Melissa residents will get a head start on Independence Day events throughout the corridor on Saturday, June 28 with Celebration Freedom, billed as Melissa’s biggest event of the year and sponsored by the City of Melissa and hosted by the Melissa Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Celebration of Freedom parade will step off at 5 p.m. from City Hall and continue down Cardinal Drive to Melissa Ridge Intermediate School. The area’s best cooks (or is it chefs) will have been grilling and cooking since early morning, and the end result will be tasted at 5 p.m. in the BBQ contest judging at the Barker House.

Then it’s off to Zadow Park on Hwy. 5 for a variety of activities and attractions. Entertainment will include a performance at 6:30 p.m. by MYO followed by continuous music throughout the evening by the ever popular Mat Nix Band. There will be a children’s play area, a petting booth, train rides as well as food and merchandise vendors.

Celebration Freedom will be capped off with a giant fireworks show at 10 p.m.

"Join us for a day of fabulous fun with something for everyone," is the message from the event organizers.

Anna residents will gather on Friday, July 4 at Anna Athletic Stadium (behind Anna Middle School on Hwy. 5) for the annual Freedom Fest fireworks show presented by the City of Anna and the Greater Anna Chamber of Commerce.

Gates will open at 8 p.m. and following a brief program at 9:15 p.m. it will be showtime with fireworks lighting up the sky.

Van Alstyne will host its own fireworks show at Van Alstyne High School beginning around dusk, or 9 p.m. The event is free to the public.

Another free event can be found the following day, July 5, at Howe High School as the city holds its own fireworks spectacular. Booths and contests will be open starting at 6 p.m.

To the west, Gunter will hold its 4th of July in the Park, sponsored by the Gunter Chamber of Commerce and Landmark Bank, on Friday, July 4 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Gunter City Park. Fireworks will go off at 9:45 p.m.

The Gunter 4th of July in the Park is set to include a flag ceremony, live entertainment, a fire department silent auction, food, drink, candy, arts and crafts, games, information booths and more.