John Adams, who signed the Declaration of Independence, once said he wanted the entire nation from one side to the other to be lit up with fireworks “with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”

July 4, 1776, the 13 American Colonies were released from their subordination to the British Monarchy. We became the United States, one nation composed of 13 free and independent states. The date represented freedom and the first fireworks show, according to some historians, was a morale booster for soldiers in the midst of fighting in the Revolutionary War.

Community displays were created to discourage the more dangerous personal fireworks shows and now we have added barbecues, family events, parties and outdoor activities.

Although there are many fireworks shows in Henderson County, four that are very popular are listed below.

So grab the family and go enjoy our nation's independence which was fought so hard for.

The colonists fought a very strong and organized British army to give you this celebration! In the words of John Hancock, "We must be unanimous; there must be no pulling different ways; we must hang together."

If you have any questions, please contact the event locations. Information was provided by the websites for the event.

Texas Freshwater Fishery Fourth of July Fireworks

(Fireworks start around 9 p.m.)

5550 FM 2495 Athens 903-676-2277

Bring your family, lawn chars, and fishing poles to enjoy the annual Fireworks at the Fishery with the City of Athens, Texas Government and the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center – Texas Parks and Wildlife!

Free admission starts at 5 p.m., with the Angler's Pavilion open to borrow poles until 8:30 p.m. with the fireworks starting just after 9 p.m. KCKL 95.9 FM will be there playing the tunes!

Food vendors include East TX Smokehouse and Bakery, Fizzy Swig Soda, and Kona Ice!

As always, no fishing license needed. You are welcome to bring your own poles and bait. Just remember our standard guidelines:

- Hooks must be single, barbless or barbs smashed (you can always borrow one of ours).

- No freshwater organisms or cut bait

Remember, TFFC prohibits pets, tobacco, and alcohol on the property. For the best viewing experience, please leave canopies/pop-ups at home.

Bradley Street Parade

Show your Patriotism! Join the fun and enjoy the fellowship at the 23rd annual Bradley Street 4th of July Parade. Decorate your wagons, strollers and bicycles. Fly your flag and sit along the curb enjoying the festivities.

The parade will start off at 10 a.m. on Thursday July 4. Invite your friends and family to join us.

Homemade ice cream, cookies, watermelon and hotdogs will be served following the parade. Bring your favorite snack, dessert, or holiday dish.

Special music and a salute to veterans will follow the parade. Come enjoy music, food and celebrating our freedom. Call Rita Currington for more information at 903-675-2584

Life Church- 14th annual Freedom Fest

Starts at 5 p.m. Friday, July 5 (Fireworks begin slightly after dark around 9 p.m.)

8881 CR 3918 Athens 903-802-0714

There will be water slides, live music, food for purchase and, of course, the best fireworks show in East Texas! Admission is FREE.

14th annual Thunder over Cedar Creek Air Show

Saturday, July 6, 200 Pinnacle Club Dr. Mabank

The popular air show kicks off at approximately 6 p.m. with 25 aircraft currently scheduled to fly in the annual show including parachute jumpers, warbirds, the 1954 Grumman Albatross ZEUS, a UH-IH Huey helicopter and performances by the MiG 17’s with afterburners roaring at twilight and many more. This year's show will feature a Curtiss Hell-diver, the only one still flying in the world.

In prior years it has been estimated over 40,000 people have watched the air show from shore, docks and boats, and families from all over the region schedule their Fourth of July activities around Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake Air Show, creating lifetime memories. To see the full schedule of aircraft and events please go to www.ccveteransfoundation.org and https://www.tocclairshow.com.

VIP seating at Pinnacle Club is available for a fee of $60 adults/$30 kids. Others bring boats out to the lake and anchor or find a dock to watch one of the largest air shows in the region. This air show is the largest fundraiser for Cedar Creek Veterans Foundation which donates all proceeds, to three charities which are Fisher House, Hope For The Warriors and Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. From your boat or your dock, please text "VETS" to 903-206-1842. Your donation makes such differences to our active duty and veteran community.

This year the festivities begin early. Tours of the aircraft will be available to the public as well as opportunities to fly in them. Beginning from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 4 and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. To 4 p.m., the public can visit the aircraft and take on-board tours that include commentary from crew members. Admission to the event is $15 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under. Active duty service men and women may tour for free with their current military ID. Attendees who want the ultimate living history flight experience may make a reservation now for one of the limited number of 25-minute flights on any of the aircraft. Imagine flying on one of the iconic World War II aircraft, and then seeing it perform at twilight over Cedar Creek Lake!

For event details or to schedule a flight on any of The Magnificent Seven Warbirds, go to https://b17texasraiders.org/index.php/b-17-flight?id=321.

Several area Brookshire's will be accepting $5 donations in exchange for a $5 coupon on your next visit. Ask store for details.

If you have never attended, come and start one of the most amazing traditions you can give to family and friends.