Fourth of July Festivities

From local to national celebrations, people from all around the country had a blast this Fourth of July. Check out these stories, videos and galleries featuring Independence Day fun.

Crown Point parade salutes local veterans

Crown Point parade salutes local veterans

CROWN POINT | It was a day to honor local military heroes, living and departed, for their contribution to our country’s independence.

Red, white and blue blast at Valparaiso school

Red, white and blue blast at Valparaiso school

VALPARAISO | Well before Valparaiso's annual Fourth of July Blast kicked off at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, a smattering of residents had nabbed prime fireworks-viewing spots behind Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

Dog days of parade watching in Hebron

Dog days of parade watching in Hebron

HEBRON | While the little kids at the Hebron Fourth of July parade clutched their candy bags and pointed to the shiny red fire engines, the little kids riding inside the shiny red fire engines pointed back.

Music stirs nostalgia, patriotism in Portage

PORTAGE | Flags were flying in the breeze as freezer pops flew through the air from floats to paradegoers lined up along Willowcreek in Portage for the annual Fourth of July parade.

Patriotic pilots wing it to support LaPorte's Fourth of July parade

Patriotic pilots wing it to support LaPorte's Fourth of July parade

LAPORTE | It was like hitting the jackpot for the tens of thousands of people who saw a World War II plane surprisingly joined by two other aircraft fly above LaPorte to kick off the annual Fourth of July parade.

Heroes, music, fireworks create flare at Fourth festivities

Heroes, music, fireworks create flare at Fourth festivities

HIGHLAND | Real-life heroes led the town’s annual Twilight Parade as it stepped off Wednesday with hundreds of spectators lining the entire 2.7 mile route.

Marking spots for parade a family tradition in LaPorte

Marking spots for parade a family tradition in LaPorte

LAPORTE | LaPorte residents flocked to both sides of Ind. 2 on Wednesday to claim spots for watching the Fourth of July parade, which draws thousands of people each year.

Declaring their allegiance: 47 new U.S. citizens welcomed at naturalization

Declaring their allegiance: 47 new U.S. citizens welcomed at naturalization

HAMMOND | On the most American of holidays, 47 people from 24 countries took the oath of allegiance to become U.S. citizens during the Fourth of July festivities at Wolf Lake Memorial Park pavilion.

Burgers on July 4? Not for the founding fathers

Burgers on July 4? Not for the founding fathers

A roaring grill and an icy brew are almost as integral to July Fourth as fireworks. But today's burgers and beers affairs bear little resemblance to the buffet served during our nation's first Independence Day.

Chill out for holiday with do-it-yourself wine coolers

Chill out for holiday with do-it-yourself wine coolers

As Gertrude Stein might put it, wine cooler is wine spritzer is wine cocktail is sangria.

Behind the Boom: Garry Poe celebrates July Fourth with a bang

Behind the Boom: Garry Poe celebrates July Fourth with a bang

When Garry Poe was growing up, he remembers helping his father set up the city’s annual fireworks display.

Video: Valparaiso fireworks 2013

Video: Valparaiso fireworks 2013

The grand finale of the Valparaiso, Indiana, Fourth of July fireworks show.

Gallery: Scenes from the Fourth of July

Gallery: Scenes from the Fourth of July

Scenes from Hebron and Crown Point's parades and Cedar Lake's Cardboard Boat race

Gallery: More images from the Fourth of July

Gallery: More images from the Fourth of July

Northwest Indiana residents have started submitting their Fourth of July photos. To submit your pictures to this gallery, email the pictures, a small description and your name to Times Digital Producer Laura Lane at laura.lane@nwi.com.

Naturalization Quiz

During the naturalization process, an applicant will need to answer six out of 10 questions correctly during an oral civics test. Test your knowledge of U.S. history and government and see if you could become a U.S. citizen.

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