There’s no better way to celebrate America’s birthday than with a big, loud and colorful display of fireworks. Fortunately, Austin and surrounding cities have no shortage of them — a couple of which will erupt the weekend before the Fourth of July, a Tuesday this year. Patriotic ladies and gents, show off your red, white and blue attire and get your fireworks fix at these Independence Day events.
Austin’s 41st Annual July Fourth Concert and Fireworks
This is the big kahuna of fireworks shows in Central Texas — as the website notes, you’ll be spending Independence Day oohing and aahing at the skyward display with 10,000 of your closest friends. The Austin Symphony Orchestra will perform patriotic tunes starting at 8:30 p.m., with fireworks launching over the downtown Austin skyline at 9:30, but you’ll want to get to Vic Mathias Shores extra early for a good spot. Pack a blanket and a picnic dinner.
Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic
Besides a star-studded lineup of country acts, including Willie himself, this distinctly Austin tradition now at the Austin360 Amphitheater and surrounding Circuit of the Americas will have a starry-night display of brilliant fireworks as well. You’ll want to stay late for them, so pace yourself at this all-day concert featuring the likes of Sheryl Crow, Kacey Musgraves, Hayes Carll and many more notable singers.
Red, White & Buda
Buda’s all-day event on July 4 will kick off from 9 to 10 a.m. with a Patriotic Parade on Main Street (with awards given to the best decorated bikes), followed by free fun, live entertainment and food options at Buda City Park. Fireworks will start launching at 9:30 p.m. at the park.
Pflugerville Pfirecracker Pfestival
Pfirst of all, kudos to whoever named this Independence Day celebration. The evening event will take place at the Pfield — that’s really the name, and this time I’m less amused — and will have live music from the BlueBonnets and SkyRocket prior to and after the fireworks. Food trucks will start serving at 5 p.m., the concerts start at 6 p.m., and the fireworks will light the sky around 9:15 p.m.
Leander Liberty Fest
The city of Leander is commemorating the day of our nation’s birth with Texas country act the Josh Abbott Band, but that won’t even be the highlight of the night. Liberty Fest will have food and arts-and-crafts vendors in addition to the live music leading up to the spectacular fireworks show starting at 9 p.m.
Expect plenty of kid-friendly fun at Wells Branch’s Fourth of July festivities, which begin with a short parade at 10 a.m. and finish with fireworks at 9 p.m. In between, families can find a variety of activities, entertainment and food to keep them busy at Katherine Fleischer Park. The park comes with a pool, too — and it’ll be free and open to the public.
Independence Day Celebration
The Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave is transforming its relatively new Central Plaza into a patriotic playground for families, with face painting and other activities for the kids, live music by local bands the Watters and Vallejo, an all-day sidewalk sale with some of the galleria retailers, and fireworks, of course. Live music starts at 6:30 p.m., fireworks at 9.
4th of July Parade & Celebration
Cedar Park’s Independence Day is two-fold: a parade from the HEB Center to the Recreation Center at 10 a.m. and a festival from 4 to 10 p.m. The afternoon celebration will have live music, bingo, a washer tournament, free watermelon, and carnival games and rides. Fireworks will close out the night.
Round Rock’s July 4th Frontier Days Celebration
The fireworks are sure to start early for participants in a pepper-eating contest, just one of the many activities at Round Rock’s Old Settlers Park. Other, less fiery things to do at the Fourth of July fair include carnival rides, children’s games, free watermelon, pig and rubber duck races, the Sam Bass Shootout and a Movies in the Park screening of “The Lego Batman Movie.”
San Marcos SummerFest
The outdoor festival at San Marcos Plaza Park isn’t kicking off until temperatures have cooled down a bit at 6 p.m. At that time, expect live music, followed by a parade complete with a children’s costume contest — a highlight of the evening — and fireworks blasting off at 9:30 p.m. There will also be food and vendors.
Independence Day Celebration Fireworks Show
Austin’s southern neighbor, Kyle, is all about the fireworks and will have a colorful show launched from the Plum Creek Golf Course once it’s properly dark. Before that, there will be a special July 4 golf tournament and a pre-show celebration at the clubhouse, with live music, hog dogs and cold drinks, along with other snacks.
Bastrop Patriotic Festival
The newly expanded celebration is making sure we’re patriotic a little early this year and will take place on July 1. Besides the requisite fireworks, attractions of the event include a petting zoo, a veritable water wonderland for the kids, a car show with the Bastrop Area Cruisers, DJ beats, a washer and domino tournament, contests and music from the Austin Symphonic Band.
4th of July Celebration
Here’s another party making the argument that our Independence Day celebrations don't have to be limited to one day only. Starting at 6 p.m. on July 3, Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa will have live entertainment by Cody Joe Hodges, oak-smoked barbecue and more, including a spectacular fireworks display over views of the Texas Hill Country on the back lawn at 9:15 p.m. Reservations are required to attend.