RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE –
Fireworks won't be exploding over Randolph on Independence Day this year, but celebrations throughout the San Antonio area - including the 29th annual Star-Spangled Festival at Lackland and Fort Sam Houston's "Salute to the Union" - will give Team Randolph members plenty of options for a thrill-filled Fourth of July.
Starting this year, Randolph will host its premier public events - the July 4 celebration and the Air Show - in alternating years. The air show will be held Nov. 3-4 this year to celebrate the Air Force's 60th anniversary, while the next Independence Day extravaganza is planned for 2008.
Col. Richard Clark, 12th Flying Training Wing commander, said the change reflects fiscal constraints and manning reductions, but he urged Team Randolph members to spend the Fourth of July with their families, enjoying celebrations planned throughout the San Antonio area, among them the two events at Fort Sam Houston and Lackland.
Fort Sam Houston's annual event begins at 11:30 a.m. and features a cannon salute to the Union fired in succession for each of the 50 states. Members of the Sons of the American Revolution, attired in period uniforms, will ring a bell 13 times to commemorate the original 13 colonies and the Army Medical Command Band will fill the air with patriotic tunes.
The event will take place outside Building 124, 1212 Stanley Road. Access to Fort Sam Houston is from the Walters Street exit off Interstate 35 or at the Harry Wurzbach Road entrance.
Lackland's Star-Spangled Festival is set for 3-10 p.m. on the amphitheater grounds. Highlights include music from the Air Force's Tops in Blue at 8 p.m., followed by a fireworks display. The event also features food and beverage booths along with family activities.
The city of San Antonio's official July 4 celebration kicks off at 10 a.m. at Woodlawn Lake, 1103 Cincinnati Ave. The event features a children's parade, play area and fireworks at 9 p.m.
The University of Texas at San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 S. Bowie St., presents a traditional Fourth of July celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During the event, historical characters will share stories of life on the Texas frontier, and children can enjoy frontier activities.
Celebrations are also planned in Randolph's back yard with Schertz's 32nd annual Jubilee and Garden Ridge's 4th of July Parade and Picnic at the Park.
Schertz's Jubilee features a carnival Saturday through Tuesday from 6 p.m. to midnight and Wednesday from 1:30 p.m. to midnight in the large pavilion at Pickrell Park. The U.S. Air Force Band of the West's Top Flight rock 'n' roll band performs Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Schertz Civic Center, 1400 Schertz Parkway, Building 5. The concert is free, but seating is limited and reservations are required on a first-come, first-served basis by calling 658-7477, Ext. 1119, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Silent auctions, arts and crafts shows and vendor fairs will be held Tuesday from 6 p.m. to midnight and Wednesday from 1-9 p.m. A dance featuring Cactus Country is set for Tuesday from 8 p.m. to midnight and musical entertainment will be provided Wednesday in the large pavilion at Pickrell Park.
The Schertz Jubilee Parade, "American Pride," begins Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. Colonel Clark will be the Grand Marshall of the parade. Other events include the Jubilee opening ceremony at 12:30 p.m. and the fireworks extravaganza at 9:15 p.m.
Garden Ridge's celebration will commence with a flag-raising Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the city park, followed by the Parade of Wheels at 10:30 a.m. Food will be served from 10:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., and a variety of activities are planned throughout the event.
Seguin's 40th annual Freedom Fiesta runs today through Sunday in the downtown area. Activities, including a carnival, food booths, and military displays, will begin today at 5 p.m., Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at noon. A street dance is scheduled today at 7:30 p.m. and a concert is set for Saturday at 8 p.m.
Seguin's July 4 celebration begins with a flag-raising ceremony at 8:45 a.m. in Central Park, followed by a parade at 10 a.m. The fireworks display is set for 9:30 p.m. at Starcke Park.