Big Booms

This Independence Day, Dallas and Chicago canceled large displays of fireworks for such reasons as budget cuts and public-safety concerns. In Kansas City, pyrotechnics remain an integral part of the celebration. Consider these family-friendly options on the 234th birthday weekend of the United States.• KCRiverFest: Held at Berkley Riverfront Park, this weekend event organized by Friends of the River-KC offers two live music stages, a kids’ stage, beer, barbecue, a kids’ zone, a marketplace and a Zambelli fireworks show tonight and Sunday. Also, catch the first annual Canoe & Kayak Invitational Championship at 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $6 at the gate, and children ages 5 and under are free. Limited parking for $10 is available as well as free shuttles from points at City Market and downtown. No pets or coolers. See for more information.• Wazimu’s 4th of July Celebration: Recognize Afro-centric freedom and independence at Swope Park (Meyer Boulevard and Swope Parkway) from noon to 9 p.m. today and Sunday, with food and items from Africa for sale, a fashion show, local R&B performances, kids’ inflatables, sports tournaments (basketball, golf, rugby and soccer) and a fireworks show by neighboring Starlight Theatre. Alcohol will be available. This event is free and is sponsored by the Baraza African Cultures Center. See for more information.• The Star Spangled Spectacular: Honor veterans and their victories in conflict at Corporate Woods Office Park (just west of Building 40). Events begin Sunday at 4 p.m. and include live broadcasts from KBEQ 104.3, performances from soul revue band Atlantic Express, the 35th Infantry Division Band of the Kansas National Guard, and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Food, beverages and a children’s area will be available. Admission and parking are free. Rain date is July 5. See for additional details.— Berry Anderson

Sat., July 3, 12-9 p.m.; Sun., July 4, 12-9 p.m., 2010