Lexington’s military personnel, veterans and first responders will be the featured heroes at the city’s Fourth of July Festival this year.
This year’s Patriotic Concert at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 3, will showcase the 202nd Army Band of the Kentucky National Guard, while the annual parade on Friday, July 4, will include representatives from the city’s Divisions of Fire and Police and each branch of the military.
The festival theme is “Celebrate Heroes,” to honor all those who help keep the nation and cities safe.
The festivities kick off on Wednesday, July 2, with the Great American Pie Contest and Ice Cream Social.
The event, presented by Alltech, will include local bakers competing to see who bakes the best pie in Lexington.
The pies will be cut and served with ice cream from Chaney’s Dairy Barn at noon at the Fifth-Third Pavilion at Cheapside Park.
Get in the mood for the big day by attending the Patriotic Concert on Thursday, July 3. The concert begins at 8 p.m. on the lawn of Old Morrison at Transylvania University on West Third Street.
When Friday, July 4, dawns, there will be runners throughout downtown Lexington, getting ready for the Bluegrass 10,000. This is the 38th year for the annual 10k foot race, which starts at 7:30 a.m. The Crank Wheelchair Division starts at 7:20 a.m., the Wheelchair Division at 7:25 a.m. and the Fun Run begins at 8:15 a.m.
There are new cash prizes this year for first place overall male and female winners in the 10K and Wheelchair divisions.
By 9 a.m. on July 4, the streets will be filled with the sights, sounds and smells of the downtown street festival, which will feature dozens of arts and crafts, food and beverage and commercial vendors.
The street festival will continue until 6 p.m. Free entertainment will be provided at five different sites from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Children’s crafts activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Shortly before 2 p.m., stake out a spot to watch one of Lexington’s largest parades as it winds down Main Street from Midland Avenue to Mill Street. This year’s parade is expected to have dozens of units, many dedicated to the military theme.
This year’s fireworks are presented by Thornton’s. Finish off a fun day by watching the display, which goes off over downtown Lexington at 10 p.m.
The Red, White & BOOM! concert will take place at Whitaker Bank Ballpark over two days – Saturday, July 5, and Sunday, July 6. The concert is presented by Hardee’s and produced by Clear Channel Media and features 18 country music acts. Tickets are sold out.
The Fourth of July Festival is managed by the Downtown Lexington Corporation and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Dozens of DLC and city employees work to put the festival on.
For more information about the festival, visit www.downtownlex.com.