From music to people and dog parades to the all-important fireworks, there is plenty to look forward to this Fourth of July in South Jersey.
Here is a roundup of area Fourth of July events:
'Let it Rock' Fireworks plus light and sound show in Atlantic City
The largest fireworks display in New Jersey - along with a state-of-the-art light and sound show - will be in Atlantic City along the Boardwalk and beach on Wednesday, July 4, with the show beginning around 9:30 p.m.
The fireworks show, titled "Let it Rock," is approximately 20 minutes long and is visible for a one-mile stretch of the Boardwalk and beach - from Revel Resort on Metropolitan Avenue to The Atlantic Club on Boston Avenue. Fireworks by Grucci, one of the top names in fireworks entertainment, will be designing the show. It will be choreographed to music broadcast by 95.1-FM WAYV radio.
Immediately following the fireworks display, musician Kevin Rudolf will perform a free concert at Kennedy Plaza, including his hit single "Let it Rock" and other songs from his new album.
Also following the fireworks display, the Atlantic City Alliance will debut a 3D sound and light-projection show that will illuminate the facade of Boardwalk Hall. Moment Factory, a Canada-based company that has produced similar projects for artists sucha as Jay-Z, C�line Dion and Madonna's new MDNA world tour, is designing the light and sound show. See more about the light and sound show on Page 20.
For more information, go to www.doatlanticity.com
Day of July 4 fun in Wildwoods
Free events, free entertainment and one big fireworks spectacular - July 4 offers plenty for families to do in the Wildwoods.
The holiday kicks off Wednesday morning with the Wildwoods Independence Day Parade and the 8th Annual Patriotic Pooch Parade. The Independence Day Parade begins at 9 a.m. at 15th and Atlantic avenues and proceeds north to 2nd Avenue. The Patriotic Pooch Parade will join the march through the Wildwoods at 8th and Atlantic avenues. Dogs of all kinds will parade dressed in patriotic garb alongside decorated bicycles. Prizes will be awarded for the best bikes decorated with a red, white and blue theme, along with prizes for the best-dressed pooches.
Check-in for parade participants will be from 8 to 8:45 a.m. at 15th and Atlantic avenues. To register, call 609-522-2955.
The Beach 'n Boardwalk 5K Run and 1-Mile Family Walk takes place 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday. The 5K Fun Run will begin at the Wildwoods sign and travel north to the Wildwoods Convention Center then down the boardwalk extension to the beach. The 1-Mile Walk will head down the Wildwoods Boardwalk to Cresse Avenue and back to the Wildwoods Convention Center. Registration will take place from 7 to 8:45 a.m. at the Wildwoods Convention Center. Registration fee is $25 for adults and $10 for students 18 and younger. Commemorative T-shirts will be given to all participants who pre-register at www.WildwoodsWall.com/5k. Call John Lynch at 609-849-8887.
From noon until 2 p.m., Morey's Piers will host its annual Curley Fry Festival, where amateur eaters compete to eat the most Curley Fries. The Festival will be held on Surfside Pier, and children can enjoy face painters and stiltwalkers. For additional information, call 609-522-3900 or go to www.MoreysPiers.com.
Later on in the evening, families can enjoy a free summer concert at Fox Park starting at 6 p.m. featuring Changes in Latitude, a Jimmy Buffett tribute band. The Duffy String Band will perform from 7 to 9 p.m. on the Wildwoods Boardwalk from 16th Street in North Wildwood to the Wildwoods Convention Center.
A free concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Park, located at Fern and Ocean Avenues in Wildwood Crest, featuring Trishia Rapier and the Barry Levitt Trio performing popular Broadway showtunes and more.
At 10 p.m. people all over the Wildwoods can enjoy a fireworks show, originating from the beach at Pine Avenue in Wildwood.
Go to www.WildwoodsNJ.com or call 800-992-9732.
Strathmere Fourth of July Parade
The annual Strathmere Fourth of July Parade will be held on Wednesday morning. Registration will be at the firehouse at 9:30 am. Judging takes place at 10 a.m., and the parade will begin on Commonwealth Avenue at Williard Road (Strathmere's only blinking light) at 10:30 a.m.
