SOUTH PORTLAND — Fourth of July festivities will multiply next week, when the city hosts its first official Independence Day event at Bug Light Park.
Each July Fourth, thousands of people traditionally gather at Bug Light Park to watch the Portland Harbor fireworks.
This year, they’ll also be treated to the “South Portland Family 4th,” an evening event packed with food and free family-friendly entertainment.
For those seeking an ultra-American nosh, the party will start at 4:30 p.m. with edibles from food trucks Mainely Burgers, Mainely Treats and Frank’s Franks.
Mad Science of Maine will give an interactive performance beginning at 5 p.m., followed by local rock band The Substitutes, who will bring their vintage ’60s and ’70s sound to the stage at 6:30 p.m.
Fireworks over Portland Harbor are scheduled to begin at 9:15 p.m.
Vehicle access to Bug Light Park will is closed starting at 4 p.m. Parking will be available at Southern Maine Community College and in private lots. City Recreation Coordinator Lisa Thompson said attendees are encouraged to carpool or use the Greenbelt.
In case of inclement weather, the fireworks and event will be rescheduled to the following day, Saturday, July 5.
Prior to the event Friday night, the South Portland Historical Society will hold its annual Fourth of July South Portland event at Bug Light Park.
The museum, at 55 Bug Light Park, will open at 10 a.m. and begin barbecuing at 11 a.m., before a noon reading of the Declaration of Independence by historical society member John Kierstead as Benjamin Franklin.
Three-legged races and other outdoor games will take place throughout the afternoon for children and families before the evening festivities get rolling around 4 p.m.