The Best 4th of July Events

It’s almost the 4th of July, and you may be looking for something to do. The good news is that there are plenty of fun 4th of July events around the country to make plans to go to. Here is your list of some of the best 4th of July events around the United States in 2019.

The Best Independence Day Events

Washington D.C.

If you are in Washington D.C for the 4th of July, make sure to start your day with the National Independence Day Parade. Make sure to line up on Constitution Avenue. There will be The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, military servicemen and women, floats, and VIPs. The parade goes from 11:45 am through 2:00 pm.

You can then plan to head to the, “A Capitol Fourth” concert on the west lawn of the capitol building. The concert is free, open to the public, on a first-come, first-serve basis. The concert will have Carole King, Sesame Street, Vanessa Williams, the US Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” and more. The concert is from 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm.

You can also catch the fireworks along the DC skyline from 9:07 pm to 9:27 pm. They launch them in West Potomac Park and one of the best places to see them is from the National Mall.

>> Learn what history has occurred on the 4th of July!

San Diego, California

If you are in San Diego for the holiday, make sure to check out the Annual Big Bay Boom, San Diego’s July 4th Firework Show. These fireworks will be on the San Diego Bay at 9 pm. Fireworks are launched from four barges around North San Diego Bay. They can be seen from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, and Seaport Village/Coronado Landing.

You can also find fireworks at SeaWorld, which is a 15-minute show set to a musical soundtrack and those will start at 9:40 pm.

Old Town State Historic Park has a parade, crafts, and other activities recreating an old-fashioned 4th of July. You can also compete in contests such as cherry pit spitting or an egg toss.

If you are in Coronado, you can catch their parade down Orange Avenue at 10:00 am. There is also a concert in Spreckels Park at 4 pm and fireworks over Glorietta Bay at 9:00 pm.

San Antonio, Texas

In San Antonio, Texas, you can catch fireworks at SeaWorld during their Fireworks Spectacular.

The Alamo also has events going on. They have a reading of the Declaration of Independence, folk music performances, and musket demonstrations as well as a performance by Fort Sam’s own 323rd Army Band. This event is free and family-friendly from 9:30 am through 4:30 pm.

You will also want to check out San Antonio’s 4th of July Celebration at Woodlawn Lake. This is an outdoor event from 11 am to 9:30 pm at Woodlawn Lake Park. This is a free, and family-friendly event. There will be live entertainment including DJ Plata, Chulita Vinyl Club, the US Air Force Band of the West, and more. There will also be carnival-style rides and games, activities, and workshops. There will be local food trucks and vendors as well as the H-E-B fireworks extravaganza.

Joint Base Lewis McChord

At JBLM, there will be a Freedom Fest from 11 am to 10:30 pm at Cowan and Memorial Stadiums. The concert will be featuring Montgomery Gentry and there will be fair food, carnival games, crafts, a car show, and a salute to the union with America’s First Corps Band. This event is open to the public.

New York City

If you happen to be in New York City this Independence Day, make sure to check out the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks on the banks of the East River. Five barges will launch 40,000 fireworks over 1,000 feet in the air as smaller boats will blast water jets of red, white, and blue. There will be live performances by pop artists, choirs, barbershop quartets, and gospel groups.

Oahu, Hawaii

If you are in Oahu, you can go to the July 4th Fireworks at Ala Moana Beach Park. This is one of the biggest displays in Hawaii. Entertainment starts at 3 pm, with Close the Distance followed by Hoku Zuttermeister at 4 pm, and then Maunalua at 5 pm. Fireworks will be launched at Ala Moana Beach Park at 8:30 pm. The music during the fireworks will cover popular melodies from the past 6 decades. This is a free event and open to the public.

You can also go to the Polynesian Cultural Center, which hosts its second annual July 4th fireworks show and celebration at Hukilau Marketplace which starts at 4 pm with kid’s activities and live entertainment. Fireworks will be at 9 pm. It is free to attend, and food and beverages are available for purchase.

There is also a 4th of July celebration at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. This is open to DoD ID card holders and their sponsored guests. This celebration will be from 3 pm to 9:30 pm. Vertical Horizon will be live in concert as well as having free activities, from 3 pm to 7 pm, with the fireworks starting at 9 pm.

You can also go to the 4th of July Spectacular at Weyland Field at Schofield Barracks. This will be from 10 am to 9 pm. There will be carnival rides, games, and food. Jordan Davis will be performing and fireworks will start at 8:40 pm.

Anchorage, Alaska

In Anchorage, Alaska, you can go to the 4th of July celebration parade and festival. It will be on July 4th, from 8 am to 6 pm. Admission will be free. This is an old-fashioned patriotic celebration with family-oriented events such as a pancake breakfast, a downtown parade, a picnic, and other activities. The parade starts at 11 am, with the festival starting right after. The Harvard Club will read the Declaration of Independence at 1 pm and you can enjoy period costumes from the Revolution. The annual Alaska Baseball League Fourth of July Doubleheader between crosstown rivals the Anchorage Glacier Pilots and the Anchorage Bucs will be at Mulcahy Stadium. The games will be at 7 pm and 10 pm and end with fireworks around 11 pm.

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

If you are in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area of Tennessee, make sure to check out the Gatlinburg July 4th Midnight Parade. The parade starts at midnight on Thursday, July 4th and about 80,000 people should be there to watch it. The parade will honor our nation’s veterans and other US military heroes with a classic, small-town America parade feel.

The Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival is at 2 pm and is a free kid’s karnival with food and vendors. From 4:00 pm to 9:30 pm you can enjoy free entertainment by Whiskey Icarus, the Brad Hudson Band, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, and more. Fireworks will start at 9:45 pm.

Gatlinburg 4th of July fireworks start at 10 pm in downtown Gatlinburg.

Make sure to check at your local military installation to see what they have going on in your area. You should be able to take in some type of fireworks show no matter where you are spending the 4th of July holiday.



About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.