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Tri-State offers plenty to do this Fourth of July weekend

America will celebrate it's 227th birthday Friday.

Tri-State area residents will start the party early, and keep going all weekend long.

The slate of entertainment for the Independence Day weekend includes concerts, fireworks displays and family activities.

In Coal Grove, Family Fun Days will continue Thursday

with a 7 p.m. concert by local artist Craig Haney. A fireworks display will close the event at 10 p.m. Other local acts may be announced at a later date. Family Fun Days are sponsored by the Coal Grove Betterment Club. More than 200 people are expected for the concert.

The annual Summer Motion in Ashland, Ky., also continues. In the city's Central Park, an American Veterans Traveling Tribute will be one of the highlights of a slate of family activities. The tribute includes a 4/5 scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

This evening, 60's pop group The Vogues and rock legends The Doobie Brothers will perform on the riverfront. The performances are sponsored by: AK Steel; ALLTEL; Classic Bank; American Electric Power; Pepsi; Cintas; Marathon Ashland Petroleum; Local Banks; Town Square Bank; C&S Distributors; Community Trust Bank. It will be hosted by 100 KEE FM and B-97.1.

On Friday, Independence Day activities begin with a 10K run at 8 a.m., starting at 15th Street and Central Avenue. The Independence Day Parade through downtown Ashland follows at 11 a.m.

The annual Worm Race is scheduled for 12:30.

A canned food drive to benefit area food pantries will begin at 5 p.m. Friday on the riverfront.

At 8 p.m. country group Pinmonkey will entertain just before the 9:15 patriotic show and fireworks display. A performance by Phil Vassar will complete the evening. Fridays events are sponsored by Clear Channel Communications; The City of Ashland; King's Daughters Medical Center; it will be hosted by WTCR 103.3.

On Saturday, the focus will be entirely on activities in Central Park. Local musicians will perform at the Central Park Bandstand and children's activities will dominate attention elsewhere.

A petting zoo, COSI exhibits, giant inflatables and face paintings are planned for the younger set. Health screenings, arts and crafts exhibits, and Kentucky National Guard Exhibit are scheduled for adults.

A classic car show is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the 22nd Street area. There will be a state-sanctioned horse shoe tournament both days. The park hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday, July 3- Saturday, July 5 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, July 6.

The 17th annual Freedomfest will take place Friday at Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington, W.Va. The River Magic Chorus,a division of the Sweet Adeleines;

R&B dance band Stratus and local favorites Blue Max will perform prior to a fireworks display. Gates open at 6 p.m. and those who attend are encouraged to bring a picnic basket and make the annual concert a family dining event. Freedomfest is sponsored by Clear Channel Communications, Inc.