When I was little, the fireworks in my hometown were shot up over the roof of the local Target store and half the fun was watching the store manager race maniacally back and forth on the rooftop, stomping out embers. These days, as parts of this state continue to experience Dust Bowl-like conditions, many city-sanctioned fireworks celebrations are a thing of the past, and the Target manager in that drought-ridden North Texas town can rest easy this year. Thankfully, the City of Dallas hasn't reached kindling conditions, meaning that Fair Park Fourth is a go. The historic fairgrounds open at 4:30 p.m. and will be teeming with Independence Day revelers who can while away the time before the pyrotechnics with free or discounted admission to Fair Park museums; pedal boat rides; water shows at the fountains; and performances from the Stefani Little Band and the Dallas Wind Symphony. It's a downright classy celebration, concessions notwithstanding. At 9:30, everyone packs into the Cotton Bowl and trains their eyes on their skies for a fireworks show epic enough to have given that poor Target manager a stroke. Best of all: Fair Park (located just off of I-30 at Exit 47) pulls out all the stops, and doesn't charge you a dime for admission. Makes you proud to be an American, don't it? Visit fairpark.org for all of the directions, schedules and dos and don'ts.
Mon., July 4, 4:30 p.m., 2011