Independence Day activities set

Published 10:29 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The raft race on the Chuckatuck Creek is one of many Independence Day traditions in Suffolk.

The raft race on the Chuckatuck Creek is one of many Independence Day traditions in Suffolk.

Independence Day in Suffolk always includes plenty of family fun, and this year is no different.

The National Weather Service’s seven-day forecast predicts Monday will be mostly sunny, with a high of 84, after a week of rain, so that will be another reason to get out and celebrate the nation’s 240th birthday.

Events will include a parade and raft race in Eclipse, a large celebration downtown, fireworks in both places and plenty of neighborhood-level fun.

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“We’re looking forward to another great year,” said Emily Upton, special events coordinator for Suffolk Parks and Recreation.

The Stars and Stripes Spectacular will take place beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Constant’s Wharf Park, 110 E. Constance Road.

This annual celebration features entertainment, children’s activities, food and merchandise vendors and more.

“It’s a very family-friendly event, so we have bounce houses for the kids and a large kids’ area,” Upton said. “It’s all they can bounce all night,” plus obstacle courses, crafts and more.

The children’s area has a one-time admission charge of $5.

“It’s a fun space for the kids to play while the parents are having a good time,” Upton said.

The event usually draws more than 2,500 people, Upton said.

“It’s kind of max for the park. We pack it in. At 9 o’clock, it’s wall-to-wall people, which is great to see, because it gets the energy going and makes it fun for everybody.”

SlapNation will provide the music for the evening.

Parking for the event is not available at the Hilton Garden Inn, which is adjacent to the hotel. A city shuttle will run between three downtown parking lots and the park, providing easy access.

Shuttle service takes place from 5:15 to 8:20 p.m. and then resumes after the fireworks from the following sites: First Baptist Church parking lot, 237 N. Main St.; City Hall parking lot, 440 Market St.; Mills Godwin Courthouse Building, 150 N. Main St.

In Eclipse, Independence Day activities begin at 9 a.m. with a barbecue and bake sale at Ebenezer United Methodist Church, 1589 Steeple Drive. The annual parade will begin at 10:30 a.m., with family fun and games from noon to 3 p.m., the traditional raft race on Chuckatuck Creek at 3 p.m., food sales to support youth missions from 6 to 9 p.m., live music starting at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks at 9 p.m.