OCEAN CITY — Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Department has announced an improved schedule for the Fourth of July Celebration.

The day will now begin at 8 a.m. with the special patriotic Freedom 5K race. At approximately 9 a.m., the Sports Core Pool and the South Gate lawn surrounding the Worcester County’s Veteran Memorial will host the “All American Day,” festivities. Lastly, the Ocean Pines Association will light up the night sky with fireworks over Showell Park just after dark.  

The 2013 OPA Freedom 5K Run will jump start the national holiday in the morning. Runners will race around the stunning South Gate Pond, travel up Manklin Creek Road, and then return to the finish line at the Veterans Memorial.

The cost to race will be $25 per person, which also includes a T-shirt, hospitality area, and a free wristband allowing entrance into portions of the post-race activities and Fourth of July celebrations. A portion of race proceeds will be donated to the “Home of the Brave Inc.,” which provides a vacation home and entertainment for returning soldiers and their families.

Race medals will be awarded to the overall top male and female performers. Awards will also be given to top finishers in each age group male and female: Younger than 10, 11 to 19 years, 20 to 29 years, 30 to 39 years, 40 to 49 years, 50 to 59 years, 60 to 69 years and older than 70 years.

The race is open to all ages and interested runners can register on active.com using the keyword: OPA Freedom Run or by using the online portal on www.oceanpines.org. Interested participants can also register by visiting/calling the Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Department at 410-641-7052. Early registration is required to guarantee a shirt. There will be day of registration for $35.

At 9 a.m., the “All American Day” festivities will begin. Families are invited to a pool party and a vast assortment of fun activities. There will be moon bounces, water slides, face painting, carnival games, and refreshments such as cotton candy, hot dogs, snow cones, root beer floats and more. New for 2013 will be a 51-foot inflatable shark moon bounce and three-player inflatable play zone. A live DJ will also play all day. Moon bounces and water slides are $5 for unlimited rides with a wristband, additional fees may apply on particular attractions. The pool will be free to swim members; all others will pay the regular daily pool rate.

At dark, after a day of celebrating the country’s birthday, settle into a seat as the Ocean Pines Association sponsors a light show in the sky. Fireworks will shoot over the Showell Park on route 589 at approx 9:15 p.m.        

The recommended viewing locations for fireworks are Showell Elementary School, the Community Church of Ocean Pines, Most Blessed Sacrament School, St. John Neumann Church, and the pavilions. All parking will be free.