Two days of events to celebrate Independence Day will be held July 3 in Covington and July 4 in Slidell.

The action begins on July 3 when the inaugural Sparks in the Park gathering will be hosted at Bogue Falaya Park from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The family event will offer plenty for people of all ages, including a fireworks display, scheduled for 8:45 p.m.

According to Aimee Faucheux, of Covington’s Cultural Arts and Events Department, Sparks in the Park will be a great day for the family to pack a blanket and enjoy fireworks and the patriotic music leading up to the colorful display.

There also will be traditional food and drink concessions available for purchase, and free face painting for children.

Attendees are welcome to bring their own picnics to the free event.

Sparks in the Park is presented by the city of Covington with community sponsors at 213 Park Drive in downtown Covington.

For information, visit www.covla.com, or call (985) 893-1873.

For the 17th year, the Slidell Heritage Festival will be held July 4 in Olde Towne Slidell.

The event is from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. in Heritage Park. Approximately 7,000 people have filed through the gates in recent years to enjoy good food, cold drinks, arts, crafts, live music and, of course, a spectacular fireworks show that lights the sky above Bayou Bonfouca.

Staged each year by the Rotary Club of Slidell and the Rotary Club of Slidell Northshore (in conjunction with the city and various sponsors), the event is run completely by volunteers. On average, $60,000 is raised each year for local nonprofit groups.

Six groups have been named beneficiaries of this year’s Slidell Heritage Festival. They are the Slidell Memorial Hospital Foundation, Camellia City Bark Park, Slidell Boys and Girls Club, Slidell Boy Scouts, Community Christian Concern and the Slidell Police Association.

Highlights of this year’s festival include live music by Voodoo Gumbo from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.; the Boogie Men from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and the Molly Ringwalds from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.

In addition to the array of food and libations available for purchase, there will be an “Art in the Park” gathering on Bayou Bonfouca from 5 P.m. to 7 p.m., featuring eight booths of work from juried artists and craftsmen. The Northshore High School robotics team also will display its latest invention during the Art in the Park session.

For more information on the festival, go online to www.slidellheritagefestival.org or email snewton0959@earthlink.net.