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Forest Grove will celebrate Independence Day the usual way. Donations are requested but not required.

FILE PHOTO - A firework lights up the evening sky at Tom McCall Upper Elementary School in Forest Grove. The long-running community fireworks show will be put on Wednesday evening, July 4.Next Wednesday, July 4, is the 242nd anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

In Forest Grove, the holiday will be celebrated as it usually is: with live music and a family-friendly fireworks display at Tom McCall Upper Elementary School, located west of downtown at 1255 S.W. Pacific Ave.

The Independence Day celebration is put on every year by the Western Washington County Firefighters Association.

Although the event is free of charge, the association is asking for donations of $5 per individual or $20 per family to help keep it going.

The fireworks show itself will begin after dark. Sunset will be at 9:04 p.m. Wednesday evening, so anyone wanting to be sure not to miss the fireworks is encouraged to arrive before then.

However, the celebration itself will start while the sun is still bright in the sky at 6 p.m. Two local bands, Forest Grove Outlaws and Trask River Redemption, will perform live music.

The venue is Forest Grove School District property, and even though the district is on summer break, school ground rules apply. Alcohol, tobacco and marijuana are not allowed, nor are personal fireworks.

Attendees may want to bring their own lawn chairs or a blanket to spread out on the grass.

This year's Independence Day celebration may be attended by members of a visiting delegation from Nyuzen, Japan, in town for the 30th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Forest Grove and Nyuzen.

For those looking for something to do in Forest Grove before the event at Tom McCall School gets underway, the Forest Grove Farmers Market will be open as usual on Main Street from 4 to 8 p.m. despite the holiday. Some downtown merchants are also expected to participate in the monthly "First Wednesdays" promotion, offering specials for the day.


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