Let's celebrate: Your guide to holiday fun

Flags will be waving across Cabarrus County this week as locals prepare for Independence Day celebrations planned for the weekend.

Harrisburg's annual July 4 festival will kick off with the Miss July 4th Pageant at Hickory Ridge High School at 6 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, festivities will open with a parade down N.C. 49 from Caldwell Road to Robinson Avenue in Harrisburg.

Serving as the parade's grand marshals this year will be the family of Army Pfc. Christopher Barton, a 22-year-old from Harrisburg who was killed May 24 in Afghanistan.

Bands will perform Saturday at Harrisburg Park, where there will be carnival rides, craft vendors and fireworks at 10 p.m. The festival will resume Sunday with a bands competition and a nearly $10,000 fireworks display at 10 p.m. The town has a $100,000 budget for the festival, but expects to recoup about $70,000 from ticket and T-shirt sales.

The town will offer shuttles 3-11 p.m. Saturday and 5-11 p.m. Sunday. Stops will be made at Harrisburg Park, Harrisburg Elementary School, Stallings Road Park, the Harrisburg Town Center, Covenant Church of Harrisburg on Hickory Ridge Road and the Harrisburg Lions Club on Patricia Avenue.

Concord will not host any July 4 festivities, but Charlotte Motor Speedway had its fireworks display at the Summer Shootout event Tuesday.

In Kannapolis, the Charlotte Symphony will perform its "Stars and Stripes Salute" 7 p.m. Friday at the amphitheater at Village Park. The performance, which is part of the city's summer event series, will feature arrangements of patriotic tunes.

Kannapolis' minor league baseball team, the Kannapolis Intimidators, will host a post-game fireworks show Sunday sponsored by the city after the team takes on the Greenville Drive at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium.

In Rowan County, the town of Faith's festival features music, rides, games and a watermelon-eating contest, as well as a parade and fireworks to conclude the celebration on Monday.