Northeast Tarrant CountyFamily 4thThe Hills Shopping Center, 6351 Blvd. 26 in North Richland Hills, is the venue for a huge family July Fourth celebration presented by the Northeast Tarrant Chamber of Commerce and the cities of North Richland Hills, Haltom City, Richland Hills and Watauga.Bring the family out to enjoy entertainment for the whole family starting at 5 p.m. Thursday featuring kids’ activities, a carnival, food and drink concessions, community entertainment and some dazzling and patriotic pyrotechnics around 9:25 p.m.Guests will enjoy performances by students from the Stage Notes School of Music along with a show by the Little Hearts of Texas. Performances by local dance teams and karate expositions will round out the live entertainment.For those who love those tasty cornmeal treats on a stick, a corn dog eating contest sounds like fun. Contact the Northeast Tarrant Chamber of Commerce to sign up.Chamber President Jack Bradshaw says a 7 p.m. Salute to Veterans will invite all military veterans onstage to be recognized with a musical tribute and the release of 50 white doves to honor their service.According to event officials, all sorts of carnival food, shaved ice, fried turkey wings, hot dogs, nachos, burgers, pralines, chocolate-covered Oreos and a grilled-cheese food truck should keep everyone’s appetite satisfied. For the young and young at heart, popular rides at a carnival include the Pirate Ship, Traffic Jam, Haltom City Super Slide, Circus Train and Red Baron. Amping up the fireworks experience is patriotic music to accompany the show. It will be simulcast on 88.7 KTCU radio.Parking is free at The Hills Shopping Center (the former ATI Career Training Center) at 6351 Blvd. 26 in North Richland Hills and Wiley G. Thomas Coliseum, 6108 Broadway Ave. in Haltom City.“This event is going to be bigger and better and more fun this year. This is the best fireworks display in the area and now you can bring the whole family early and make an evening of it,” said Bradshaw.Check details at www.nrhtx.com or call the chamber office at 817- 281-9376.Bedford 4thFest at the Boys Ranch ParkA dual celebration in Bedford will mark not only Independence Day, but also the 60th birthday for the city on Thursday.A giant birthday cake, free cupcakes, family activities, live music, a classic car show and great festival food await visitors to the event before the pop-pop of fireworks begins that evening.Kids will love the inflatable area with bounce houses, obstacles course, slides and more fun. An area with free children’s activities and a comedy show will also be big attractions. The Splash Aquatic Center will be open for those wanting some cool fun. Admission is $6.50 for adults, $5.50 for kids under 18 and free for children 2 years and younger.The D&D Rockin’ Rods will have a birthday-theme classic car show. Musical entertainment by Gertrude McFuzzy & the Three Little Who’s at Bedford ON STAGE is $5 per person. Also performing is Big Mouth.There will be a touching salute to the military before the fireworks extravaganza lights up the night sky at dark.Shuttle service from noon to 9:30 p.m. at Pennington Field (1501 Central Drive) will take guests to the Bedford Boys Ranch Park for $5 per person (3 years and under ride free) for a round trip.Details at www.bedfordtx.gov/4thfest/Arlington-MansfieldLight Up Arlington Downtown Arlington will be packed with revelers from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday for this year’s edition of Light Up Arlington.Live music on two stages, great food, a kids’ area, Radio Disney, and a fireworks display await the throngs of families who want to celebrate Independence Day in a big way.The Coors Light Stage, just north of the library, will feature at 6 p.m. the Young Stars of Arlington, described on their Facebook page as “the future stars of acoustic music.” The Spazmatics will take the stage at 8 p.m. to play their retro ’80s hit list.The headliner band at 8:45 p.m. at the Levitt Pavilion is the Atlanta Rhythm Section. Their top hits include I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight and Spooky. The band of top musicians still includes three of the original members.Opening for them at 7:30 p.m. is Velvet Love Box, which plays an “eclectic mix of music and comedy.” Atlanta Rhythm Section will take a break at 9:45 p.m. for a spectacular fireworks show and will resume their concert afterward.The Boomtown area will let kids burn off that holiday energy at bounce houses and have a blast on a train ride and pony rides or be delighted with the animals in the petting zoo. Most activities are free, but some have a small fee.Downtown eateries will be open or visit Abuelo’s Mexican restaurant, McAlister’s, J. Gilligan’s and other restaurants set up on the festival grounds. Event manager Michael Debrecht from Arlington Parks & Recreation department said, “Plenty of cooling treats, like sno-cones and ice cream, plus pizza and carnival style foods will be available.”“We are excited for the seventh annual Light Up Arlington festivities. This community-wide event cannot be possible without our generous sponsors, dedicated volunteers and hardworking staff. It’s a great event,” Debrecht said.On Thursday, the Arlington 4th of July Association presents the 46th annual parade in downtown Arlington, reportedly the largest parade in North Texas. Nearly 150 entries including elaborate floats, lavishly decorated cars, prancing horses, dancers, cheerleaders, marching bands, Scout troops, dogs, motorcycles and vintage cars will entertain the thousands of spectators gathered to watch.The parade begins at 9 a.m. on the University of Texas at Arlington campus at the corner of Mitchell and Pecan Streets and winds through downtown on Abram and Center streets.To learn more visit www.arlingtontx.gov/parks/lightuparlingtonor call 817-459-5474. For parade details, visit arlington4th.orgRockin’ 4th of JulyMeanwhile in Mansfield, another Wednesday celebration is on tap for the holiday. Big League Dreams Sports Park, 500 Heritage Parkway S., is the venue for Mansfield’s sixth annual Rockin’ 4th of July from 7-10 p.m.Billed as “the holiday with rock ’n’ roll, recreation and rockets,” the free family event offers entertainment and activities that ends with a fantastic fireworks show.“Big League Dreams is a fabulous venue that gives us an opportunity to provide a lot of activities and entertainment for all ages. It’s a great way to celebrate,” said Angie Henley, special events supervisor for the city. “In addition to bounce houses, a game truck and the always popular smash car, guests will enjoy music from Professor D. at 7:45 p.m. There will be a special ceremony and military appreciation with the fireworks show starting at 9:30 p.m.”Park at the Mansfield ISD Athletic Complex at Texas 360 and East Broad Street, where shuttles will run all evening. The Diamond Club Restaurant in the park will be open for food and beverage purchases.Check out details at mansfieldsgotgame.com or call Belinda Willis at 817-276-4202.