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SPECIAL EVENT | Independence Day Celebrations 

Each year, Independence Day serves as an opportunity to both reflect upon and celebrate the nation's history. Throughout the Rochester area, various organizations will host events to commemorate the special day. These are only a few of the many opportunities for July 4 fun in the Rochester area. For information, and a larger list of celebrations, visit the calendar at rochestercitynewspaper.com.

Genesee Country Museum will celebrate the holiday with vintage flair. In place of fireworks, the Museum will draw on a 19th century tradition to loudly celebrate independence. The Museum uses a "flying anvil" to make noise, rather than a cannon. Two anvils are placed bottom-to-bottom, with gunpowder filling the space between them. When the gunpowder is lit, one of the 100-pound anvils takes off and produces a loud boom. The shooting anvils will be accompanied by a patriotic concert, a pie-eating contest, and more. The day is centered around a naturalization ceremony, in which some 50 new citizens will take the oath of allegiance on the steps of the Town Hall. The ceremony takes place at 11 a.m. Other festivities will occur throughout the day. For more information visit gcv.org.

The New York Wine and Culinary Center will host a BBQ Battle Competition and Garden Tent party. Guests can watch teams compete to prepare the best ribs in the NYWCC's Hands-On-Kitchen. The NYWCC's own chefs will provide additional BBQ for tasting. Food and drinks will be available in the Garden Tent. The BBQ Competition will begin at 5 p.m., with tasting and judging taking place at 7 p.m. Intrepid BBQers can arrive at 3 p.m. and pay $125 per team to compete. The entry fee includes necessary ingredients, culinary instruction, and use of the NYWCC's kitchen. Prizes will be awarded to winners. For more information visit nywcc.com.

A number of events will take place throughout the day at the Sodus Bay Lighthouse. The day kicks off with a hot breakfast at 7 a.m. ($8), and continues with a 5K run, art and craft show, and a free concert by the Gap Mangione Big Band. Admission to the Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum will be free throughout the day. For more information and registration for the 5K, visit sodusbaylighthouse.org.

Brockport's Morgan-Manning House will celebrate an old-fashioned Fourth of July with a children's parade, big band musical performances, and various games for kids. Tours of the historic house will be free throughout the day, and food will be available for purchase. The celebration will take place from 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. For more information visit morganmanninghouse.org.

The City of Rochester will present a fireworks display set to live music from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on the Main Street Bridge. Before the performance and pyrotechnical display, local band Shine will bring some funk to the Bridge. The City's festivities will begin at 7:30 p.m., with fireworks beginning at 10 p.m. Attendees can view the fireworks from the Main Street Bridge, the Broad Street Bridge, Chestnut Street near the Washington Square Garage, as well as nearby streets. Viewers should bring chairs or blankets for their own comfort. For more information visit cityofrochester.gov.

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