SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ  - The Fourth of July is traditionally a time of picnics, family gatherings and fireworks.  There are many opportunities in Union county to enjoy fireworks, and the guide below will give readers an idea of where to go for the best display.  More information is available at bestofnj.com/2012-jersey-fireworks/central

Union County

Clark: Fireworks

Sign Up for E-News

Wednesday, July 4, 2012: Clark will stage their fireworks display on the 4th at Arthur L. Johnson Regional High School located at 365 Westfield Avenue. The show begins sometime between 8:30 and 9:00. There will be a Disc Jockey and vendors in front of town hall at 7:30. The rain date is Thursday, July 5, 2012.

Cranford: 4th of July Canoe Race, Fireworks & More

Wednesday, July 4, 2012: Cranford does the 4th a little differently. The day begins early with a canoe race at 8:00 a.m. at the Cranford Canoe Club. The fun continues with a Firecracker Run at Nomahegan Park at 9:00 a.m. There’s a bike decorating contest at 1:30. The day closes with a fireworks display at dusk (9:00 p.m.

Elizabeth: Fireworks

Wednesday, July 4, 2012: Elizabeth celebrates the 4th with a fireworks display at Veteran’s Memorial Waterfront Park at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4, 2012. The park is located at the intersection of Front Street and Elizabeth Avenues.

Mountainside: Fireworks

Wednesday, July 4, 2012: Mountainside will present a fireworks show sponsored by the Mountainside Borough Council and the Mountainside Fire Company on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at dusk at the fields behind our Lady of Lourdes and Deerfield School. Admission is free and the Police Action League will be serving free ice cream for the kids. The rain date for the show is Thursday, July 5, 2012.

New Providence: Community Celebration & Fireworks

Tuesday, July 3, 2012: New Providence will host a celebration on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 featuring DJ Mike Savage, a roving juggler, a chalk art contest and a fireworks display at 9:15 or 9:30 p.m. The fireworks are sponsored by Investors Bank. South Street will be closed from Gales Drive to Springfield to view the show. The rain date for all events is Friday, July 6th.

Pitman: 4th of July Run, Parade & Fireworks

Wednesday, July 4, 2012: Pitman hosts a variety of events to commemorate the 4th of the July. The 31st Annual Pitman Freedom Four Mile begins at 9:15 on Wednesday morning. The race goes on regardless of the weather and every runner receives a race t-shirt. There’s a parade that starts at 9:55. It starts on Highland Terrace winds through town and finishes on Lambs Road. The day comes to a close with a fireworks display at Alcyon Lake at dusk. The rain date for the fireworks is July 5th and for the parade on the 5th at 6:00 pm.

Plainfield: Parade, Concert & Fireworks

Saturday, July 7, 2012: Plainfield will host a grand party to commemorate Independence Day on Saturday, July the 7th. The fun begins at 10:00 a.m. with The 89th Annual Veteran’s Parade on East Front Street. The theme of the parade this year is Returning Heroes. The parade will be broadcast live by BKS1 radio. There will also be a Car & Bike Show at Cedarbrook Park featuring R&B stars Howard Hewitt and Alicia Myers and a host of other performers KeNoBo Band, Touch of Class with Carlos Sanchez, Victor Jones, Adrian Sykes and more. The day will come to a grand finale with a fireworks display staged by Garden State Fireworks. The fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m.

Roselle Park: Fireworks

Wednesday, July 4, 2012: Roselle Park will stage a fireworks display on Wednesday, July 4th at Herm Shaw Field at Roselle Park High School. The entrance is on West Colfax. The fireworks should start at 9:15. I am not sure if the Band Parents’ Carnival is taking place this year. I could not find any information on the town site or the school sit to verify the information. The rain date for the fireworks is on July 7.

Springfield: Community Celebration, Concert & Fireworks

Wednesday, July 4, 2012: Springfield will host a community event to celebrate Independence Day on the 4th starting at 5:00 p.m. with rides, a petting zoo, pony rides and a trackless train for the kids. The event will be held at Meisel Field. At 7:30 there will be a concert featuring 1910 Fruitgum Company and Barbara Harris and the TOYS. The event will come to a big finish with a fireworks display at dusk staged by Garden State Fireworks Company of Millington. There will be food and beverages for sale and the town is encouraging families to bring chairs and enjoy a picnic in the park. The fireworks will be staged on the next clear night if it rains on Wednesday.

Summit: 4th of July Celebration & Fireworks

Wednesday, July 4, 2012: This annual event consists of day and evening events. The day events begin at 9:45 AM with the Flag Raising Ceremony. The Children’s Bicycle Parade begins at 10:00 AM. Local children decorate their bikes in a patriotic fashion and receive trophies and certificates. Last year’s parade had over 500 participants. Immediately following the Children’s Bicycle Parade, Polka Dot will host a kid’s concert with fun sing -a -longs and dancing. The rides and amusements start at 10:00 AM and will continue through 1:00 PM. Kids can ride the train, jump and slide on inflatable rides and play carnival games for prizes. There will be lots of food, drink and snacks available including Towne Deli and Mom’s Catering. Tickets for the rides, games, food and crafts can be purchased on the day of the event. At 12:00 Noon the Summit Stompers Dixieland All-Stars will entertain on the big stage while the Emergency Softball Game starts at the big field.

The evening’s festivities begin at 7:45 PM with the The Cameos, New Jersey’s Favorite Oldies Group. They will perform their unique renditions of the most popular songs of the 1950′s and 60′s with a little 70′s for good measure. The Grand Fireworks Display, featuring Garden State Fireworks will start at 9:15 PM. [Summit-Union County-Central Jersey]

Union: Soap Box Derby, Concert & Fireworks

Wednesday, July 4, 2012:

Union Township will celebrate the 4th starting at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning, July 4th, 2012 with the 5th Annual All American Soapbox Derby. It will be held on Stuyvesant Avenue between Mountain & Taylor. The festivities pick up later at Biertuempfel Park with the Summer Concert Series. The concert will feature the vocal styling of “The Classics”. The fireworks will bring the day to a close at 9:00. Admission is free. The rain date for the concert and fireworks is July 5th.