The fact that the Fourth of July falls on a Monday this year makes for a great weekend. Oklahomans are likely to join their fellow travelers on the interstates beginning today. The price of gasoline is about 35 cents a gallon more than a year ago but you couldn't tell that by travel predictions. AAA Oklahoma thinks more than 40 million Americans will travel 50 or miles from home this weekend.

That's the highest total ever for a holiday weekend. The travelers are headed to family gatherings, busy beaches, packed parks and crowded campgrounds. It may surpass Thanksgiving as the highest travel volume of all. AAA estimates that 14 percent of all Oklahomans will travel over the Fourth.

If you are not destined to leave the city, the festivities around here might be worth staying around for this weekend. The annual Norman Day celebration at Reaves Park is always a hit. The party begins around noon on S. Jenkins. Music continues throughout the day. Food and drink vendors are plenty. A schedule of activities will be published in Monday's Transcript.

The annual fireworks show seems to get better each year. Generations of families and friends often meet at the same viewing spot every year. Some bring the pop and some bring the blankets and bug repellent.

Neighboring cities are also getting in on the act. Moore's Buck Thomas Park will be the site of a three-day arts festival that continues through Monday. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. A car cruise will be held at 2 p.m. on July 4. Fireworks, choreographed to music, will begin at dark.

Little Axe area residents will have a festival on Saturday in the Pecan Valley area, six miles south of Interstate 40 on Harrah-Newalla Road. Fireworks, music and fun are promised until dawn. Noble plans a special Farmer's Market on Saturday. Farther south in Purcell, the Chamber of Commerce plans a citywide garage sale Saturday as well as a rodeo Sunday and Monday evenings and a Fourth of July celebration Monday night at Chandler Park.

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