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Towns west of Boston party like it’s 1776

Fireworks are just one way communities celebrate the Fourth of July.

Laurie Swope for the Boston Globe/File 2003

Fireworks are just one way communities celebrate the Fourth of July.

At first blush, July Fourth celebrations may seem all the same: fireworks, parades, cookouts. But there are all kinds of ways to observe Independence Day.

You can choose among concerts, footraces, games, picnics, historical reenactments, even a ride on a firetruck — all without traveling far from home. You can even choose which day to start (and end) the party.

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Carlisle’s annual Old Home Day celebration, for example, was moved to the weekend preceding Independence Day several years ago, giving townspeople the chance to celebrate both at home and away. This year’s party, which commemorates the 100th anniversary of Old Home Day, features a parade, country fair, frog-jumping contest, soapbox derby, barbecue, and other old-fashioned fun.

Whether or not they have an equally longstanding tradition, local communities take great pride in the way their citizens rise to the occasion when putting on a party to celebrate the nation’s birth.

See the Globe West list of the area’s Fourth of July festivities.

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