July 4 will bring an extra-special Independence Day celebration across the lake region this year as coronavirus restrictions continue to be lifted. From art shows to boat parades and fireworks, there are many ways to let freedom ring in Tallapoosa and Elmore counties.

The 9th Annual Arti Gras juried art show will open at 9 a.m. July 3 on the Town Green at Russell Crossroads. Original works in jewelry, reclaimed wood décor, paintings, pottery, metal work, photography, candles, soaps and more will be on display and available for sale until 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Health and safety accommodations will be made to promote social distancing, with vendors spaced apart, and gloves will be available for patrons.

Also on July 3, Marshall Street Church in Alexander City will host a concert and fireworks event from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the band practice field at Benjamin Russell High School on Cherokee Road. A patriotic program will precede the fireworks show. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Food vendors will be on site. No alcohol is allowed at this family-friendly annual celebration.

The Russell Marine 4th of July Boat Parade on Lake Martin, hosted by Russell Marine, is one of the area’s most celebrated July 4 events with prizes for the tallest flag, largest flag, most patriotic crew, most creative theme and best overall boat and crew. The parade leaves Kowaliga Marina at 10 a.m., and boat entries travel along the shoreline to the Children’s Harbor lighthouse while spectators line the banks and gather on the waterside to cheer for their favorite participants. There is no fee to enter, but participants must register at Kowaliga Marina. For more information, call 256-397-1210.

On Lake Jordan, the Home Owners and Boat Owners sponsor a boat parade at 10 a.m. on July 4, as well as fireworks that evening. The boat parade will begin at State Docks and traverse up the Titus side of the lake to the entrance of Blackwell’s Slough. The parade route returns down the Slapout side of the lake and back to the entrance of the canal. View the parade from a boat on the water or along the shoreline. 

After a day of fun in the sun on the water, the fireworks will be shot from the east side of Jordan Dam, the Titus side, and will be best viewed from the water. The show is completely funded by donations from individuals and businesses. The fireworks will light up the sky beginning at 8:30 p.m., but arrive early to claim a good spot. Remember to bring earplugs for the little ones and snacks for the whole group. 

To maintain safety, the marine police on Lake Jordan will implement a mandatory ‘No Wake’ zone beginning July 4 at 6 p.m. until July 5 at 6 a.m. This zone extends from Jordan Dam to Rusty Hook Slough and Ski Club Inlet. All vessels should travel at idle speed in these areas. 

For more information, visit the Lake Jordan HOBO Facebook page.

Residents of the Blue Creek area of Lake Martin will stage a parade off the water. This annual neighborhood event will start at 11 a.m. on Olana Drive at the north end of Ponder Camp Road, Dadeville. Participants in golf carts decorated for the occasion will throw candy and trinkets to spectators that line the route to Niffers.

To join the parade, arrive at the Olana Drive start site at 10 a.m. For more information, call Mickey Forbus at 334-329-0905.

Close out the holiday at Lake Martin Amphitheater as Russell Lands hosts the annual July 4 concert and one of the South’s best fireworks displays. The gate opens at 5 p.m. with music starting at 7 p.m. and the fireworks show at 9 p.m. The music continues after the fireworks. This year’s festivities include performances by The Vegabonds, The Bank Walkers and Jessie Lynn.

In adherence of social distancing and COVID-19 precautions, a limited number of tickets are available at $10 each for this event. Purchase early at theamponlakemartin.com/tickets.

Bring lawn chairs and blankets, coolers and picnics. Food vendors also will be on site. Please leave pets at home, secure from the noise and bustle of the crowd and the fireworks.

Have a fun and safe July 4 weekend.