Thousands of area residents and guests celebrated our nation's 239th birthday July 4 on the campus of Shepaug Valley School , and from neighboring points of view.

The special occasion was the Fourth of July.

The event was Washington Parks & Recreation Department 's annual picnic and fireworks show.

Mother Nature had threatened the day’s schedule with overnight rain, but event director Ray Reich and his staff opted to go for it, and many folks were glad they did.

Festivities began about 3 p.m. with early arrivals for the picnic and concluded about 10 p.m. with the traditional, colorful fireworks finale.

Picnic entertainment was provided at the picnic by the oldies group Flashback.

Earlier in the day, Parks & Recreation had hosted a record field of 250 for its 11th annual Stephen Reich Freedom Run 5K road run and walk at Steep Rock Preserve (see the July 10 edition of The Spectrum and visitwww.newmilfrdspectrum.com for the story and photos).

For picnic and fireworks photos, check www.newmilfordspectrum.com.