Organizations, businesses and communities from Gold Beach to Crescent City will celebrate Independence Day 2000 with a wide variety of activities from parades to chili cook-offs,10 kilometer runs to art in the park. And fireworks. Lots and lots of fireworks!

Visitors to the Brookings-Harbor area on July 4th will be greeted with a patriotic display of more than 300 American flags along Highway 101.

The Vietnam Veterans of America and Businesses for a Better Brookings post American flags along Highway 101 (Chetco Avenue in Brookings) in celebration of 10 national holidays. The tradition, initiated by Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 757, is particularly appropriate for Independence Day 2000.

The Vietnam Veterans are also sponsoring 4th of July fireworks at the Port of Brookings-Harbor a project theyve sponsored for the last three years.

Activities at the Port of Brookings-Harbor include the fourth annual Community Chili Cook-Off a watermelon triathlon. Proceeds from the activities go to Oasis House.

A $3 donation will purchase a judging ticketat the chili cook-off, enabling participants to taste and judge.

Chef Don Tilton is providing cash prizes for the winning entries, giving $50 for First Place, $30 for second place and $20 for third place.

Following the cook-off at 3 p.m. will be the fourth annual watermelon triathlon.

Four-person teams will compete in eating, running and flicking, tossing or spitting watermelon seeds for distance. Entry fee is $1 per person.

Both activities take place at Slugs n Stones on the Boardwalk in the Port.

A number of Brookings and Harbor businesses will be open with special sales prices and in several cases free food and drinks. Check their advertisements in todays Curry Coastal Pilot.

Activities in Gold Beach, 30 miles to the north of Brookings will be centered in Buffington Park and at the Port of Gold Beach.

Art in the Park will feature arts and crafts with work by local artists, two different bands, dancers and demonstrations.

At the Port of Gold Beach, an old-fashioned family 4th of July will start at 4 p.m.

Featured will be music by karaoke contest finalists, booths offering hot dogs, apple pie and ice cream, a kite-flying demonstration, a car show and a celebrity dunk tank. And fireworks, of course.

Fourth of July activities in Crescent City will fill the entire four-day holiday weekend.

Activities start at 7 a.m. today at the Del Norte County Airport with airplane and helicopter rides, sky divers and a car show, progressing through a Sunday concert at the fairgrounds, a community deck party, followed by a dance.

Activities on the 4th include an art show and sale, 5K and 10K runs, firefighters Olympics, a huge parade with more than 100 entries and a $28,500 fireworks display.