Your Fourth of July soundtrack might contain the Katharine Lee Bates-penned “America the Beautiful” or Childish Gambino’s “This Is America,” or both. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of patriotic feelings, there’s still room to celebrate the arts, initiatives and communities that bring us all together. Plus, outdoor concerts, street dances, picnics with family (chosen or blood) and friends — all culminating in a fireworks spectacle — underscore the sweetness of a summer holiday. All events take place on Thursday, July 4. For more Independence Day celebrations visit Clubland and Calendar.
• Local rock outfit The Broadcast performs as part this year’s Ingles Independence Day Celebration, hosted by the Asheville Downtown Association at Pack Square Park. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. with giant slides, an obstacle course, a toddler bouncy house, a slack-line area, the LEAF Easel Rider, the Splashville fountain and the Ultimate Air Dogs competition. Other musical acts include funk, soul and R&B group Erin & the Wildfire and headliner The Ron Holloway Band, a funk collective. The evening culminates with a fireworks display. $3 wristbands for activities. avl.mx/660
• Want to keep the downtown Asheville celebration going? A local all-star tribute to The Band (featuring members of The Fritz, Steep Canyon Rangers, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band and Travers Brothership) will take to the stage at Asheville Music Hall, 31 Patton Ave. “We are really excited to dig in and make these songs our own,” says guitarist Jamie Hendrickson of the iconic catalog. 9 p.m., $10. avl.mx/661
• While the Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center celebrates the Fourth of July for three days, happenings on the holiday itself are plentiful. A When the Circus Came to Town-themed parade at 11 a.m. is followed by a barbecue picnic at noon, complete with family-friendly activities such as face painting, bounce houses and balloon art. The 16-voice choral ensemble Lake Junaluska Singers perform at the Stuart Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. ($18 general admission/$23 reserved) and a fireworks display over the lake begins at 9:30 p.m. lakejunaluska.com
• Some might argue that little is more American than shopping. But on July 4, the Asheville Outlet Mall, 800 Brevard Road, celebrates the nation with an Independence Day 5K. Race day packet pickup and registration are at 6:30 a.m. with the adult and youth race starting at 8 a.m. Adult registration is $30 advance/$35 for registrants No. 101-190; $25 for seniors and youths 17 and younger; $15 for The Fun Mile. avl.mx/66f
• Highland Brewing, 12 Old Charlotte Highway, describes its Independence Day celebration as “The Blind Pig serving up an old fashion cookout and live music with some of our favorite star-spangled awesome bands.” The tunes begin at 2 p.m. with Eleanor Underhill and Friends followed by The Patrick Dodd Trio and, finally, The Get Right Band. highlandbrewing.com
• The price of admission is right: “An ample covered dish to share” gets you into the celebration at the Orchard at Altapass, 1025 Orchard Road, Spruce Pine. Music begins at 10 a.m. at the nonprofit whose mission is to preserve the history and culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Arrive before 11:30 a.m. to participate in the eating; The Orchard provides barbecue, coleslaw, beans, buns and drinks. $15 for those who prefer not to bring a dish. avl.mx/66g
• Beach music and oldies outfit Wishful Thinkin’ plays a Fireworks Celebration Concert as part of the Music on Main Street concert series in Hendersonville. The concert, located in front of the Visitor Center, between Allen and Caswell streets, will include a tribute to all branches of the U.S. armed forces. Izzi Hughes and Cole Jenkins open the show at 6 p.m., and a fireworks display follows. visithendersonvillenc.org
• Roots and Dore, the project of Riyen Roots and Kenny Dore, will throw a 4th of July Blues Party at Pillar Rooftop Bar, 309 College St. The downtown Asheville fireworks display will be visible from the venue. 7 p.m. avl.mx/67c
• Brevard starts Independence Day at 8 a.m. with a 5K and 10K Firecracker Run. An arts and craft festival and classic auto show follow, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and the courthouse gazebo hosts musical entertainment throughout the day. The Brevard Music Center Festival stages its Patriotic Pops, including Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture with live cannons concert, at 2 p.m.; and fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. brevardnc.org
• The Stars and Stripes daytime celebration in Waynesville kicks off at 11 a.m. with a children’s parade. Music and sidewalk sales along Main Street run until 3 p.m. avl.mx/67d
• Downtown Sylva — The event includes music by The Carolina Soul Band and kids activities starting at 5 p.m. mountainlovers.com/july-4
• Independence Day Sunset Fireworks Hike — Leave from the Swannanoa Valley Museum for a moderate trek, 1 1/2 miles each way. “Bring a picnic, water, folding chairs, cameras and flashlights,” say organizers. 6-11 p.m., $35 members/$50 nonmembers/$25 younger than 18. avl.mx/668
• Mad Co. Brew House, 45 N. Main St., Marshall, hosts a fireworks viewing party from its back deck. 9:30 p.m. madisoncountybrewing.com
• In South Asheville, a fireworks display over Lake Julian, 406 Overlook Extension, Arden, begins at dark. Arrive early for picnics, games and boat rentals. Park at Estes Elementary School on Long Shoals Road across from the lake.
• Festivities such as activities for kids, food vendors and a street dance start at 5:30 p.m. in Black Mountain. The Ryan Perry band will perform on the outdoor stage, and fireworks begin at dark. avl.mx/67e