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Tuesday September 30th 2014

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Let Freedom Ring

What to see and do this Fourth of July
By Jennie McKeon

Even though the Fourth of July is on a Monday this year, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate. Enjoy the entire week with free music, great food and even a charitable run.

Firecracker 5K
Start your holiday on the right foot with the annual Ronald McDonald House Firecracker 5K Saturday, July 2. The race begins in downtown Pensacola at 7:30 a.m. Free food and drinks will be provided for all participants, and the first 500 to register get a free tank top. You can contact the Ronald McDonald House for more information at 477-2273.

Fourth of July at The Fish House
The band Hip Kitty will be playing free concerts at The Fish House on Friday, July 1, Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3 on The Deck Bar. All shows start at 9 p.m. On the Fourth of July, the restaurant will host a special wine dinner and entertainment from DvDJ D-Mixx. The dinner will be a chef-selected, five-course menu with specialty wines with each course. Enjoy such creations as grilled watermelon salad with mixed greens dressed in champagne vinaigrette with crumpled feta cheese, toasted almonds and grape tomatoes, and lump crab cake served with a bourbon Creole mustard and meuniere sauce and topped with candied pecans and sweet potato hay. For dessert, Pastry Chef Trina Confusione has created strawberry and rhubarb tarts and Neapolitan cheesecake. Hungry yet? Reservations for the five-course meal begin at 6 p.m. The regular menu will be offered in the general seating area. Each waterfront table with come with a great view of the fireworks that begin at 9 p.m. Price per person is $125 and includes the five course meal and wine pairing for each course. For reservations call Melissa Martin at 433-9450.

Fourth of July at Lee House
On Monday, July 4, join Lee House and Chef Blake Rushing for dinner and drinks at Lee House, located in the heart of downtown Pensacola and Sertoma’s Fourth of July Celebration. Enjoy dinner, drinks and the perfect view of the fireworks. $50 per person, $175 for four. Visit leehousepensacola.com or call 912-8770 for reservations.

Library of Congress Traveling Exhibit
The Library of Congress’ traveling exhibit “Gateway to Knowledge” will be in Pensacola Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4. Located at Fountain Park, the 1,000 square-foot-exhibit is mounted on a customized 18-wheel truck and outlines the history of the Library of Congress. It’s the perfect time of year to take in high-quality reproductions of the 1455 Gutenberg Bible and even rough drafts of the Declaration of Independence. The exhibit is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both days.

Lighthouse Tour with Rocky and the Ghost Seekers of Texas
Many Pensacola natives have taken their fair share of lighthouse tours, but on Sunday, July 3 the Pensacola Lighthouse will host a special ghost hunt from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. Rocky and the Ghost Seekers of Texas will be your guides on this extended two-hour hunt of America’s most haunted lighthouse. Tickets are $40 per person. For reservations, go to lighthousereservations.org.

Red, White and Blues Week
The fun doesn’t end with the fireworks. On Pensacola Beach, the festivities begin with the Independence Day celebration on Monday, July 4 with fireworks over Santa Rosa Sound starting at 9 p.m. The week continues with air shows, music and even stargazing. On Tuesday, July 5, The Song Byrds will play at the Gulfside Pavilion from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, July 8 you can catch the Blue Angels’ dress rehearsal at 2 p.m. and in the evening take in free music with Sammi Moore, who describes his music as “CCR meets Skynyrd meets Sugarland.” Moore will play from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Quietwater Shell on the Boardwalk. The Red, White and Blues week comes to an end Saturday, July 9 with the Pensacola Beach Airshow featuring the Blue Angels at 2 p.m. That night you can catch more music courtesy of David Shaw, who will play 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Quietwater Shell on the Boardwalk, or stargaze at Big Lagoon State Park. The Escambia Amateur Astronomers’ Association will volunteer 20 telescopes ranging in strength and size to offer a closer look at Jupiter, the Milky Way and other galaxies. For more info call the Pensacola Beach Visitors Information Center at 932-1500.

Sertoma’s Fourth of July Celebration
For 21 years, Sertoma organizers have been coordinating and hosting the largest fireworks display on the Gulf Coast over Pensacola Bay. The entire day will be filled with activities in Seville Square starting at 11 a.m. There will be a free children’s area with inflatable toys, pony rides and arts and crafts. There will also be food vendors and live entertainment at the gazebo stage. At noon, be sure to check out the hot dog eating contest. Starting at 4 p.m. you can enjoy music on the Bayfront Stage featuring Mass Kunfuzion, followed by August Body at 6:30 p.m. The finale of the night will be the fireworks, which should begin at 9:05 p.m. Visit pensacolasertomajuly4th.org for additional details.