CONWAY — Get ready for some strawberry shortcake, festive music and fabulous fireworks: Here comes the Fourth of July as only the Mount Washington Valley can do it.
But why wait? The holiday gets a jump-start starting this weekend with all sorts of activities leading up to Independence Day next Thursday.
TODAY (Saturday, June 29)
• Strawberry Festival benefiting the Vaughan Learning Center and the Conway area food pantry will be held from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the First Church of Christ, Congregational on Main Street in North Conway . Fresh strawberries served in shortcakes, smoothies and hand-dipped chocolate-covered treats. Free kids games, balloon animals, live music and a white elephant sale. Tours of the historic “First Church” will be available. Go to firstchurchnc.co for more.
• Art in Bloom in Jackson Village offers a self-guided walking tour to see artworks and floral works. Go to mountaingardenclub.org for more. Meanwhile, the Larry Siebert Memorial White Mountain Art & Artisan Festival will celebrate the arts in Jackson in conjunction with Arts in Bloom. More than 40 vendors, live music, incredible silent auction. Go to jacksonnh.com.
• White Mountains Pride Festival from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., offers free family-friendly afternoon of fun, entertainment, games, food, live music and more at North Conway Community Center. Go to whitemountainspride.com.
• Trains, Planes and Automobiles: Mount Washington Regional Airport is having its 4th Annual Fly-In today. See cover story in today's Conway Daily Sun. Go to conwayscenic.com for more.
• Ossipee Old Home Week celebration: Through July 4. Today will be a fishing derby at the Mill Pond from 8-11a.m.; concert at the gazebo on Moultonville Road 5-7 p.m. Sunday, June 30, touch a truck at the Ossipee Town Hall 10 a.m. On Monday, July 1, bike and helmet giveaway at Ossipee Central School 2-4 p.m.; paint night with Doodlin Di at the Ossipee Town Hall 6:30 p.m. (RSVP 603-387-7921). On Tuesday, July 2, Center Ossipee Library summer reading kickoff at the town hall with “creatures of the night” with Squam Lake Science Center 10:30 a.m.; barn dancing at the Ossipee Town Hall, 6 p.m. On Wednesday, July 3, ice cream social at the gazebo on Moultonville Road 4-6 p.m. On Thursday, July 4, parade at 10 a.m. (line-up starts at 9 a.m. at Doors corner and Moultonville Road); food, music, raffles and fireworks at Constitution Park, 5-10 p.m.
SUNDAY, June 30
• Cold River Radio Show, Theater in the Wood, Intervale, Maine guitarist Denny Breau, instrumentalists Micromasse and Miss Maybell and the Jazz Age Artistes. Hosted by Jonathan Sarty. Go to coldriverradio.com.
• Town of Jackson Fireworks: Bring a blanket to the park for spectacular pre-Fourth fireworks display at approximately 9 p.m. J-Town Deli & Country Store will be open and offer baked goodies, sparklers and more. The Snowflake will offer popcorn, the Jackson Volunteer Fire Department will be selling glow necklaces and T-shirts and Bartlett/Jackson Cub Scout Pack 321 will sell ice-cream. Go to jacksonnh.com.
TUESDAY, July 2
• Town of Fryeburg, Maine, fireworks are set at the Fields of Dreams at 9 p.m. raffles, ice cream and more (rain date: July 3). Go to fryeburgrec.com.
WEDNESDAY, July 3
• Town of Bridgton, Maine, fireworks at dusk at Stevens Brook Elementary School at 9 p.m. Go to Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce on Facebook for more.
• New Hampshire’s longest Independence Day celebration, hosted by the town of Gorham Fourth of July Celebration and the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce takes place July 3-7. In Gorham from July 3-6, Miller Amusements will be open daily from 5-10 p.m. at the Gorham Park. The midway will also be open July 7 from noon -5 p.m. Nightly concerts: July 3: Blacklite Band; July 4: Straightaway, 6-10 p.m., followed by fireworks at 10 p.m.; July 5: 7-8:30 p.m., the Ultimate Tim McGraw Tribute; July 6, 6:30-9 p.m.: North River Music; July 7: Classic Car Show on the Common, noon-2 p.m. and classic ‘50s and ‘60s music at the bandstand by Mountain Music. Go to gorhamnh.org or gorhamnewhampshire.com for more.
