Independence Day celebrations begin this weekend as Wild Duck Marina hosts its sixth annual Fourth of July Bash Saturday night.

The event will be highlighted by a fireworks show that is scheduled to begin at 9:20 p.m. on Little Crappie Island. Saturday morning will be the second annual boat parade, which will begin at 10 a.m. Boats are asked to line up at the Lake Brownwood dam at 9:30 a.m. Registration fee is $5 and entries can register at Wild Duck Marina or in advance by calling 325-784-7100.

The Bash will also feature a pair of live bands Saturday night at Wild Duck Marina itself, located at 320 High Top Street. Performing from 8 to 10 p.m. will be Rare Dog followed by Callahan Divide from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

As for July 4 itself, Riverfest returns for the third year at Riverside Park, with activities taking place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sponsored by the Brownwood Jaycees, Riverfest features food, fun and games for the entire family. Scheduled activities include raft races, Knockerball, laser tag, bounce houses, live music, a barbecue cook-off and a car show, plus more than 30 vendors with food and merchandise.

For those wanting to leave town for the holiday, you won't have to travel far to enjoy a pair of evening firework shows.

In Cross Plains, its Fourth of July Celebration will take place from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Treadway Park, with a fireworks show providing the final touches. A dunking booth for $2 a ball, bingo for $1 per card, a 42 tournament, bounce houses, free hot dogs and watermelon and live music will be included in the event. The celebration is sponsored by the City of Cross Plains and the Cross Plains Chamber of Commerce, and more information can be obtained by calling 254-725-7251.

Rising Star is holding its annual Freedom Fest on July 4 as well, an all-day event that will conclude with a fireworks show as well. The Freedom Parade will be held at 1 p.m. beginning at the high school and continuing to the city park. Following the parade, a community gathering will take place at the city park that will include a petting zoo, cake walk, bounce houses and water slides, along with hamburgers and refreshments. The fireworks show will take place at dusk.

Hosted by the Rising Star Chamber of the Commerce, the Miss Freedom Pageant will also be held Tuesday at the city park pavilion. Registration begins at 4 p.m. with the pageant starting at 5 p.m. Age divisions include Tiny Miss (0-2 years old), Mini Miss (3 to 6 years old) and Miss (7 to 10 years). There is a $25 entry fee and contestants should wear their Sunday best or pageant wear. A crown and sash will be awarded to the winners in each age division.