The annual Ford Fireworks festival on Monday, June 22, 2015, at Hart Plaza in Detroit. (Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press/TNS)
The Continental Congress declared American independence on July 2, 1776. So why is July 4 the day our country celebrates? It was then that the  final wording of the Declaration of Independence was officially approved. (Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press/TNS)

You know that we are officially into summer when July 4 rolls around. It is officially the time of the year for backyard barbecues, hot dogs, bathing suits, sparklers and fireworks—and do not forget the red, white and blue.

The good thing about the holiday this year is that it falls on a Saturday. Those who work during the week will not have to hold back this year; this weekend can be a party weekend.

Here are some things you can do around the Stony Brook area and beyond.

  • Port Jefferson’s Annual 4th of July Parade

If you are in the Stony Brook area for the July 4 weekend, you may want to take a ride over to Port Jefferson for the July 4 parade that the town hosts annually. The parade, located on Main Street, runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.. This is a good opportunity to get out and show your spirit. Enjoy the free parade and then walk around the town afterwards. If you get caught up shopping or eating, then you can stick around for the fireworks show at 9:30. The free fireworks display will be at West Beach.

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  • The July 4th Fireworks Spectacular at Jones Beach

Grab some blankets, snacks and good friends and family and head over to Jones Beach where there will be a fireworks show put on by Garden State Fireworks. This year, WALK 97.5 FM and WHLI AM will be playing music during the show. The fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m. This gives you all day to relax poolside before heading out, or make a day out of it and get to the beach early.  The show is free and parking is $10.

  •   Third Annual Fourth of July Beach Party

Here is an event not so close to the suburbs for those who live in the city, or for those who just want to change their scenery a little bit. At Coney Island Beach, there will be an all-day beach party. The event will feature live music, food and fireworks. The Coney Island Beach is also home to a nice, long boardwalk and the roller coaster, “The Cyclone.” The party begins at 9 a.m., but will probably run late. Last year’s party did not end until midnight, so if you are game, try to go all day.

Whatever you decide to do to celebrate the holiday, have fun and be safe.

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