LEWISTON — Lewiston-Auburn’s Independence Day celebration kicks off a day early this year, with a more somber tone on Sunday night.

The Liberty Festival begins at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 3, with a flag retirement ceremony at Lewiston’s Veterans Memorial Park, led by local veterans groups. The celebration continues at 8:15 p.m. with a special outdoor movie screening.

“We’ve talked about expanding the festival for a while,” Cathy McDonald, president of the Liberty Festival, said. “This year, with the holiday on a Monday, the calendar gave us that opportunity.”

Members of Lewiston-Auburn Veterans Council will lead the flag retirement ceremony Sunday night. It will feature speeches, prayers, a presentation on the meaning of the flag and a burning ceremony.

“This is the new piece,” she said. “We just wanted to increase awareness, to remind people about the real meaning of the Fourth of July.”

The ceremony will be followed by a screening of the 1972 film “1776: The Musical” in Veterans Memorial Park. Movie-viewers should bring chairs.

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A traditional Independence Day celebration in Lewiston and Auburn continues at 6 p.m. Monday, July 4, on both sides of the river, with music, dancing food and fireworks.

The stage in Veterans Memorial Park will feature live music by the Veggies, Elvis impersonator Robert Washington and a special presentation by Lewiston-Auburn Community Little Theatre.

Across the river in Auburn, DJ Bernarnzo will host a dance party in the TD Bank parking lot of Great Falls Plaza. Mr. Drew and his Animals, Too will be there as well, and performers from Girl Power Fitness will take the stage at 7:30 p.m.

The Twin Cities fireworks display will begin at 9:30 p.m., matched to music played in both locations. The display is set to last 40 minutes, McDonald said.

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