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Like a fireworks display, July brings a burst of celebrations, concerts and cookouts.

Flag-waving displays and parades line the streets across our nation in observance of our most important holiday, Independence Day. The 4th of July lifts our patriotic sensibility like the raising of our flag. Like many, I have never been able to get through a rendition of the national anthem without a lump forming in my throat. It’s no wonder why we love the 4th of July fireworks; they illuminate the night sky with blasts of sparkling colors releasing our patriotic pride.

Fireworks and the 4th of July go together like peanut- butter and jelly. They are one of our most popular traditions. American cities everywhere compete for the best fireworks display. The city of Boston traditionally has a major fireworks display and with the Pops performing the 1812 Overture. It’s a hard act to follow.

Dracut’s 4th of July festivities, however, are always memorable. It’s a longstanding tradition of a concert and fireworks brings the community together in celebration of the freedom that we cherish so much. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, July 2, at the gazebo at the Englesby Junior High School from 7 to 9 p.m. The band “Brandy” will perform.

We celebrate our freedom and we honor our fallen. Americans hold the 9-11 tragedy close to their hearts and for the people of Dracut it is more so. The dedication ceremony of Dracut’s 9-11 Memorial will take place on Wednesday, July 20, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Jones Ave. fire station. There will be limited parking on Jones Ave. and Broadway Road. Parking will be available at St. Francis Church on Wheeler Road, where people will be bused to the event.

If it’s July, then it’s time for a barbecue! Our annual chicken BBQ will take place at the senior center on Thursday, July 21, at 11:30 a.m. Sign up by July 14; a $2 donation is requested.

Remember when going out for ice cream was a fun treat? Well it still is, Wednesdays are Ice Cream Stand Day. We will choose a different ice cream stand to visit. For those who need to be mindful of their sugar and fat intake, there are healthy alternatives.

Did you know that 79 million people in the U.S. are prediabetic? Join us on July 28 at 10 a.m. for a presentation of a new program we will be offering in the fall about how to prevent diabetes.

Happy Independence Day from the Council on Aging, “The Best Place in Town.”

Joyce Shadan is the executive director of the Dracut Council On Aging.