With Independence Day weekend right around the corner, now’s a good time to start planning your Fourth of July festivities. There’s quite a bit of patriotic flair planned for the holiday weekend in the foothills. Friday, July 3 Celebrate July 4 a day early by heading up the hill for Colfax’s July 3 Independence Day celebration. The celebration will open at 11 a.m. with the “Little Patriots” parade, which is coordinated by the Colfax Kiwanis Club. Advance registration is not required for the parade, which will begin lining up at 10 a.m. in front of the Colfax Hotel. The main parade, coordinated by the Colfax Lions Club, will step off from Oak and Auburn streets at noon. Entry fee is $20. For an entry form or more information, call Ed Pearson at (530) 477-9889. More than 70 vendor booths, offering a variety of products, will be set up along Main Street. Colfax’s version of the soapbox derby will begin at 2 p.m. on Church and Culver Streets. To sign-up or for more information about the Downhill Derby, call Frank Murch at (916) 338-0956. Speaking of races, the Doxie Dasch will get underway at 3:30 p.m. in Roy Toms Plaza. Applications are available at downtown businesses. Bob’s Dogs will sponsor the annual Hot Dog Eating contest at 6 p.m. Bands will be performing throughout the day on stages set up in the Beer Garden, the Lot of Arts Park and at Roy Toms Plaza. A Battle of the Bands begins at 6 p.m. at the historic Railroad Depot. Since the streets will be closed to vehicle traffic starting at 5 p.m., a shuttle service will be offered from 7 to 11 p.m. at the corner of S. Auburn Street and Highway 174. Fireworks, depending on weather conditions, will start around 9:15 p.m. For more info, visit colfaxprideinc.org. Saturday, July 4 Auburn’s Independence Day festitivies begin bright and early with the Firemen’s Pancake Breakfast, which starts at 7 a.m. July 4 in the Bootleggers parking lot, 210 Washington St. Enjoy pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice and coffee for $6 per person. For more information, call (530) 889-2229. Stick around Old Town after breakfast for some more old-fashioned family fun in the form of classic kids’ games from 9 a.m. to noon. Witness or, if you’re a youngster, take a crack at watermelon eating contests, greased pole climbing, water-balloon tosses and more. The Auburn Family Fourth fun at the Gold Country Fairgrounds begins with the Little Miss and Little Mister Firecracker Pageant. Registration starts at 3 p.m. and the pageant begins at 3:30 p.m. on the Gold Country Stage. Boys and girls are welcome to compete in two categories, ages 4-6 and ages 7-9. Every participant receives a ribbon and can participate in the parade scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. The parade, hosted by local Lions Clubs, begins at the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, 601 Lincoln Way, and works its way down Lincoln Way to the clock tower, following High Street into the fairgrounds. Registration forms for the parade and the $15 entry fee must be submitted to the Auburn Chamber of Commerce by Tuesday. While waiting for the parade, enjoy live music by Stories Untold on the Gold Country Stage, as well as a rock-climbing wall, pony rides and karate demonstrations. Live music continues with Midnight Sun at 7:30 p.m. on the Gold Country Stage. Fast Fridays is also scheduled to give motorcycle demonstrations during the fairground arena. All of this family fun leads up to the main event — fireworks. The pyrotechnic fireworks spectacular begins at 9:40 p.m. All are welcome at the fairgrounds for the Auburn Family Fourth. Bring picnic baskets and folding chairs, but leave the barbecues and alcohol at home. Learn more at auburnfamily4th.com or by calling the Auburn Chamber of Commerce at (530) 885-5616. Further up the hill, the Dutch Flat Community Center holds its Independence Day celebration July 4. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. There will be a salad luncheon, craft and flea market booths, food stands and children’s games. Call (530) 389-2120 for more information.