This year, you can choose to fire up the grill and celebrate America's independence by inviting over your near-and-dears, replete with the usual band of screaming kids and unruly pets, or you can go to the City of Phoenix's 20th annual "Fabulous Fourth" celebration at Steele Indian School Park on Monday, July 4, and chum it up with a whole bunch of other celebrants and their screaming kids and pesky four-legged pals. The big shebang is fully loaded and ready to explode with traditional Fourth of July festivities. Kids World will provide amusement rides, both wet and dry, for the small folks. The Phoenix Fire Department is setting up their "spray zone," and local television station ABC-15 will provide a weather simulator, so the little ones can experience showers and lightning. Country music singer Phil Vassar headlines the main stage. Vassar's current CD, Shaken Not Stirred, produced the hit single, "In a Real Love." Three other stages will feature musical performers of various styles, including hip-hop, Colombian, rock and salsa from bands like Novo Mundo (pictured). Food vendors will be on hand to keep your hunger and thirst at bay, sans booze, as the event is alcohol-free. The grand finale of the evening happens at 9 p.m., with the annual "Fireworks Spectacular" -- an hour-long display of choreographed, dazzling pyrotechnical eye candy. Steele Indian School Park is located at Third Street and Indian School Road. The party begins at 4 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. Admission is free. Visit http://phoenix.gov/parks/jlymain.html. -- Amy Young
Art's misfits on parade
Call them absurd, or just whacked artsy-fartsy types. But give the Dadaists some credit: they've pulled it off -- mounting trash on gallery walls, calling it "art," and perplexing the masses -- for nearly a century now. On Friday, July 1, the Paper Heart, 750 Grand Avenue, opens its second annual "Neo Dada" exhibit, which celebrates "the works of those early 20th-century outcasts" by showing the fresh works of locals Jeff Falk, JA Jurewicz, Natascha Payton, Jimi Girdner and others, through July 30. The opening night reception, which begins at 7 p.m., includes performances by Longshore and Radiofix, as well as the "small, strange, ineffectual experimental theater" troupe, The Ghosts of Dada. Admission is free. Call 602-262-2020. -- Joe Watson
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The hits keep coming
Before you show up with bloodshot eyes and that all-too-familiar craving for Cheetos, we should warn you: "Get Stoned Karaoke" on Saturday, July 2, at Hamburger Mary's might not be what you think. The somewhat misleading name refers to the foam-rubber "stones" that litter the floor of Mary's, 5111 North Seventh Street. If bar-goers find the singer's wailing intolerable, they can "stone" the singer in disapproval. Joey Hallot, who hosts this and various other karaoke nights throughout Phoenix, can usually prevent said stoning. "Joey can make anyone sound like an American Idol," says regular "stoner" Anthony Dallas. "He'll twist those knobs like nobody." Karaoke starts at 9 p.m. Call 602-240-6969. -- Evan Wyloge
Long may it rave
If you'd rather be clutching a glow stick instead of some sparklers this weekend, head to the Icehouse, 429 West Jackson, on Saturday, July 2, for "Wonder 2," where the only explosions will be banging beats blasted out by more than 50 DJs. Trip the light fantastic -- or just be trippin' -- to breaks, electro, trance, house, and other styles from such superstar spinsters as Photek, Infiltrata, Vector Burn, Mr. Mendez, and MC XYZ, as well as locals like Dr. Gonzo, Tranceducer, AWOL, Sixxx, and others. Indepen-dance day starts at 9 p.m., and tickets cost $17 to $27 presale, $30 at the door. Call 480-871-6009. -- Benjamin Leatherman