As the people of this great nation, you have the freedom and duty to celebrate America’s birthday with parties, parades, fireworks and more. As one of the original 13 colonies, New Jersey has celebrated Independence Day since the beginning. Much like today, the earliest celebrations typically included concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons and muskets set in tune with public readings of the Declaration of Independence. George Washington even issued double rum rations in honor of America’s Independence. Here are a list of ways you can celebrate.

Fire the cannons — Fireworks

Ocean City: 9 p.m. Thursday, July 4. A spectacular boardwalk fireworks display tops off the evening. The fireworks will be launched from a barge off the Music Pier and are best viewed from the beach or boardwalk between Fifth Street and 14th Street.

For more information call 609-399-6111 or go to

Margate: 9 p.m. Thursday, July 4. For nearly 20 years, the Margate Mothers’ have presented the annual fireworks celebration. “Through the hard work of our members, our city, the police and fire departments, and the generosity of our community and sponsors, Margate Mothers’ Association is honored to present one of the area’s best fireworks displays,” says Celina Kurtz, Margate Mothers’ Association President. Each year the proceeds from this event are donated to a non-profit charity, this year’s recipient is Avanzar, formerly The Women’s Center. The rain date for the fireworks is Saturday, July 6.

Located at Huntington Avenue Beach in Margate. For more information go to

Atlantic City Boardwalk: 10 p.m. Thursday, July 4. Tropicana Atlantic City will present their Fireworks by Grucci followed by a dazzling multi-media video and sound show. The show will be displayed from the beachfront.

Located at 2831 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. For more information call 609-340-4000 or go to

Atlantic City Marina District : 9 p.m. Thursday, July 4. Atlantic City’s fireworks will light up over the Marina district. There is a free public viewing area at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s north entrance lot. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Located at 1 Borgata Way in Atlantic City. For more information call 609-317-1000 or go to

Set … march — Parades

Ocean City’s Fourth of July Bike Parades: 9 a.m. Thursday, July 4, registration. The parade steps off at 10 a.m. If you’re in the Gardens sign up is at the Longport Bridge parking lot. South end registration is at 40th street and Asbury avenues. For more information call 609-399-6111.

Smithville’s Fourth of July Parade: 9 a.m. Thursday, July 4. The Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Riders will roll out at 8:55 a.m. There are over 170 units participating in this year’s parade, with close to 10,000 people expected to attend, making this the largest parade in the area. With this many participants, it may take up to two hours for the parade to pass any particular viewing area. The parade route will march east on Smithville Boulvard to Moss Mill Road and then west on Moss Mill Road to Historic Smithville, where the parade will close with an Independence Day Ceremony in the Village Green.

Located at 615 E. Moss Mill Road in Smithville. For more information go to

Bugle call — Concerts

Atlantic City Boardwalk concerts: All shows begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 4, The Sean Jones Quartet; Friday, July 5, Sensamotion; Saturday and Tuesday, July 6 and 9, The E Street Shuffle; Sunday, July 7; Monday, July 8, Wednesday, July 10, Maria Muldaur and Rick Estren and the Nightcats

All shows are free. Kennedy Plaza is located on the Boardwalk directly in front of Boardwalk Hall.

Somers Point

AtlantiCare Concerts on the Beach: All are invited to a two-day Fourth of July celebration on Thursday and Friday, July 4 and 5. AtlantiCare Concerts on the Beach host Billy Walton‘s Jersey Shore Rock and Soul Review which features Michael “Tunes“ Antunes, the saxophone star of “Eddie & the Cruisers,” and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Vini “Mad Dog“ Lopez from Bruce Springsteen‘s original E Street Band on Thursday. On Friday, July 5, Eagles tribute band “Eagles Country,” a spectacular 10-piece band, will also feature the songs of Joe Walsh, Don Henley, Linda Ronstadt and Vince Gill.

Thursday night’s performance will be accented by views of the Ocean City and Margate municipal fireworks starting at 9 p.m.

Shows are free on the William Morrow Beach on Bay Avenue in Somers Point. Go to

Double rations — Patriotic festivals and feasts

Ocean City’s Fourth of July Kite Flying Competition: 7 p.m. Thursday, July 4. This kite-flying competition takes place on the beach next to the Music Pier along with entertainment leading up to the fireworks.

Located at 825 Boardwalk in Ocean City. For more information go to

Atlantic City’s Tanger Outlets Block Party: Noon to 4 p.m. July 4 through 7. This block party will feature patriotic events, sidewalk sales, a live DJ, prizes and more.

Located at 2014 Baltic Ave. in Atlantic City. For more information call 609-344-0095 or go to

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