It's the first weekend in July and that means 4th of July celebrations! If you are planning to enjoy Independence Day in one of Hamilton County's 8 Great Towns or want to take a last minute Indiana vacation, here are 8 Great Things to do in Hamilton County, Indiana this weekend.

1. Celebrate the 4th of July in Cicero, Indiana. Lights Over Morse Lake is a weekend-long celebration that offer more than your average fireworks display. With a music festival, balloon glow and rides, a parade, kids carnival and more, there are countless ways to enjoy the 4th in this great town.

2. Westfield, Indiana, also "Rocks the Fourth" with a day-long celebration on Sunday, July 3. The day kicks off with a morning bike-a-thon to benefit prostate cancer. The rest of the festivities start at 4 p.m. and include a car show, kids activities and a performance by Duke Tumatoe & the Power Trio. The celebration concludes with what is billed as one of the largest fireworks shows in Hamilton County.

3. Stop by CarmelFest in Carmel, Indiana, on Sunday and Monday for plenty of activities for kids and adults. On July 3 and 4, the KidZone offers games, pony rides and a petting zoo. CarmelFest also includes several bands, plus a July 4 fireworks show starting at 9:45 p.m.

4. Don't miss the Hamilton County Parks Lawn Mower Drill Team in the St. Vincent Health Parade at CarmelFest! The parade steps off at 10:30 a.m. in Merchants Square on Carmel Drive but you also can find a good seat along Rangeline Road or Main Street.

5. Kick off your weekend with Noblesville, Indiana's First Friday Picnic on the Square. Bring your own picnic food and blankets to the lawn of the courthouse on July 1 at 5 p.m. and enjoy games and activities for the whole family. Noblesville Main Street will have hot picnic foods available for purchase. The evening concludes with live music from Cathy Morris.

6. Noblesville also offers a July 4th Parade and Fireworks Festival, with the parade starting at 5 p.m., followed by a free, fun-filled evening at Noblesville High School featuring a classic car show, music from Dave and Rae, games and food. The fireworks will start at about 10 p.m.

7. For musical fireworks, head over to Verizon Wireless Music Center on Saturday, July 2 to see Motley Crue and Poison in concert. If you prefer smooth jazz instead of heavy metal, Smokey Robinson is also in concert on Saturday at the Outdoor Summer Concert Series at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.

8. Take in the local color of Hamilton County with the Hamilton County Artists Association's "Local Color" exhibition open house on Friday, July 1, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Meet the talented artists and enjoy refreshments and fantastic art.  *For a complete listing of things do in Hamilton County, Indiana, visit our online calendar at