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The 35th annual Firecracker 5K Race for Research gets underway July Fourth morning in Shreveport.

Want to take a Fourth of July road trip?

Head north to Shreveport-Bossier for the family-friendly Independence Day Festival from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in downtown Shreveport’s Festival Plaza. 

Sponsored by KTBS-3, the big party will feature the Brookshire’s Steak Cook-Off, live entertainment, fireworks over the Red River and more activities. Admission is free.

If you're the athletic type, head out early for the 35th annual Firecracker 5K Race for Research. The run raises funds for research to battle spine disorders such as scoliosis and alternatives to spinal fusion.

The kid’s half-mile fun run begins at 7:30 a.m. The 5K starts at 8 a.m.

That evening, get a great spot to watch the fireworks at the Shreveport Aquarium’s VIP Fireworks Viewing and Pig Roast, which costs $50. The new event will include a pig roast, cocktails and a VIP fireworks-viewing experience. The fun goes from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.

For more Independence Day events in the Shreveport-Bossier area, visit SBFunGuide.com.

If you want to head west, check out Lake Charles for the Red, White, Blue & You Festival on Thursday.

Events don't start until that evening, so you'll have plenty of time to drive over that day and make the 6 p.m. star-spangled street parade that rolls from Mill Street, south on to Ryan Street and ends at Dr. Michael Debakey Boulevard.

The celebration then moves to the Lake Charles Civic Center Amphitheatre, 900 Lakeshore Drive, for a patriotic program at 6:45 p.m. with musical entertainment. The Lake Charles Community Band will also take the stage in a special tribute to the armed forces with a singalong provided by the Louisiana Choral Foundation and friends, followed by fireworks at 9:15 p.m.

In case of inclement weather, the program will be moved to the Civic Center Coliseum. For more information, visit cityoflakecharles.com or call (337) 491-9159.

Closer to home, there's the New Iberia Fourth of July Parade.

The parade is followed by an honor guard ceremony along with patriotic music.

Events take place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the town's historic downtown area at Bouligny Plaza on Main Street. For more information, call (337) 344-9397.

Email Judy Bergeron at jbergeron@theadvocate.com.