A very East Dallas Independence Day

Photo by Danny Fulgencio
Photo by Danny Fulgencio

There’s nothing quite as sweet as a hometown holiday. Though we live in the big city, our tightknit neighborhoods and their tree-lined roadways gives Fourth of July that small-town feel that brims over with nostalgia.

It is the compelling drive for those who put together these homespun celebrations. They want to give their children, and the community, that all-American experience that good memories are made of.

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The Lakewood Fourth of July celebration is a tradition 53 years in the making. It began with a couple of the Neikirk family’s kids riding their bikes down Lakewood Boulevard. Since then, the  only thing that’s changed is the size, as today hundreds come out to enjoy the parade of patriotic pride.

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The day begins at 8 a.m. with a 1.2 mile fun-run, which has a $10 entry fee and prizes for the top three finishers, along with participant T-shirts for all who run. The parade steps off at 10 a.m. from the corner of Lakewood Boulevard and Cambria, and wraps up at the tennis courts on Tokalon with refreshments and more merriment. To join the parade, simply show up by 9:15 a.m. the morning of, decked out in your best red, white and blue. Get more details at lakewoodparade.com.

While it’s a little younger, the Little Forest Hills Fourth of July offers a slightly funkier option on the east side of the lake. Now in its 15th year, the parade’s always patriotic theme will be “Happy birthday, America.” The neighborhood gathers early, with the parade stepping off at 9 a.m. from the Promise of Peace Garden, 1435 San Saba, and continuing straight down to Casa Linda Park. To join the fun, simply show up early and be ready to march or ride, or just watch from the sidelines as a spectator. The day ends with a barbecue in the park complete with apple pie.

“We will also have music and entertainment provided by The Dallas Tap Dazzlers,” adds organizer Sarah Aston.

More information can be found at lfh4thofjulyparade.webstarts.com.

No matter where you watch the parade, it wouldn’t be Fourth of July without fireworks. The big show is at Fair Park, which opens the Midway for a free day at the carnival before the pyrotechnics display at 9:45 p.m. But if you want to keep it closer to home, just find a spot around the Lakewood Country Club. The local institution puts on a dazzling 9 p.m. show that can be seen for blocks.

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