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We hate to bellyache, but it looks like we don’t have a choice. The 4th of July holiday is within striking distance, and yours Truly is morose about the lack of activities the Las Vegas Valley has in store for those looking to celebrate our nation’s birthday.

Used to be the Las Vegas Philharmonic put on a helluva show at The Trails Park in Summerlin complete with fireworks and the most rousing John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” this side of the Pacific. But without Howard Hughes Corp. to foot the bill that very popular event has gone by the wayside. It did have a brief reprieve when the Springs Preserve hosted the orchestra last July 4th, but this year the orchestra will be dormant.

Same with Desert Breeze Park’s Red, White & Boom. That fun musical festival funded by Clark County Parks & Recreation went away a couple years ago leaving our nation’s birthday in the lurch.

We acknowledge things are grim and perhaps nobody is much in the mood to celebrate with the staggering unemployment rate and recession gloom and doom, but can’t somebody in the self described Entertainment Capital of the World pull it together and set off a firecracker? light a sparkler? or hum us a few bars of the “Star Spangled Banner”?

Yours Truly has mounted a campaign to find activities to fill a sparsely decorated calendar for the long holiday weekend and has found the pickings to be slim – absolutely anorexic. And because the options are few and far between at this point, the choices are not all that patriotic. But as my mother always imparts with a shrug: Beggars can’t be choosers.

Thursday, July 1
We know it seems outlandish to celebrate America the Beautiful with a nod to the French, but at least it’s not the English with all their BP troubles. Get yourself in the celebratory mood with Mon Ami Gabi Executive Chef Terry Lynch’s four-course French dinner paired with wines from the Louis Latour portfolio. The evening begins with a 6:45 p.m. reception, followed by a memorable dinner. The cost is $65/per person (tax and gratuity included). To RSVP, call 702.944.4224.

Saturday, July 3
Of course, there’s nothing like a parade…Summerlin Council is holding its 16th annual Patriotic Parade from 9 to 11 a.m. today at The Trails Village. The parade will feature more than 60 entries including traditional floats, Macy’s-style giant helium balloons, exciting bands and performing groups and a variety of kids’ favorite storybook characters.

The UNLV Community Band will celebrate with patriotic music as the Springs Preserve marks the Independence Day weekend with Red, White & Tunes, Saturday, July 3, beginning at 8 p.m. Red White & Tunes also features performances by barbershop/a cappella quartet Ready or Not. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children age 6 and older. Family Pack tickets will be available for $12 and include two adults with a maximum of four children. Ice cream, snow cones, hot dogs and assorted summertime treats will be available for purchase.

July 3 & 4
About as close as you are going to get to good ole hometown nostalgia, there’s the 62 Annual Boulder City Damboree. The two-day affair offers plenty of all-American fun with a parade, pancake breakfast, flyover, ceremonies and carnival like festivities. There’s also a patriotic concert on Saturday at 7 p.m. by Red Mountain Music Company and a fireworks display on Sunday night at 9 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park.

Again, hardly patriotic, but what can we say? Coco Lee is bringing her East to West World Tour to the Encore Theater for concerts on July 3 and July 4 at 8 p.m. Throughout the concert, Lee presents different stories on stage that take audiences through a journey from East to West, including scenes she brings to life such as the stunning “Eve in Eden;” the archaic, imperial concubine, “Yang Guifei;” the seductive “Egyptian Queen;” and the crowd pleaser, “Barbie Catwalk.” Tickets are now on sale at the reduced prices of $68, $88 and $138, inclusive of tax and service charge. Tickets may be booked by calling 702.770.SHOW (7469) or online at

Sunday, July 4
Starting at 8:30 p.m., the Henderson Symphony Orchestra (HSO), under the baton of Symphony Conductor Taras Krysa, will celebrate Concert Series V: Independence Day at Basic High School. Prior to the free HSO concert, the City of Henderson will celebrate our country’s independence with their annual 4th of July Celebration starting at 6 p.m. In addition to entertainment by Moronix and the Randy Anderson Band, this year’s fireworks will be set off at Heritage Park, with the viewing station at Basic High School’s football field. or 267.2171

Continuing its 4th of July tradition, five Station Casinos’ properties will host the largest 4th of July fireworks show in Southern Nevada on Sunday, July 4 around 8:45 p.m. The nine-minute fireworks show, named “Station Casinos’ 4th of July Blast” will be in celebration of the nation’s 234th birthday and will be featured at Aliante Station, Green Valley Ranch resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station as a shared location and Red Rock Resort.

And let it be noted here, next year is America’s 235th birthday. We have now offered 365 days notice. Please someone out there somewhere, take heed and plan a celebration worthy of this milestone.

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