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Raleigh’s Independence Day celebration kicks off at noon and goes non-stop until 11 p.m. as Downtown celebrates American freedom with 20 bands playing three stages, fun-for-all events, art for sale, fabulous food for sale, eating contests ending in fireworks – in other words it’s The ‘Works July 4th!

Mayor Nancy McFarlane expressed the City’s hearty thanks to ABC11 and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance for their sponsorships of The ’Works and assisting the City of Raleigh in bringing this celebration of all things Americana Downtown.

Twenty bands will be filling center city with everything from rock, folk rock, indie rock, hip hop, rhythm and blues, country, jazz, funk, soul, blues, bluegrass, Latin and big band from two stages on Fayetteville Street – at City Plaza and at Morgan Street. The Red Hat Amphitheater stage will come alive at 5:30 p.m., with gates opening at 5 p.m.

The fireworks show will blast off at 9:30 p.m. from the surface parking lot bounded by South, Wilmington, Lenoir and Salisbury streets directly across from the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and the lot opposite the Red Hat Amphitheater.

Arrive by 8 O’clock

City officials advise celebrants that want to enjoy the pyrotechnics to arrive Downtown no later than 8 p.m. Since parking garages closest to Fayetteville Street usually are filled to capacity by late afternoon, late arrivers are asked to check out the parking decks north of the center city (State facilities at Jones and Cabarrus streets) or Moore Square Parking Deck just east of the Fayetteville Street festivities.

Parking in the decks is $5 for the entire day. Payment will be taken upon entry.

Young Fun and Gorging to Win

Along with our independence, Raleigh revelers will have every opportunity to celebrate living in the land of plenty and tasty. In addition to Downtown restaurants, food vendors will line the street from noon on. The wine and beer tent at West Hargett and Fayetteville streets will quench the summer thirst.

The `Works! also offers plenty of opportunities for a memorable Fourth for those who enjoy challenging their appetites and their competitive juices simultaneously. Hot dog eating contests will be held at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Hargett and Fayetteville streets. Watermelon seed-spitting contests will “spit off” at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. There are two age divisions for this competition; those 10 and younger in one division and everybody else in the other. Ice cream eating contests will be at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. The ice cream calorie-cramming and seed spitting will enliven the intersection of Martin and Fayetteville streets.

The Kids Zone with bounces/slides, face painting and every other fun thing possible will be at Martin Street between Fayetteville and Wilmington streets. A cooling water slide will beckon from the turf area of Fayetteville Street.

GOUGE Wrestling will take to the ring at 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 8:30 p.m. at Martin and Fayetteville streets.

The Boys Makin’ the Noise

Red Hat Amphitheater – The gates to the coolest outdoor concert venue in the Triangle will open at 5 p.m. but there is no charge for any of the acts on this day of national celebration.

Toubab Krewe – 9:00 to 9:30 and 9:50 to 11:00 (following the fireworks.) The music of Mali fused with their native Southern vibes have created the original instrumentals of Toubab Krewe. The Asheville-based band used a 21-string and a 12-strong harp-lute, a Malian horsehair fiddle, two electric guitars, electric bass guitar and African percussion to bring the West African-American South sounds to two albums since their founding nine years ago. They have shared their talents at Bonnaroo Music Festival, MerleFest, Magnolia Fest, High Sierra Music Festival, 10,000 Lakes Festival Vegoose, Lotus World Music and Art Festival, the Desert Music Festival and Music on the Mountaintop just to name a few.

Army Ground Forces Band – 7:15 to 8:00. For 69 years, the Army Ground Forces Band has served as the musical ambassador of the American combat soldier, serving as a community outreach asset for United States Army Forces Command headquartered at Fort Bragg.

TBA – 5:30 to 6:30

Morgan Street Stage

Slinger Francisco – 1:00 to 1:45. What do a Viennese rock waltz and a Midwest emo-synth vibe have in common? They are both the creations of Slinger Francisco, which confesses to requiring some bitter with the sweet to make its indie rock. For three years the Raleigh group has been giving the nod to the cynic “while celebrating the mystic” to reach its musical equilibrium.

