* In 1916, Spencer Penrose decided to attract visitors to Colorado Springs, Colo., and started the first of the now internationally renowned Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Race. Held every year on the Fourth of July, all makes and models of cars, trucks and cycles compete to reach the finish line at the top of the famous peak at 14,100 feet. This year, three semis are competing.
* Kenwood, Calif., celebrates Independence Day with the 34th Annual World Pillow Fighting
Championships. Straddling a pole suspended across a creek, contestants battle with feather pillows until the loser drops into the mud below.
* Now in its 27th year, Boston's Fourth of July is America's premiere Independence
Day celebration. The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra performs a two-hour concert followed by a stupendous fireworks display over the Charles River.
* Ennis, Mont., celebrates the Fourth by holding the most exciting and challenging two-day rodeo in the state. This is a non-stop weekend of excitement, bucking broncos, and a parade that has been a festive tradition since 1935. July 3 - 4.
* In Lovington, N.M., be sure to check out the World's Greatest Lizard Race. If you're
planning to bring an entry, check the rules -- Komoto and Monitor lizards are barred, as they may consume other contestants.
* One of the most majestic of this year's Fourth of July gatherings will be at OpSail 2000 in New York City. Tall ships from more than 50 nations are expected to line up along the 10-mile stretch of New York Harbor. July 3 - 9.
* Celebrate America's Birthday in America's Birthplace, Philadelphia, with more than 50
free events over 12 days. Enjoy parades, fireworks, neighborhood arts festivals, concerts, outdoor movies, historic reenactments, and tall ships. June 23 - July 4.
* The Fourth of July at Mount Rushmore is in Keystone, S.D. A fireworks display is planned for the evening of July 3. The incredible nightly sculpture-lighting program is not to be missed. July 2 - 5.
* With more than 80 years of tradition and 30 events from May through July, America's Freedom Festival in Provo, Utah, is one of the largest annual Independence Day celebrations in America. The festival climax, called the "Stadium of Fire," presents a headline musical entertainer, military band, parachutists and a large fireworks display including in-stadium fireworks pieces. May 9 - July 4.
* Some of the best pyrotechnicians in the world gather in Seattle to choreograph a visual masterpiece over beautiful Lake Union. The display is synchronized to an exceptional musical score ranging from opera to symphony to rock 'n' roll.
* More than 200,000 spectators are expected to view the twice-daily launchings of 25 hot-air balloons in Lisle, Ill., during the Eyes to the Skies Balloon Festival. The four-day event showcases two nationally known musical acts each evening, performing country, blues, and good ol' rock 'n' roll. The festival also features a Fourth of July parade, three nights of fireworks, a bingo tent, radio-controlled model airplane flying, lawn mower racing and kite flying events. July 1 - 4.
* The Minocqua, Wis., Independence Day celebration includes a parade, tae-kwon-do demonstrations, bands, and a two-hour water-ski show, followed immediately by a spectacular
fireworks extravaganza over Lake Minocqua.
* Jacksonville, Fla., would like to say, "Happy Birthday America!" Featuring food, fun and a free concert by a national country headliner, this two-day event culminates with Jacksonville's biggest and most spectacular Fourth of July fireworks display over the St. John's River. July 3 - 4.
* Dahlonega, Ga., is home to the largest and most popular Independence Day extravaganza in
Northeast Georgia. The family oriented event features craft booths, continuous music, food galore, kids' fun booths and, of course, fireworks.
* The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Freedom Festival offers just about everything anyone could hope for this Independence Day. The Freedom Festival begins June 22 with a flurry of family and kids activities, sporting and fitness events, entertainment, history lessons, lots of food at multiple picnics, luncheons and dinners, culminating on the Fourth with a fabulous fireworks show. June 22 - July 4.
* Deep in Madison County, the city of Earlham, Iowa, celebrates a traditional Fourth of July around and about the bridges which made the area famous.
* Indianapolis' Uncle Sam Jam is a full day of food and drink coupled with nationally
renowned performers. Once darkness falls, the sky is illuminated by spectacular fireworks.
* In Murray, Ky., residents do it up right with a four-day celebration that includes some 25
different events, including: arts and crafts, a country music concert, a street fair, a beauty pageant, sports competitions, a car show, parades and much more. July 1 - 4.
* The town of Bogalusa, La., is proud of the paper mill in its history. Every year, on the birthday of the city and the U.S., the good citizens celebrate with a down-home traditional event. One of the highlights is the coronation of Miss Paper Queen at the Bogalusa Paper Queen Ball. July 3 - 4.
* Glendale, Ariz., boasts the state's most spectacular aerial fireworks display choreographed to
patriotic music, this event has attracted a maximum capacity audience for the past seven years. Other activities include two stages for entertainment and hometown picnic games for the kids.
* Boothbay Harbor, Maine celebrates an Old Fashioned Fourth of July Family Celebration. There's live music all day, children's games, a chicken barbecue and fireworks over the inner harbor in the evening.
* Each year in St. Louis, Mo., they hold Fair St. Louis, a family-oriented Fourth of July weekend festival that has been providing fairgoers with fun and excitement for nearly 20 years. The fair features three days of live music and entertainment, air shows each day and spectacular fireworks each night. July 1 - 4.
* Independence and Monmouth, Ore., throw Western Days -- Old-Fashioned Fourth of July festival with parades, marathons, entertainment, music, craft and food booths, an Air Guard fly-over, carnival and the Willamette Valley's best fireworks display. July 1 - 4.
* Gatlinburg, Tenn., holds the first Independence Day parade in the nation. Held each year at 12:01 a.m., the parade features thousands of lights, music, patriotic celebrations and many unusual floats.
* The stars over Garland, Texas, shine brightly as the city presents its wonderful Star Spangled 4th celebration. An event for the whole family, numerous events take place throughout the day. July 1 - 4.