This is a guest post by Renee Jackson, executive director of the DLC, highlighting all of the great downtown programming for the week of the 4th.
This year’s festivities are in full swing. On Friday, June 29th people can enjoy a free screening of “1776” during Fountain Films on Friday at Triangle Park. Bring a chair or blanket and take in the beautiful backdrop of the Triangle Park fountains. The fun continues on Monday, July 2nd with the Great American Pie Contest and Ice Cream Social. This event begins at noon in the Fifth Third Bank Pavilion at Cheapside Park. The public can indulge in a free slice of pie and scoops of delicious ice cream while listening to the sounds of Young at Heart Jazz Band.
On July 3rd get ready to listen to the Lexington Philharmonic entertain thousands of people on the grounds of Transylvania University and historic Gratz Park during the Patriotic Concert. The program will open at 8p with the “Star-Spangled Banner” and “My Old Kentucky Home.” The Lexington Philharmonic will be led by Scott Terell, music director and conductor, and the Lexington Singers will be led by Jefferson Johnson, music director and conductor. Other patriotic selections will be provided throughout the program, which will also include selections from movies such as “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
Concert-goers should plan to get there early and bring a blanket or a lawn chair. The Young at Heart Jazz Band will perform from 5:30-7:30p in Gratz Park before the concert. Patrons can purchase wine or beer and food on the site or bring your own picnic basket. Please remember that bringing alcohol to the site is prohibited.
On July 4th downtown Lexington is packed with people and excitement all day from the start of the 36th running of the Bluegrass 10,000 at 7:30a to the climax of 17 minutes of high popping fireworks at 10p. There is something for everyone on this day and there is no better place to be than the streets of downtown. From 10a-6p enjoy live entertainment on five different stages located in Centrepointe, the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza, Phoenix Park and the front and back sides of the Old Courthouse. Also during this time there will be an ongoing street festival with art and craft vendors and plenty of food and beverages. Many of our downtown bars and restaurants will be open, so plan to stop by and take in some of the cuisine that is available every day in downtown Lexington. The Kid Zone is located at the corner of Short and Limestone Streets, where there will be free children’s activities. Inflatables will also be on site for a small fee. New for 2012 is the addition of a zip line across the Centrepointe block.
For those of you who want to celebrate the history behind the holiday listen to the reading of the Declaration of Independence at 11a on Main Street near Fifth Third Bank. This year we have a very special Grand Marshal of the parade, Coach Joe B. Hall, former UK basketball coach. The parade begins at 2p and travels west on Main Street from Midland to Broadway. At 6p the party shifts westward to get ready for the fireworks with July 4th Live! This is the second year for this pre-fireworks concert that begins at 6p on West Main Street near Heritage Hall. Enjoy Mama’s Blue Dress from 6-7:45p and Swing Street from 8-10p. This will provide the perfect transition into the Zambelli’s fireworks show. For those photographers in the crowd be ready to snap the perfect picture and submit it to Zambelli’s Fireworks photo contest. The winning photo will be featured in their 2013 calendar that is distributed nationwide to more than 14,000 people.
The Fourth of July Festival is brought to you by Downtown Lexington Corp., Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Pepsi, Transylvania University, Hilliard Lyons, WKYT-TV, LEX -18, ABC 36 and 98.1 The Bull. For additional information on the festival or the photo contest visit www.downtownlex.com or call us at 859-425-2590.