Youma – 2:15 to 3:00. Would you enjoy passing part of Independence Day afternoon with some Coldplay, Kings of Leon or The Killers? This is better. It’s local, fresh and full of heart.

Apples and Airplanes – 3:30 to 4:15. This four-year-old Raleigh quintet’s American roots rock with a twist has opened for 311, Rusted Root, and Sublime with Rome.

Nuclear Honey – 4:45 to 5:30. Gray Henderson and Reaves Greer have been producing Nuclear Honey’s Southern roots rock since 2011. They have released two EPs – their acoustic debut “Tombstone Sessions” in 2012 and the full-band follow-up, “Nobody Panic” last summer.

Monika Jaymes – 6:00 to 6:45. Even if you have not had the distinct pleasure of seeing Monika Jaymes perform live, if you’re a cinema fan you’ve probably heard this Wake County chanteuse crooning on soundtracks. To appreciate their versatility and mastery, consider that Ms. Jaymes has been nominated Charlotte’s Best Female Country Vocalist and the Carolinas’ Best Rock Vocalist, and her backup band, Ridin’ Rumors, has been nominated the Queen City’s Best Country Band.

Milagro Saints – 7:15 to 8:00. This poetic roots rock Americana band’s recently released EP, “Mighty Road Songs” is a tribute to Woody Guthrie. Often compared to The Band, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Van Morrison and other like gods of early magical folk rock, the Milagro Saints’ original tunes with classical roots opened last summer for the 10,000 Maniacs.

Outside SOUL – 8:30 to 9:15. With the recent release of its debut album, “Funkus Trunkus,” offering 10 original songs, Outside SOUL is set to spread its unique flavor of funk and soul in tribute to James Brown, the Tower of Power and Parliament-Funkadelic.

TBA — 10:00 to 11:00.

Plaza Stage

TBA – 12:00 to 1:00.

Ed Stephenson and the Paco Band – 1:30 to 2:15. This is high energy Nuevo Flamenco and Spanish music. With original compositions as well as the works of Paco De Luci, Ottmar Liebert and Chick Corea, you will take a brief yet soulful excursion to Espana.

Acoustic Manner – 2:45 to 3:30. Old friends with a deep love of acoustic music, these five “bros” toured nationally beginning in 2002 as Barefoot Manner.

Amanda Daughtry – 4:00 to 4:45. This Johnston County songstress is classic country, classic rock and mainstream pop. She now calls Music City home where she is writing music with the best of them and opening for the likes of Chris Young and Justin Moore.

Archbishops of Blount Street – 5:15 to 6:00. These guys are so confident they promise to “get a cadaver dancing with the most committed wallflower.” The Triangle’s Archbishops are a bodacious ska band – cross breeding Jamaican, English and American musical DNA to produce a brass-heavy, upbeat, happy sound.

Four Founders – 6:30 to 7:15. Four Founders’ robust backbeat drives its music across genres, appealing to multi ages. This Raleigh quartet has only been together for a year but is making a name for itself across the Cap City, opening Midtown Park this spring to good vibrations.

Crucial Fiya – 7:45 to 8:30. Since 2000, if you are talking Triangle Reggae, you’re talking Crucial Fiya. Carib infuses the atmosphere enveloping this Durham band and its audience. Be ye committed Rastafarian master or just a fun-loving American looking to “stir it up” on July 4th Crucial Fiya will bring you joy!

Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba – 9:15 to 11:00. Ancient sounds have found a modern voice in Kaira Ba. Two sons of Senegal join with four Tarheel boys to deliver West Africa’s embrace of its American offspring – jazz, blues, and rock and roll.

Beer Garden

The beer and tasting tent at West Hargett and Fayetteville streets will offer more than 25 microbrews and a most satisfying selection of wines. The mood in the tent will be pumped from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. by the offerings of Adam Pitts.

The list of musicians that Mr. Pitts credits as influencing his honest and energized omni rock is as lengthy as the list of instruments he has mastered – guitar, piano, ukulele, ka zoo and mouth organ to name a few.