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July sizzles with festivals across the state

Mauri Elbel Special to the American-Statesman
Enjoy free tubing on the Trinity River during Fort Worth's Fourth. [Contributed]

July in Texas couldn’t get any hotter. From patriotic fireworks celebrations exploding across the state to fruit-themed festivals bursting with fun, here are 15 towns where you can have a blast this month. 

Addison

July 3: For more than three decades, Addison Kaboom Town has claimed its place among the top fireworks shows in the state — it’s even ranked as one of the top 10 fireworks displays in the country by USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Travel + Leisure Magazine and the American Pyrotechnic Association. Expect a carnival, midway games, face-painting, live concerts, an air show and, of course, fireworks. Admission is free, but space is limited. More at addisonkaboomtown.com.

Granbury

July 3-6: Celebrate the nation’s birth at the Granbury Chamber of Commerce’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration. Tens of thousands flock to the community’s signature event for this patriotic celebration featuring a car show July 3; a hometown parade, junior rodeo, concert and fireworks extravaganza July 4; a Battle of the Bands on July 5; and a free concert in the park July 6. More at granburychamber.com/pages/th-of-july.

Comfort

July 4: Looking for an all-American Independence Day celebration chock-full of flag-waving fun, festive floats and finger-licking barbecue? Comfort’s Independence Day celebration is a 165-year strong tradition drawing visitors throughout Texas. Historic buildings decorated in flags and red, white and blue bunting serve as the patriotic backdrop to the day’s events, which include a downtown parade, live music, games and vendors, an auction, an apple pie baking contest, children’s activities, Independence Day shopping and more. More at comfort-texas.com.

Dallas

July 4: Celebrate your love for America with a day of family fun and fireworks at Fair Park Fourth. Free and open to the public, Fair Park Fourth features patriotic music, a spectacular fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. and concession offerings. During the day, capture thrills at the State Fair of Texas Midway. Keep cool with free attractions like water inflatables, games, arts and crafts and more. More at fairpark.org

July 4-7: Celebrate Independence Day at Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, where weekend festivities include live music, $2 hot dogs and root beer floats and complimentary beer samples. Fourth of July activities span everything from a cherry pie demo and live musical performances to family fun found in the Rory Meyer’s Children’s Adventure Garden. Active and retired members of the military and first responders with a valid photo I.D. will receive free general garden admission on July 4, 6 and 7. More at dallasarboretum.org/events-activities/summer-at-the-arboretum.

Fort Worth

July 4: Celebrate the nation’s independence along the Trinity River at Fort Worth’s Fourth at Panther Island Pavilion. Gates open at 2 p.m. so arrive early to enjoy free live entertainment, tubing and KidsZone activities including horseback riding, face-painting, bounce houses, zip lining and water slides. When the sun goes down, a hydroflight show will light up the river to kick off the largest fireworks show in North Texas. More at fortworthsfourth.com.  

Fredericksburg

July 4: July Fourth in Fredericksburg bursts with fun in the form of a children’s parade at Marktplatz at 8:30 a.m. followed by the Fourth of July parade on Main Street at 10 a.m., which will begin with an aircraft flyover and be followed with Fourth of July festivities. Mosey out to Luckenbach for the afternoon to experience a free, laid-back Fourth of July Celebration taking place from 1 to 5 p.m. At 9:30, throw down a blanket to watch the spectacular City of Fredericksburg Fireworks Display at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park. Or head to Enchanted Rock from 9 to 10:30 p.m. to experience Stars & Nights Forever ($7 per person/free for children 12 and under). More at visitfredericksburgtx.com/july4.

Galveston

July 4-6: Galveston’s sparkling Gulf waters and laid-back beachy vibe combine for the perfect Independence Day getaway. Galveston Island’s full weekend lineup of festivities includes an annual Independence Parade at 7 p.m. followed by a 20-minute fireworks show over the Gulf of Mexico at 9:15 p.m. on July 4; the popular Bands on the Sand concert series at Moody Gardens on July 5 and 6 followed by fireworks displays; a free sandcastle building lesson on Stewart Beach on July 6; a free Movie Nite on the Strand on July 6; and more. More at galveston.com

Houston

July 4: Houston’s Freedom Over Texas is a three-decades-long patriotic celebration that takes place in Eleanor Tinsley Park at Buffalo Bayou. Expect live entertainment, food booths and a world-famous fireworks display. The city’s signature tribute to patriotism, CITGO Freedom Over Texas, returns with new live music acts including headliner Jake Owen and spectacular fireworks. More at houstontx.gov/july4.

Irving

July 4: Celebrate July Fourth with fun by day and fireworks by night, beginning in Irving’s downtown Heritage District with an Independence Day Parade at 9 a.m. followed by a community reception in Heritage Park with complimentary watermelon, live music and children’s activities until noon. From 6 to 10 p.m., head to scenic Lake Carolyn with your picnic blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy free family festival fun and a fireworks show. More at cityofirving.org/1289/Independence-Day-Celebration

San Antonio

July 4: Celebrate the Fourth of July in San Antonio at Woodlawn Lake Park. The city’s official July Fourth Celebration is a free, all-day event taking place from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. featuring a spread of family-friendly activities such as live entertainment, carnival-style rides and games, food trucks and vendors and the H-E-B Fireworks Extravaganza. More at saparksfoundation.org/events.

Shiner

July 5-6: This historic, beer-loving town’s annual Half Moon Holidays are here. Highlights of the fun-filled festival include a barbecue cookoff, the Shiner Half Moon Holiday Parade at 10 a.m. on July 6 and live music featuring Collin Kleypas & Friends, Mason Marek, the Emotions, the Shiner Hobo Band, Mama Tried, Tejas Brothers and Departure ATX on July 5 and 6. More at shinerhalfmoon.com.

Lampasas

July 8-14: “See You Around My Hometown” is the theme of this year’s Spring Ho Festival, an idea conceived by a couple of residents in 1972 that has evolved into a full week of fun in the form of live music, shops by the creek, family-friendly entertainment, a fireworks show, parades, games and tournaments and more. More at springho.com.

McDade

July 12-13: A quintessential summertime celebration of watermelons, cars and an old-fashioned street dance unfolds each year in McDade. At the 71st annual McDade Watermelon Festival, let your hair down on Friday night at the street dance before filling up on all of the watermelon-themed fun you can stomach on Saturday. Expect a Main Street Parade at 10:30 a.m., arts and crafts vendors, beautifully polished classic and antique cars and more. More at mcdadetexas.com.

Weatherford

July 13: Have a peachy time at the 35th annual Parker County Peach Festival. It’s like a trip back to yesteryear at this festival held in Historic Downtown Weatherford from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. that draws tens of thousands each year. Get spinning early with the Peach Pedal Bike Ride before enjoying more than 200 arts, crafts, food and activity booths, live music, children’s activities, a 42 Domino Tourney and plenty of peaches. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under. More at parkercountypeachfestival.org.

Clute

July 25-27: Buzz over to Clute for the town’s 39th annual Great Texas Mosquito Festival, the widely publicized festival that now draws more than 13,000-plus attendees and features three days of family-friendly fun including a carnival, games, a petting zoo, contests, live entertainment, a Mosquito Chase 5K Run and kids run, haystack dives, and Mosquito Calling and Mosquito Legs contests. More at mosquitofestival.com.

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