AUGUSTA — Two sisters, Genie Gannett and Terry Gannett Hopkins, will serve as grand marshals for the city’s annual Fourth of July parade.

The choice of the Gannetts is in keeping with the theme Celebrating Augusta’s Past. They are descendants of William Howard Gannett, founder of “Comfort” magazine, and Guy P. Gannett, who followed in his father’s footsteps.

The two men founded The Gannett Publishing Co., which first bought the Waterville Sentinel, followed by the Portland Press Herald, The Portland (Maine) Sunday Telegram, The Portland Evening Express and The Daily Kennebec Journal. The company sold the newspapers in 1998.

The Augusta parade begins at 4 p.m. at the state Capitol and travels along State Street to Water Street and winds up at Old Fort Western, where Mayor William Stokes will read the Declaration of Independence.

The fort will offer lemonade to toast the new nation, take down the British colors and put up the American flag.

The fort is open to visitors 1-5 p.m. with free admission. There will be a hot dog fundraiser, according to Linda Novak, director of Old Fort Western.

Vendors, bounce houses, hayrides and trolley rides will be offered downtown from 6 p.m. and country band Emerald Sky will play at the MaineHousing parking lot.

Fireworks from the East Side Boat Landing over the Kennebec River will cap the celebration at about 9:15 p.m.

Two other area communities will also host Fourth of July events.

In Belgrade, a number of events run for much of the day in the village, including food vendors, a flea market, book sale, bounce house, live music and farmers’ market.

A noontime boat parade begins from the mouth of the Mill Stream on Great Pond, and a marching parade begins at 4 p.m. along Main Street.

A frog-jumping contest — bring your own frog — begins at 5 p.m. at Main Street and Hulin Road. Live music will be offered by Rock and Roll Explosion in the Village Inn parking lot from 5 p.m.

And a fireworks show begins at 9:15 p.m. on Long Pond.

In Winthrop, the Fourth of July celebration kicks off with the 10th annual Friends on the 4th 5K Run, Jog or Walk at Norcross Point at the southern end of Maranacook Lake.

The event, sponsored by the Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed, begins at 8 a.m.

A fireworks show, sponsored by the Winthrop Area Chamber of Commerce, is set for Norcross Point at dusk.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

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