The parade will go down Commonwealth to Prescott Road, west to Bayview Drive and up Bayview to the Deauville Inn, where refreshments will be provided and prizes will be awarded. Motorists should be aware of traffic reroutes and delays in Strathmere that morning.
For information, call organizers Ken or Jessica Weaver at 609-263-6846.
Congress Hall Celebrates Fourth
Congress Hall is hosting a day of fun, entertainment and cuisine perfect for families and children of all ages with a picnic or lobster bake and great views of the Cape May fireworks at sundown.
Live Entertainment by Franny Smith and the Atlantic City Jazz Band begins at 4 p.m., as well as carnival games on the lawn. The lobster bake is $85 for adults, $35 for children 4 to 12 and begins at 5 p.m. The All American Picnic opens at 5 p.m. - cost is $20 for adults and $10 for children 3 to 12.
Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m. Guests who attend the Lobster Bake can enjoy the fireworks from their seats on the veranda. Guests who attend the picnic can bring beach chairs and watch the fireworks from the lawn.
For more information or to make a reservation, call 888-944-1816.
Cape May plans week's worth of events
Cape May is offering a week-long celebration beginning Saturday, June 30, with the Cape May Diamonds reuniting for a performance 8 p.m. Saturday at Cape May Convention Hall, while The Doctors of Rhythm also will perform 8 p.m. Saturday at one of the 40 free Rotary Park band concerts this summer.
The Lagond Honors Band hits the Cape May Convention Hall stage 7 p.m. Sunday, July 1, featuring a group of young musicians offering Latin, jazz, and funk. Magician Rich Lessig will appear at Cape May Convention Hall for a free performance 7 p.m. July 3.
The Fouth of July festivities include the Congress Street Brass Band 7:30 p.m. at Rotary Park, and fireworks at about 9 p.m. from a barge off Congress beach.
There's also the annual Independence Day parade 1 p.m. Saturday, July 7, followed by the Fralinger String Band concert in Convention Hall at 7:30 p.m. and much more.
For complete schedule and information, go to www.capemayrecreation.org or call 609-884-9565.
Free symphony concert in Avalon
The Bay-Atlantic Symphony will be presenting a free, festive concert in honor of Independence Day 7 p.m. Wednesday inside Avalon Community Hall, located at 30th Street and the beach.
Following the concert of classic, patriotic favorites, Avalon will present one of the largest fireworks displays along the New Jersey coastline at approximately 9:15 p.m., at the 30th Street beach. No tickets are needed for the concert, and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Bay-Atlantic Symphony will begin its sixth summer of Avalon performances on July 4, with a program titled "Quest and Delights of Freedom." Music Director Jed Gaylin conducts the symphony. Dr. Herman J. Saatkamp Jr., president of Richard Stockton College, will be the guest conductor for a rendition of "Stars and Stripes Forever."
Before the fireworks event, the Avalon Department of Recreation will provide various children's activities on the Avalon beach and next to Avalon Community Hall.
Sea Isle fireworks
This year, the "rocket's red glare" will be launched from an ocean barge anchored near Sea Isle City's 50th Street Beach, which will allow spectators to enjoy seating at the Entertainment Complex at JFK Boulevard and elsewhere along the city Promenade.
Sea Isle City's 2012 July 4 fireworks display will start at 9 p.m.
There are also events going on throughout the day in the city. Beginning at 9:30 a.m., boys and girls ages 3 to 13 are invited to participate in Sea Isle City's Annual Junior Olympics, sponsored by the City's Department of Community Services and hosted by volunteers from the Yacht Club of Sea Isle City. During this free event, children compete by age and gender in running, jumping and throwing contests. First-, second- and third-place winners in each race receive Olympic-style medals while standing on a three-tiered victory platform. The event lasts for about two hours. Call 609-263-0050 or go to www.seaislecitynj.us.
Sea Isle City's weekly Family Night Dance Party will take place at The Excursion Park Band Shell, JFK Boulevard and Pleasure Avenue, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Music lovers of all ages are invited to dance the night away at this free, family-friendly event. Call 609-263-TOUR or go to www.seaislecitynj.us.