Get ready for a bang-up Fourth of July

2014-07-03T09:00:00Z 2014-07-07T06:49:08Z Get ready for a bang-up Fourth of JulyGazette staff The Billings Gazette

Two of the biggest area Fourth of July celebrations are in Yellowstone County.

Laurel festivities are family-friendly and they kick off with the street dance on Thursday featuring D’tective. On Friday, come hungry for the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 6 to 11 a.m. The Chief Joseph run is from 7 to 9 a.m., folowed by the annual Kids Parade at 10 and the Grand Parade at 11.

The afternoon activities in Laurel include a food and crafts fair, children’s activities and entertainment. Then, grab the bug spray and a lawn chair for the finale — Montana’s largest fireworks display at Thomson Park after dark. For more information, go to laurelmontana.org.

In Billings, families can head out to Castle Rock Park in the Heights for a free day of fun. The day starts with the Freedom Race beginning and ending at Harvest Church, Heights Campus, 1235 W. Wicks Lane. The race includes a 5K, a criterium ride, and a variety of other shorter foot races. Registration runs from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. There is a fee to participate. For more information, go to freedomdaybillings.com. To register for the criterium race, go to usacycling.org.

Harvest Church’s Celebrate Freedom event at Castle Rock Park runs from 4 to 10:30 p.m. and includes face painting, balloons, temporary tattoos, games, a dunk tank and live entertainment by Omnithex, Alder Lights, and The Clumsy Lovers. Concessions are available. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs for the fireworks show starting at 10 p.m.

For motorcycle fans, the HOG Motorcycle Rally parade starts at 4:30 p.m. at MetraPark. The motorcycle parade starts and ends at MetraPark. Motorcyclists ride up Sixth Avenue North to North 30th Street to Second Avenue North to North 27th Street to the airport roundabout to Bench Boulevard.

The KOA Kampgrounds on Garden Avenue is hosting a parade on the Fourth of July starting at 10 a.m. The parade is followed by activities throughout the day. Music will be performed by The Montana Guys (Ken and Linda Petro) from 6 to 9 p.m. Food and beverages are available to purchase. Bring your lawn chairs and prepare to spend the day in the shade by the Yellowstone River.

Over in Carbon County, Red Lodge is hosting the 85th Home of Champions Rodeo featuring top professional rodeo cowboys and cowgirls. Rodeos, which started Wednesday, are held daily starting on July 2. The rodeo on the Fourth of July starts at 3 p.m. at the Red Lodge County Fairgrounds. There are also daily parades starting at noon downtown.

In Musselshell County, Roundup is hosting a parade at noon and a rodeo at the Musselshell Fairgrounds starting at 2:30 p.m. The rodeo will feature saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, steer wrestling, bull riding, team roping, calf roping, ladies barrel racing and ladies breakaway. There will also be a youth barrel racing event for riders 14 and under.

The chuck wagon cook-off takes place during Roundup rodeo, and live music follows at the City Park in downtown Roundup with Moe Bandy, Janie Frickie, and Hotel California performing starting at 7 p.m.

Cody, Wyo., is hosting the Cody Stampede on the Fourth of July, which includes a parade Friday morning on Sheridan Avenue with NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison as grand marshal. The rodeo starts at 5 p.m., followed by Skylighters Fireworks Show in evening.

In Harlowton, there is a Fourth of July Parade at 11 a.m., followed by the rodeo at 1 p.m. and fireworks at 10 p.m.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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