This year marks 240 years since the United States declared independence from England and communities nationwide will be celebrating that occasion with massive public parties. The Lights in Flight Festival, the City of Dayton’s annual gathering returns to RiverScape MetroPark, 101 E. Monument Ave., Dayton. Lights in Flight, which runs 1 to 10 p.m. Sunday, July 3, features music, food and beer sales and an evening-capping fireworks show at dusk. Cost: Free. Call 937-333-8400 or visit www.downtowndayton.org.
3) RED, ART & BLUE
Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton, utilizes its vantage point across the river from downtown to piggyback on the Lights in Flight Festival for Red, Art & Blue. The annual members-only party runs from 8 to 11 p.m. Sunday, July 3 and offers food, activities and a great view of the City of Dayton’s fireworks display. Cost: $30 ages 12 and older, $15 kids ages 3-11, free kids 2 and younger. Reservations are required. Call 937-223-4ART (4278) or visit www.daytonartinstitute.org.
4) RICHIE RAMONE
The four founding members of the Ramones are dead but Richie Ramone, who played drums for the pioneering punk band in the mid-1980s, is keeping that spirit alive with his current leather-clad band. Ramone, born Richard Reinhardt, was on mid-period albums like “Too Tough to Die” and “Animal Boy” and the corresponding tours. Ramone performs at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St., Dayton, at 9 p.m. Sunday, July 3. The bill also features local acts the Raging Nathans, Jasper the Colossal and Duderus. Cost: $10 to $12. Call 937-938-6405 or visit www.blindbobs.com.
5) AMERICANA FEST
One of suburban Dayton’s largest street parties, the Centerville-Washington Township Americana Festival, returns to various spots near Main and Franklin streets in downtown Centerville on Monday, July 4. The 43rd annual celebration features a parade, street fair, food vendors, a 5K run, fireworks and more. The 5K begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by the street fair at 9:30 a.m., the parade at 10 a.m. and fireworks at 10 p.m. Cost: Free. Call 937-433-5898 or visit www.americanafestival.org.
6) THE LION KING
Disney’s stage version of “The Lion King” is one of the most enduring family productions of the modern era. The multiple Tony Award-winning musical is getting ready to end its second successful run in Dayton since 2011 but there is still time to buy tickets. “The Lion King,” which opened at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, on June 7, is presented through Sunday, July 3. Show times are 8 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays and shows at 1 and 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. Cost: $25 and up. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
7) MICHAEL KELSEY
It has been more than 20 years since Michael Kelsey emerged from the small town of Lafayette, Ind. and began impressing Midwestern music fans with his prodigious talent on the acoustic guitar. For the past decade, the Indianapolis based musician has made Peach’s Grill, 104 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs, a regular stop on his road schedule. Kelsey returns to the area for a show at Peach’s at 10 p.m. Friday, July 1. Cost: Free. Call 937-767-4850 or visit www.peachsgrill.com.
8) RED, WHITE AND BOONSHOFT
Leave it to the folks at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, 2600 Dewesse Pkwy., Dayton, to find a way to put an entertaining, educational spin on Independence Day. Red, White and Boonshoft, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, July 4, is a star spangled science celebration with shows, entertainment, indoor fireworks in the planetarium, face painting and more. Cost: $14.50 adults, $12.50 seniors 60 and older, $11.50 children 3-17, free for museum members and children younger than 3. Call 937-278-6076 or visit www.boonshoftmuseum.org.
9) MOVIE SERIES
This year Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, is celebrating 150 years as a local destination for movies, plays, concerts and other events. For its annual Cool Films Series, the venue has programmed a diverse summer of classic films, including animated features, comedy and drama. Cool Films begins with the 1995 family movie, “Babe,” at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 7. Cost: $3 per screening or $35 for a 10-ticket passbook. The family series also includes “Daffy Duck’s Quackbusters” on July 14 and “Muppets From Space” on July 28. Other highlights include “Rear Window” July 8 through 10, “This Is Spinal Tap” on July 16 and “Ocean’s 11” July 29 through 31. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
10) DAYTON DRAGONS
The Dayton Dragons continue to struggle in its 17th season at Fifth Third Field, 220 N. Patterson Blvd., Dayton. The team is currently below .500 in Midwest League action but it hasn’t stopped fans from packing the stadium for each home game. The Dragons, which recently wrapped up a four-game road series against Fort Wayne TinCaps, returns to Fifth Third Field for a home stand against West Michigan Whitecaps, Friday through Sunday, July 1 through 3. Game times are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $9-$17. Call 937-228-BATS (2287) or visit www.daytondragons.com.