Packed full of parades, fireworks, and 104ยบ weather, Fourth of July 2012 would certainly make Thomas Jefferson proud. Festivities kicked off at noon with the Northside Rock n' Roll Parade, one of the most creative and entertaining promenades in town.

The little pooch was dressed in a patriotic dress and arrived in a stroller. Gives new meaning to The Dog Days of Summer.

The vegetarians in our group loved cheering "YAY VEGETABLES!" for the gardeners.

The Drill Team

5chw4r7z capturing the action.

Travis and Susan of The Pickled Brothers Sideshow

Lawn Chair Ladies Brigade

There was a hiccup in the parade queue.

This guy was filming a video as the parade progressed, and reset multiple times.

And the moment we've all been waiting for... Chicken Lays An Egg!

Nothing says "independence" than a giant pig and patriotic candy.

Our favorite Cincinnatian: Jim Tarbell

Gas cans being dragged behind an electric car.

Cincinnati Rollergirls

Captain Jack Sparrow even made an appearance!

The last float of the Northside Parade encourages bystanders to run into the street and dance.
Could there be a better way to end a parade?

Every rose has its thorn: The backed up traffic from the parade.

Six hours and a tiny hat change later, we set out for an evening at Yelp Cincinnati's IndepenDANCE Day Party, held at the Freedom Center. Three floors of live bands, karaoke, dozens of food and alcohol vendors, plus the exhibits were open to explore... all for free.

After dark, we went across the street to Smale Riverfront Park to watch a beautiful display of fireworks shimmer down behind the stadium and Moerlein Lager House.

Some celebrities were in attendance.

Shackles exhibit at the Freedom Center.

Music exhibit: we wrote our favorite genre.
5chw4r7z with sparklers.

Fireworks and glowsticks.

Watching fireworks on the lawn with friends.

Laying on a grassy lawn along side some of your best friends: the best way to celebrate freedom.