Union Democrat staff

Fireworks, parades, barbecues and more will help celebrate the nation's birthday this weekend.

Independence Day festivities will be held throughout the Sierra foothills, although the long running "Fireworks on the Water" at Lake Don Pedro will not be held this year because of the low water level.

Here are several activities to choose from:

• The Mokelumne Hill Lions Club will sponsor its annual Fourth of July Celebration on Friday beginning with a pancake breakfast from 7:30 to 11 a.m. in the town hall, followed by a parade at 11 a.m. on Main Street and children's games and races in Shutter Tree Park. The Lions Club also will serve bratwurst.

Parade grand marshal will be Michael Dell'Orto, a former Calaveras County supervisor, Lions Club president and Mokelumne Hill fire chief.

For more information, call event chairman Terry Weatherby at 286-1241.

• The Twain Harte Business Association will sponsor its annual "Parade with a Harte" and other activities on Friday in downtown Twain Harte.

Taking place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Meadow Plaza will be live music, face painting, water slide, bounce house, dunk tank, removable tattoos and more.

The Twain Harte Rotary Club also will sell hot dogs and hamburgers.

A patriotic sing-along will start at 10:30 a.m. at the Twain Harte Arch, followed by the parade at 11 a.m. on Joaquin Gully Road.

Parade entry is free. Categories include vehicles, animals, bands, veterans, bicycles, organizations, floats and novelties.

The grand marshal will be Richard Kamphaus, second-place finisher in the Twain Harte Rotary Club's 2014 Crapper Derby.

Fire truck rides will be offered at 1 p.m. on Cedar Drive.

For more information, call 586-7632 or 586-1976.

• Columbia's annual Glorious Fourth of July Celebration, featuring a parade, brass band concert, barbecue and old-fashioned contests, will take place Friday in Columbia State Historic Park.

Festivities will begin with a ceremonial flag raising and black powder musket salute at 11 a.m.

The parade at noon, band concert at 1:15 p.m. and street dancing at 2 p.m. are free, with a $1 donation to enter the contests.

Parade registration begins at 10 a.m. in front of the Fallon Hotel. There is no charge, with prizes awarded in several categories.

Here's the contest schedule:

Needle in the haystack, 11 a.m.; watermelon and pie eating, 1 p.m.;nail pounding, 1:15 p.m.; greased pole climbing, 2 p.m.; egg relay race, 2:30 p.m.; egg toss, 3 p.m.; cakewalk, 3 p.m.; and five-way tug-of-war, 3:30 p.m.

Tickets for the tri-tip barbecue, beginning at 2 p.m., are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10.

Longtime Columbia docent Larry Baumgardner will ride as parade grand marshal, along with Carolyn Prindle as 2014 Goddess of Liberty.

For more information, call 536-1672 or visit www.visitcolumbiacalifornia.com.

For the full story, see the July 2, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.