THURSDAY, July 4
• Bartlett Parade: At 11 a.m., the annual Hellen Hayes Independence Day Parade will travel from the Precinct Park (Black Fly Field) down Route 302. Participants should be at the field by 9 a.m. Judging begins at 10 a.m. Register in advance at bartlettrec.wordpress.com. Cash prizes for floats, walkers, bicycles, animals, cars, unusual and other entries. Awards are slated for 11:45 a.m. at Hodgkins Park, followed by a barbecue. Live music will by Simon Crawford and Kevin Dolan. Go to townofbartlettnh.org/town-services/bartlett-recreation.
• Bridgton Road Race: Bridgton’s annual Four on the Fourth road race begins at 8 a.m. To register, go to fouronthefourth.com/registration.asp. The parade is set for noon (to participate be at Hancock Lumber on Route 302 near McDonald’s at 9:30 a.m. for the line-up).
• Conway Independence Day Celebration: Town festivities start with annual parade at 1:30 p.m. on Conway Village’s Main Street, beginning at Hillside Avenue and ending at Kennett Middle School. Parade registration is due July 2: Every vehicle and float must be inspected by the Rec Department, says director John Eastman. Serving as grand marshal is Phyllis Sherman of Sherman Farms. The action then heads to North Conway’s Schouler Park with vendors selling food and entertainment starting at 3:45 p.m. Go to conwayrec.com.
• Conway Scenic Railroad Firecracker Express: To minimize traffic congestion, Conway Scenic is offering a special train running from the Conway Freight House at 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and returning after the fireworks at 10:15 p.m. Round-trip fares are $8 adults, $4 kids age 4-12. To make reservations, go to conwayscenic.com.
• Cranmore Mountain Resort, North Conway: Cranmore’s base area will be transformed from 11 a.m-4 p.m. into the all-American backyard barbeque with live music from Shark Martin from 1-4 p.m., brews on tap, lawn games, burgers and hot dogs, and family-style competitions throughout the day with fun prizes for the winners. Admission is free (with exception of food and beverage and attractions). Guests are welcome to add to their fun by purchasing their tickets for the Mountain Adventure Park and/or Aerial Adventure. Go to cranmore.com for more.
• Eaton: Rain or shine, residents and their guests are invited to a picnic and barbecue at noon at the Eaton Town Beach. Bring a side dish and beverages and a bathing suit, if you would like. Go to eatonnh.org for more.
• Fryeburg, Maine, Independence Day Parade is set for 10 a.m. (line-up at 9:30 a.m. at the American Legion on Bradley Street) — floats, walkers, animals, bicycles, bands and more are welcome. For more information, call Rick Buzzell at (207) 935-3933.
• Naples, Maine: A parade with a theme of “The Good Ole Days” will start at 2 p.m. (anyone wanting to take part should arrive by 1 p.m. at 1074 Roosevelt Trail next to the fire station for the lineup, no need to pre-register). Other events include pancake breakfast, 9-11 a.m. at the Singer Center; craft fair and live music, on the Village Green, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; kids' games at the town beach at Kent’s Landing, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; and fireworks over Long Lake with best views from the Naples Causeway (rain date: July 5). Presented by the Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce. Go to townofnaples.org for more.
The Songo River Queen, will offer a Naples fireworks viewing boat cruise featuring live music, with check-in beginning at 7 p.m. Go to songoriverqueen.net for more.
• Tamworth's July 4th Celebration takes a new course this year, with the parade starting at Depot Road at 11 a.m., and ending in the village. There will be all sorts of events happening through the day, including the annual road race starting at Ordination Rock at 8:30 a.m. with the finish at the Brett School, plus kids programs in the Remick Park, booths, food and fun on the Tamworth History Center lawn, and music and more behind the distillery. A section of road between Great Hill Road and the Town House will be closed to vehicles from 11:15 a.m.-2 p.m. Street parking is highly discouraged.
At 7 p.m., the Jonathan Sarty Band will be performing at the Brett School, prior to the annual fireworks display there. at 9:15 p.m. Get there early to enjoy the music and secure your seat. Go to tamworthnh.org for more.
SATURDAY, July 6
• Star Spangled Spectacular at Bretton Woods: Annual Independence Day celebration at the Bretton Woods Ski Area. A $5 donation per car will be collected for a local charity at the gate. There will be family-friendly activities, live entertainment, plenty of food and famous fireworks display. Bring your preferred seating as tables will be limited. Gates open at 5 p.m. so be sure to arrive early to find the perfect viewing spot. Go to brettonwoods.com for more.
• Attitash music: Each Saturday, enjoy the 7th annual Mountainside Summer Music Series at Attitash (attitash.com): Live music from 3-6 p.m. free outdoor concerts. assortment of beer, wine and special elixirs.
For more information about any of the above events, go to mtwashingtonvalley.org.