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Many communities throughout the Pineywoods are planning festivities and celebrations for the Fourth of July.  Whether you plan to go patriotic in Jasper or Livingston or Center or at the Alabama Coushatta Reservation, you're certain to have a great time.  However, for this blog we're concentrating on the happenings in Lufkin and Nacogdoches. 

The annual Freedom Fest in Nacogdoches presented by Texas Farm Bureau will get underway at 5pm.  Once again, the event will take place at Festival Plaza, which is located directly south of the brick streets of downtown Nacogdoches.

There will be many fun activities for kids and adults alike.

The 2nd Annual “All-American Hot Dog Eating Contest” will start at 6:30 p.m. and there will be three age groups: 7-12, 13-17, and 18+. Participants may register the day of the event 5-6:15 p.m. at the CVB tent. Registration is free and  prizes will be awarded to the winners.

The 4th Annual “Star Spangled Pitch Off” washer tourney will get underway at 6 p.m. located by the children’s activities in downtown Festival Plaza. Contestants can sign up at the Jaycees info booth and entry into the contest is $20 per team. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners of the Pitch Off.

There will be live music on the stage with Westbound 21 and CulverHouse.

A fun children’s area will keep the kids entertained with arts and crafts, potato sack races, slides, moonwalks, and letters to the troops.

Other popular locations for viewing the fireworks are the University Mall, Williamsburg Plaza, Downtown Square, Nacogdoches County Courthouse, Coy Simms Softball Park, Brookshire Brothers on South Street and the Hotel Fredonia.

KICKS 105 's Sean Ericson will be the guest emcee for the evening, plus you'll be able to hear the official fireworks music beginning around 9:15 on KICKS 105.

The City of Lufkin along with Mike Love and Associates will once again present their Independence Day Celebration at Ellen Trout Park and Zoo located on the North Loop in Lufkin.  The Zoo will open at 9am.  Train rides on the Z&OO Railroad will also start at 9.  At 1pm food booths and many other attractions will open across the park grounds.

Live entertainment on the stage will begin at 4:15.  Bryan Harkness will be the final performer before the fireworks get underway around 9:15.  There will be nearly 25 minutes of dazzling fireworks and this year thousands of 3D glasses will be handed out for free to add to sparkling array of lights and colors.

KFOX 95.5 will air the official music for the fireworks.  Those not wanting to park near the Ellen Trout grounds can ride a free shuttle that will originate from Lufkin High School on the Northeast Loop.

Enjoy your Fourth and be safe!