The biggest fireworks show in Denton is ready for its 45th performance this Fourth of July at Apogee Stadium at the University of North Texas.
Hosted by the Denton Noon Kiwanis Club, Apogee's gates will open at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 4, for the free show. Parking at the lots at Apogee and Fouts Field will cost $10 a car.
"This will be the sixth year inside Apogee, and it's turned into a really great event because of the stadium and everything it offers," said Hank Dickenson, an event organizer and deputy athletics director at UNT.
Visitors are welcome to have tailgate parties in the parking lots before the gates open, but outside food and beverages aren't allowed in the stadium because concessions will be sold. Proceeds from parking will cover the event's expenses, then all of the revenue goes to the Denton Kiwanis Children's Clinic.
While Dickenson said fireworks won't start until after 9:15 p.m., there will be other entertainment inside the stadium. There will be a shaded area with a Fun Zone, which is an inflatable playground where kids can play, and live music from Denton musicians beginning at 7 p.m.
The fireworks display is designed to be viewed from inside the stadium, Dickenson said.
"I think people who don't come into the stadium will miss the best vantage point," he said. "Even if you're tailgating, come on in. Our bathrooms are clean and air-conditioned."
The city will host several events for families to participate in before they watch the fireworks. There will be the Liberty 5K Run and 1-mile walk at 7:30 a.m., starting at Quakertown Park. Register by Monday for $25 at www.dentonparks.com. Registration on the day of the run will cost $30.
The Yankee Doodle Parade will start at 9 a.m. and circle the downtown Square. The rest of the day's activities will be at Quakertown Park and the Denton Civic Center.
There will be a children's carnival in the Civic Center, a horseshoe tournament at 9:30 a.m., then a hot dog eating competition at 11 a.m. Festivities should wrap up at about noon, right when $1 admission to the Civic Center Pool begins.
JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889.