To Do: The Valley's weekly events planner (07/3-7/9)


Toastmasters: Club is dedicated to making public speaking fun. Noon. Government Center (East Wing, second floor), 100 10th Street, new member fee $20, 706-225-3643,

LEGO mania: Bring your entire family and the library will provide all the LEGOs and coloring sheets. 3-5 p.m. North Columbus Public Library, 5689 Armour Road. Free. 706-748-2855.

Carmike summer: Carmike will feature a family-friendly movie. This week’s is “Despicable Me 2.” 10 a.m. Hollywood Ritz 13, 1683 Whittlesey Boulevard. $4 admission includes movie ticket, drink, popcorn and snack.

Legends: Trivia starts at 8 p.m. Call 706-507-1406.

The Loft: Grandma Lee and Jeff Zenisek take the stage at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5. Call 706-596-8141.


Dinner theater: “Sherlock’s Whitewater Mystery” is the latest edition in this murder mystery show. Reservations include the show, a three-course dinner, water, tea and coffee. Dress is business casual. 7 p.m. Downtown Historic Columbus Marriott Hotel, 800 Front Ave. $48.50 plus tax. 706-604-5634.

Art Walk: The First Friday Art Walk returns. Browse local merchants and see local artist at the same time. Starting at 4:30 p.m. downtown.


Independence Day Parade: The parade will march through downtown Columbus starting at the Springer, 103 10th St., at 10 a.m. Friday. Flags and some decorations will be provided, but participants are encouraged to furnish their own. The parade ends at 11 a.m. with a round of patriotic songs back at the Springer.

Freedom Fest: This newly named celebration will be filled with music, kids’ activities, historical reenactments, food and fun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday National Infantry Museum, 1775 Legacy Way. Free. 706-685-5800.

Patriotic Concert: Come celebrate our nation’s freedom with a patriotic show followed by fireworks over the Chattahoochee River. Performers include Yolanda Sewell, Vickie Roberts,Still Magnolias, Nadine Coker, Voices of Praise and more 7-9:30 p.m. Friday Phenix City Amphitheater, 508 Dillingham Street. Free.

Beach party at Callaway: Highlights from this weekend-long Independence Day celebration include beach activities, live music, the FSU Flying High Circus and fireworks. Beach opens at 7 a.m. on Friday with live music starting at 5 p.m. Fireworks expected at 9:30 p.m. The beach opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Callaway Gardens, 17800 U.S. Highway 27. $12.50-$25 for day pass. or 1-800-CALLAWAY

Fourth of July at Richardson’s Farm: Phenix City Entertainment Inc. will host a grand opening Friday and Saturday at Richardson’s Farm, 34 Farm Road, in Phenix City. Gates open at 3 p.m. on both days, with DJ Remy, Peggy Jenkins and more performers. Plus food and drink vendors. No coolers. Fireworks over the lake begin at approximately 9 p.m. both nights. Entry is $15 per day per person ($10 for kids 11 and under and veterans). Active-duty military get in free. 904-451-2194.

Upton's Lake fireworks: The O'Neal Volunteer Fire Department will have its annual fireworks at Upton's Lake on 315 toward Talbotton. Gates open at 6 p.m. Friday. Free, though donations are appreciated. With live music and concessions.

New American Freedom Train Show: Singer-songwriter Tim Maggart and the National Civil War Naval Museum are co-producing this multi-media concert dedicated to our nation’s military and their families. Interviews with veterans and their families will be shown throughout the concert. At 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Springer, 103 10th St. Tickets are $20 (advance), $23 (at the door). or 706-327-3688.

Annual God Bless America Parade: Children ages 18 months to 5 will wear red, white and blue and march to patriotic music, waving at those watching and taking firefighters some brownies. Organized by the St. Luke’s Early Learning Center, 300 11th St. At 9:30 a.m. Thursday. The parade begins at the center and continues toward St. Luke United Methodist Church. 706-322-2703.

July 4th at Florence Marina State Park: From 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday-Sunday. Featuring boat rides, crafts and games. Cost: $1-$5 craft fee; $5 boat ride; $5 parking fee. The park is located in Omaha, Ga., Georgia Highway 39. 229-838-4706.

The Loft: Fourth of July celebration at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $5. Call 706-596-8141.


The Hair Wellness Group Open House: The Hair Wellness group is celebrating six months in business with an open house, including refreshments, prizes and a scavenger hunt. From 9 a.m.-5 p.m., with the scavenger hunt from 10 a.m.-noon. 300 14th St.

Market Days: Visit Market Days on Broadway for fresh produce, baked goods, arts and crafts and more. 9 a.m.-noon every Saturday of the year. Downtown on Broadway. Prices vary.

The Loft: The Donna Hopkins band performs at 9 p.m. Cover is $5. Call 706-596-8141.

VFW: The Last Rodeo performs starting at 9 p.m. at VFW Post 665, 1824 Victory Drive. Tickets are $7 at the door. All welcome. Call 706-682-6656.


SoHo: Karaoke with Rob Hall. Free. Call 706-568-3316.


Salute to the U.S.A.: Come see “America the beautiful recreated in art” at this open house at the Joseph House Art Gallery, beginning this week and running every Tuesday in July. With door prizes and light refreshments. Free. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 706-321-8948.

SoHo: Open mic night. Free. Call 706-568-3316.


Safe sitter class: These classes teach boys and girls, ages 11-13, how to handle emergencies when caring for children and much more. 5 p.m. St. Francis Health Matters, 3740 Woodruff Road) $50 includes lunch, a manual and completion card. 706-596-4070.

Legends: Live acoustic acts. 706-507-1406.

The Loft: Owen Campbell and Brooks Ritter take the stage at 8 p.m. Free. Call 706-596-8141.

Mix Ultra Lounge: Vanity Wednesday with DJ Tammy and a drag show. Doors open at 9 p.m. Call 706-221-2112.

SoHo: Surrender the Fall and Artifas perform at 10 p.m. Free.


Columbus State summer camps: Choose one or both: morning session (9 a.m.-noon), afternoon session (1-4 p.m.). There is still space available in some of CSU’s upcoming Activ8 camps, including the following: Babysitter Boot Camp (ages 11 and up), Creating Cartoons (ages 11 and up), and Paint-A-Rama (ages 8-11). All camps are Monday-Friday, July 7-11. Cost is $79 for Babysitter Boot Camp and Paint-A-Rama; and $165 for Creating Cartoons. Classes are held at the Elizabeth Bradley Turner Center for Continuing Education. 706-507-8070.

Family Theatre summer camp: The theatre on 2100 Hamilton Road will host an “Emperor’s New Clothes” drama camp from Monday-Friday. Performances will follow at 7 p.m. Friday, July 11, and 2 p.m. Saturday, July 12. Cost is $125. For ages 5 and up. or 706-366-7196.