After in-person celebrations were canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of McAllen’s Independence Day celebrations are back in their traditional form this year and preparations are already underway.

The city’s annual celebration will be held on July 3 this year, starting with a morning patriotic program, followed by the Main Street Parade and then the Freedom Festival, an event held at Archer Park which will feature music, food and games, according to a news release issued by the city.

The Patriotic Program will begin at 8 a.m. from Archer Park, located at 101 M. Main St., and will immediately be followed by the Main Street Parade which will run along Main Street from Houston Avenue to Beech Avenue.

The Freedom Festival at Archer Park will then run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Later, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., attendees can enjoy food, live music and entertainment at McAllen Municipal Park, located at 1921 N. Bicentennial Blvd.

At 9 p.m., the Concert in the Sky fireworks extravaganza will go live from the Municipal Park. The fireworks show will be set to patriotic music that can be heard by tuning in to 710-AM KURV. The fireworks will also be live on MCN 1300 on Spectrum Cable for McAllen residents, or at www.mcallen.net, the McAllen mobile 3-1-1 app or over the air antenna channel 57.1 KAZH-LP.

To participate in the festivities, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department is currently accepting entries encouraging businesses, civic and youth groups, nonprofit organizations, and especially, veterans and veterans’ groups to participate in the parade and other festivities.

Entries should feature a patriotic theme and fit into one of the following categories: antique vehicles; marching/walking; color guard; vehicle club; float; horses; band; or pageant.

The cost for entry is $50 for businesses while non-profits can enter at no cost as long as a 501 C(3) is provided.

The day’s events will also include a 4K run that will begin at 7 a.m.

Just under 2.5 miles, the race will begin and end at the McAllen Municipal Park and is open to anyone 7 years and older.

To participate in the run, a $20 registration fee is required and the first 300 runners will receive a runner’s shirt and a finisher medal. All proceeds from the race will go towards Team Red, White and Blue, a national veterans’ organization.

Those interested in registering for the race can visit www.mcallenparks.net. Parade entry forms are available by emailing pardmarketing@mcallen.net or by calling (956) 681-3333. The deadline to submit them is June 21.