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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Ticket #6: Have a blast at ballpark

This is the sixth in a series that examines the best events an Indiana sports fan would want to see over a lifetime.

Hot dogs. TinCaps baseball. Fireworks.

What else do you need to celebrate the Fourth of July? Oh, you were hoping for some apple pie? Well, you're in luck because they sell apple turnovers at Parkview Field too.

Sure, you could spend your Independence Day buzzing around in a speedboat or roasting marshmallows on a campfire. But what self-respecting sports fan could look himself in the mirror if he didn't spend the holiday at the ballpark?

The best thing about this year is the Fourth falls on a Monday, which means you can get all your lake time or campsite mosquito battles out of the way during the weekend. Then you're free to spend the holiday proper taking in America's pastime at one of the best minor league facilities in the country.

TinCaps baseball at Parkview Field on the Fourth of July is what summer is all about.

There's the unmistakable sound of the crack made when fastball meets wood. That can only be truly experienced at the ballpark.

You've got the scent of grilled foods wafting around the concourse. Compound that with the smell of those apple turnovers and you're on the verge of olfactory overload.

Then there are the too-many-to-describe sights at Parkview Field. Picture some of these: giant screen video board, people watching in the outfield lawn seats, Bad Apple Dancers, perfectly manicured grass and the pitcher's mound bathed in sunlight around the fourth inning.

Let's not forget about the end of the night – the fireworks. Most everyone loves a good display of fireworks, especially on Independence Day. There is historic symbolism there, so it's not just guilty pleasure (keep telling yourself that).

There aren't many fireworks displays better than those at Parkview Field. With a packed house of 8,000-plus fans at the ballpark and many others watching outside, the TinCaps staff goes all out for its show on the Fourth.

You'll feel the finale's loud booms reverberate in your chest.

After all that, you're still thinking instead about taking in a Class AAA Indianapolis Indians game at Victory Field? With high gas prices these days, who wants to drive from the lake all the way to Indy just to sit in a slightly bigger ballpark?

So there you have just a short list of what makes a Fort Wayne TinCaps game on the Fourth of July at Parkview Field an “Indiana Dream Ticket.” It's a no-brainer.