Happy Birthday, America!  The USA turns 242 tomorrow and there are a lot of ways to celebrate.

You can run the Independence Day 5K in Pittsfield or if you're not as athletically inclined, just show up for the big parade in the city. Or maybe you're going to mark the day by kicking back at a barbecue or picnic with family and friends, possibly poolside if you're one of the fortunate ones. Considering our "hot as a firecracker" weather this week, finding a nice spot alongside a Berkshire body of water might be a very nice idea indeed.

Shakespeare and Company on Kemble St. in Lenox has another idea for you: an all-American Independence Day community celebration!  Starting at 1:30 till about 5 P.M. the free event will feature music by the Amy Ryan Band performing blues and rock blues. There will also be a kids craft table, face painting, and food for purchase by Firefly Gastro Pub. Be sure to be there at 3:00 for a public reading of one of the most stirring, influential, and potent documents in our country's history: The Declaration of Independence. A great way to spend the day, with free parking available too.

And if you just want to hang out and relax until heading out for a traditional 4th of July fireworks show, here's where to find those.

However you decide to celebrate, have a safe and happy 4th!