Fireworks

Fireworks explode behind the Empire State Building in New York July 4, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

It's a July 4 Independence Day weekend celebration with many events taking place around the nation. Activities include fireworks shows nationwide, the latest new releases at the movie box office, Wimbledon tennis championship matches, the Tour de France kickoff and even TEA Party tax protests. 

Fireworks planned nationwide

Fireworks shows have been organized for July 4 as soon as the sun sets many cities throught the nation although recession constraints have led to cancellations and the need for alternative funding in some small and mid-sized cities, reports MSNBC. Corporate sponsors or local community groups lend their names and service to independence day celebrations. Among the biggest shows are New York and Washington DC's celebrations.

Weekend at the Movies: What's on

July 4th is here, and with that, comes relaxing times near the grill with friends and family while watching fireworks display together. Another way to wind down and enjoy the holiday weekend is to check out a movie.

New major releases this week:

ICE Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - Manny, Sid, Diego and the rest of the computer- animated critter crew are back for their third prehistoric adventure -- this time in 3D!

Public Enemies: Johnny Depp stars as notorious depression-era gangster John Dillinger, whose charismatic crime spree made him a folk hero to the masses.

Previous releases:

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf return to join with the Autobots' battle against the evil Decepticons.

The Proposal - Sandra Bullock is a high-powered exec who fakes an engagement with her assistant to avoid deportation to her native Canada.

The Hangover - Four friends go to Vegas for a blowout bachelor party, only to wake up the next morning with a baby, a tiger, no groom, and no clue.

Up - In Pixar's latest, a twist of fate (and a persistent Junior Wilderness Explorer) sends a 78-year-old man on an adventure beyond his wildest dreams.

Sports TV: Wimbledon, Tour de France coverage

Saturday will be an exciting day in Wimbledon tennis, as the Williams's sisters meet in the women's final followed by the men on Sunday (semifinal matches take place Friday).

Among the major televised events this weekend are Wimbledon and the opening stages of the Tour de France, notable for the return of Lance Armstrong after several years away from the sport. (All times are Eastern Standard Time)

Friday July 3
Tennis: Wimbledon, men's semifinals, ESPN2, 7 a.m. (live); NBC, noon (live and same-day tape)

Saturday July 4
Cycling: Tour de France, Stage 1, in Monaco, Versus, 9:30 a.m. (live), 2:30 (same-day tape), 8 (same-day tape)

Tennis: Wimbledon, women's final, NBC, 9 a.m. (live and same-day tape)

Sunday July 5

Cycling: Tour de France, Stage 2, Monaco to Brignoles, France, Versus, 8:30 a.m. (live), noon (same-day tape), 8 (same-day tape)

Tennis: Wimbledon, men's final, NBC, 9 a.m. (live and same-day tape)

Patriotism, tax protest to mix at July 4 TEA Parties
On this festive weekend, some will also mix tax protests with independence day patriotism, as thousands of gatherings known as TEA Parties (Taxed enough already) are being organized throught the country for July 4. The gatherings are being used to oppose to policies by lawmakers which boost taxes and increase the size of government.