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10 fun things to do to celebrate July 4

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Posted: Friday, July 1, 2011 8:24 am

1. Celebrate America at Lodi Lake

Join the community and celebrate Independence Day at Lodi Lake, with entertainment all day and a fireworks display after dark.

When: July 4. Gates open at  7 a.m., fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

Where: Lodi Lake, 1101 W. Turner Road.

Cost: Free admission to fireworks show. Swimming is $3 for adults, $1.50 for ages 3-17.

Fun: Live music by DazeAfter at 5 p.m., Adam Page at 2 p.m.  and 4 p.m. and laser tag at 1 and 5 p.m. 

Got talent? DazeAfter will be hosting a “Lodi’s Got Talent” singing contest. The winner will  receive $100 and participate in a DazeAfter music video.

Annual Kiwanis pancake breakfast: 7 to 11 a.m. at Lodi Lake. $6 adults, $4 kids, free for kids under 4.

View from another angle: Watch from the parking structure in Downtown Lodi.

2. Ditch the heat  ... make it a movie day

It’s hot. You have the day off work. You have time for a matinee. Why not skip to the movie theater before the fireworks show? Here is a look at movies open for the holiday:

“Bad Teacher.”


“Cars 2.”

“Green Lantern.”

“Horrible Bosses.”

“Larry Crowne.”

“Monte Carlo.”

“Mr. Popper’s Penguins.”

“Super 8.”

“Transformers: Dark of Moon.”

“X-Men: First Class.”


3. Make your own refreshing soda

Homemade sodas are making the effervescent elixirs exciting again. It’s hardly a surprise that soft drinks have joined the trendy DIY revolution. Impress your house guests this Fourth of July with a refreshing cherry basil soda.


1 quart pitted, stemmed cherries

1/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Seltzer water, chilled

1. Combine cherries, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until cherries are soft and have released their juice. Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor. Stir in the basil and cool.

2. Strain mixture. Stir in the lemon juice. The puree is best used immediately. Combine equal parts puree and seltzer in a tall glass. Stir, just until blended. Add ice and serve.

3. You can also carbonate this mixture with a siphon: In a 1-quart soda siphon, combine 1 batch cherry puree with 2 cups water. Charge with CO2 according to manufacturer's directions. Siphon-charged sodas can be stored in the siphon in the refrigerator for up to five days. Dispense as desired into tall glasses filled with ice and serve. — Contra Costa Times

4. Fireworks outside Lodi

Fireworks show at the Stockton ballpark

The Stockton Ports are not having a game on Fourth of July, but they are opening Banner Island Ballpark, 404 W. Freemont St., to the public. Family fun and games on the field will start at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5. The University Plaza Waterfront Hotel will host a night of live music from 3 to 10 p.m. Wristbands are $20. 

A night of fireworks in Galt

Celebrate Fourth of July at the Veteran’s Soccer Field, 900 Carolina Ave., in Galt, where a fireworks show will start at 9:30 p.m. The event is free to attend.

5. Shoot the bright lights the way pro photographers do

Capture streams of lights. Experiment with long exposures. And be proud of your artistic photography this holiday. News-Sentinel chief photographer Dan Evans gives tips on capturing different effects.

  • Use a tripod. If it’s dark, you won’t be able to hand-hold anything. You’ll have blurry photos from your hand shaking.
  • Use longer exposures to get the   trailing light.
  • Use a nice, wide angle so you get the sky and the ground in the shot. It gives perspective to the height and size of the fireworks.

6. Have a family campout in the backyard

Think campgrounds will be too busy this weekend? That doesn’t mean you can’t have lots of fun by pitching a tent in the backyard, cooking some hot dogs on the barbecue and seeing the night sky light up.

7. Say hello to the lorikeets at Micke Grove

Venture to the open-air aviary at Micke Grove Zoo to visit the lorikeets, who interact with their visitors. Purchase small cups of nectar — the birds’ favorite sweet treat — to feed them by hand.   Once inside the enclosure, visitors may experience the birds landing on arms, hands and even heads in an attempt to sip the sweet nectar. 

Entry into “Lorikeets!” is included in the price of zoo admission: $4 adults, $2 youths ages three to 17 years. Children two years and under are free. For more information, call 331-2010.

8. Enjoy a picnic at Heritage Oak

Heritage Oak Winery, 10112 E. Woodbridge Road, is having a Fourth of July picnic and live concert by barbershop quartet Tunestruck. Reserve a boxed lunch. Wine will be available by the glass or bottle. The event is from noon to 5:30 p.m. and the band will start playing at 1 p.m. For information, call the winery at 986-2763.

9. Celebrate with Lodi’s churches

Find out which of Lodi’s churches are having events to celebrate the most patriotic day of the year:

God and Country Day at Big Valley Bible

A field of flags will greet church attendees at Big Valley Bible, Lodi’s independent Baptist Church, 226 Poplar St. There will be a classic car show and worship service. An ice cream social will follow morning worship. The film, “Islam and the Mega Mosque at Ground Zero” will be shown at 6 p.m. on July 4. For info, call 369-5084.

Family Fourth on the Lawn at Temple Baptist

Starting at 5 p.m. on July 4, Temple Baptist will enjoy softball, baseball and basketball on the church campus, 801 S. Lower Sacramento Road. There will also be a bounce house, barbecue and children’s movie in the worship center. Legal fireworks are allowed. For information, call 369-1948.

Freedom Fest 2011 at The Home Church

On Sunday, July 3, The Home Church is having its annual Independence Day celebration with a car and truck show, World War II vehicle military display, police vehicles and demonstrations, Field of Flags commemorating public servants and a new “Welcome Home Heroes Traveling Tribute.” The festival is from 4-9 p.m. For information, call 339-7333.

10. Barbecue some chicken

Chicken Thighs with Sticky Sauce

12 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

11⁄4 cups low-fat bottled Italian dressing

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup hickory wood chips soaked in water, optional

For the sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced

1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion

3/4 cup bottled chili sauce

1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Trim excess fat from the chicken thighs. Place the thighs in bag and pour the Italian dressing over them. Press the outside of the bag to work the marinade in. Refrigerate 4 hours. Prepare the grill for medium heat. Sprinkle the soaked wood chips over the hot coals and put the grill lid on. If using a gas grill, place the soaked chips in a foil packet with holes poked in it and place on the grill, off to the side. Remove the chicken from the marinade, season with salt and pepper, and place it, bone side down, on the grill. Cover and grill about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the barbecue sauce. Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the chili sauce, pineapple juice, honey, Worcestershire and mustard. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 20 to 25 minutes.

After the chicken has grilled for 30 minutes, turn it skin- side down and allow the skin to crisp, about 10 minutes. Turn it back over and baste the chicken with some of the sauce. Make sure the chicken is done; the internal temperature should be 165 degrees or higher. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.

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