reserved for handicapped parking only, and it tends to fill up fast, Gill said.

Street parking will be available on South Fruit Street – the street becomes one-way heading north toward Concord High School starting at 4 p.m. From 4 until whenever the place clears out, parking will be allowed on both sides of the street.

There will also be some parking available on the state hospital grounds, if you can’t find a spot closer to the field.

But don’t worry, there’s no premium price to pay for elite parking spots. Everything is free during the whole celebration – just bring a few bucks for some food if you want.

If you don’t feel like spending any money at all, that’s fine, too. Unlike movie theaters and sports stadiums, you are allowed to bring your own food and drinks with you. Feel free to bring a whole picnic basket complete with a red-and-white checkered tablecloth if you want. Just leave the wine – and all other alcohol, for that matter – at home. There’s a strict no-drinking policy, and there will be plenty of police officers on hand to make sure nobody’s trying to pull a fast one.

In the event of rain, the celebration will be pushed back to July 5, but nobody’s hoping that happens.

In the meantime, check the city’s website or Facebook page to stay up to date on any potential changes.

Author: Jon Bodell

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