It's been 238 years since our forefathers ran the British military out of town -- and the country -- and set up a nation under our own rule.
And even though we might still have to pay taxes, at least it's not to the British crown.
Since 1776, Americans have never failed to honor July 4 with a celebration -- in modern times with backyard barbecues and fireworks extravaganzas.
There will be plenty of celebrating around the Mid-Columbia this year. Here's what's happening:
The Grand Old Fourth festivities start with a Kiwanis pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. at Memorial Park, 1520 W. Shoshone St. Cost for the breakfast is $5.
Then at 8 a.m., the annual Camp Patriot Fun Run begins from the Pasco Sporting Complex next to TRAC.
The 5k and 1-mile run/walk starts at Gesa Stadium, 6200 Burden Blvd.
Register at www.camppatriotfunrun.org until June 29. Participation packets can be picked up in advance at the stadium. The registration fee is $25 for adults and $15 for ages 12 and younger. Proceeds go to Camp Patriot, a nonprofit that takes disabled veterans on adventures.
A street dance is planned for all children at 9:15 a.m. at Memorial Park followed by the Grand Old Fourth parade at 10 a.m.
The parade route starts at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Sylvester Street, heads west on Sylvester, turns south on 14th Avenue, then east on Clark Street and ends at the corner of 12th Avenue and Clark Street, near Memorial Park, where festivities will continue throughout the afternoon. U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings is this year's grand marshal.
The aerial fireworks show starts at 10 p.m. at Gesa Stadium. There is no cost. The show lasts about a half-hour.
The River of Fire Festival starts at 11 a.m. at the east end of Columbia Park.
The Dreamland Express train will run a course around the east end of the park by the pond from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. There is no charge to ride thanks to a grant from the BNSF railway.
Then from noon to 7 p.m., there will be kids games and a petting zoo on the park grounds, plus craft and food booths throughout the afternoon.
The fireworks display starts at 10 p.m. from a barge anchored in the middle of the river. It lasts about 35 to 40 minutes. No personal fireworks or alcohol are allowed in the park. Admission is $7 a carload.
The Old Fashioned Fourth of July celebration is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at City Park in downtown Prosser. There will be food vendors, a stage show, obstacle course and games throughout the day.
Then at 10 p.m. the fireworks show starts at Art Fiker Stadium at Prosser High School, 1433 Paterson Road. There is no admission to the park or the fireworks show.
At 4 p.m., the Independence Day parade begins, starting between North Sixth and North First streets, turning left on Edison Avenue, then right on 16th Street, ending at the high school.
The Lions Club of Sunnyside will present its fireworks show at dusk in the play field at Sunnyside High School, 1801 E. Edison Ave.
All events are free. Gates open at 4 p.m. There also will be musical performances, games, contests and food vendors.
The Fourth of July Sun Faire starts with a sun run at 8 a.m. at Lions Park, 815 E. Pine St. The parade starts at 10 a.m. and goes down the main street, ending at the flagpole at Lions Park.
There also will be a demolition derby at the fairgrounds, 831 S. Reynolds Road. Admission is $8 for adults and ages 6 and younger are free. A free fireworks show starts at 10 p.m. at Lions Park.
Independence Day fun in Boardman starts with a breakfast at 7 a.m. at Marina Park, 1 Marine Drive, N.W. There will be a fun run at 8 a.m. at the park. The parade starts at 11 a.m. at Main Street and Boardman Avenue in the downtown area and winds through town, ending back at the start.
Starting at noon, there will be kids games, musical entertainment, facepainting, a horseshoe tournament, a puppet show, hula hoop contest and more. Admission is free to all events.
Hermiston plans Independence Day fun from 1 to 10:30 p.m. at Butte Park, 1245 N. W. Seventh St.
There will be pool party, barbecue, bounce houses, car show, craft booths and food vendors, wrapping up with a fireworks show at 10 p.m. Admission is free.
-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dorioneal