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Calaveras County Having A Blast On The 4th

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Calaveras County residents will celebrate Independence Day with parades, barbecues, and, yes, even fireworks.

With the cancellation of Mark Twain Day at Frogtown, it appeared local residents would have to forego a large fireworks display this July 4. But Kautz Ironstone Vineyards near Murphys has stepped in to fill the void, and will shoot off a 25-minute pyrotechnic extravaganza Friday night. It´s all part of an evening-long July 4 celebration at the winery. Admission is $5 and gates open at 6 p.m.

There will be a separate barbecue and food and beverage concessions, plus live entertainment featuring Endangered Species, a band playing original songs and rock classics from the 1960s and 70s. he fireworks, produced by Bud Baker, of Sonora, will go off at dark.

Some might want to head to Mokelumne Hill, where Karaoke in the park begins at 2:30 p.m., and the Hotel Leger will host a pool tournament beginning at 3.

The hotel is also the site for a chili cook-off at 5 p.m., and Main Street will be closed again at 6 p.m. for the return of the town´s July 4 street dance, featuring Alias.

The party doesn´t end on Friday, though.

Up on Highway 4, the town of Arnold will celebrate the occasion Saturday and Sunday. A pancake breakfast will be held both mornings from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Ebbetts Pass propane gas office on Highway 4.

Arnold´s traditional Independence Parade moves down Highway 4 from Cedar Center to the Meadowmont Shopping Center on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. The 31st annual Sierra Nevada Folk Arts Festival also will be held both days across from Ebbetts Pass Gas.

On Sunday, Chapel in the Pines presents its third annual Independence Day Extravaganza from 6 to 9:30 p.m., with free cotton candy, snow cones, and ice cream, plus a lasagna dinner for just $5.

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