Break out your American flags and show off your bald eagle tattoos — the Fourth of July is almost here, and it’s time to celebrate the birthday of our great nation. For those that bleed red, white and blue, this is a holy day to celebrate what makes this country No. 1. It's a day to show support for all things American by packing the family in the Honda, going out to a barbecue to grill some bratwurst on a hibachi, drink some Heinekens and shoot off Chinese-made fireworks.
The majority of DFW cities are hosting events, and although it’s your civic duty to go all of them, realistically, you have to pick one or two. Because we here at the Dallas Observer are true patriots and heroes of this great land, we will tell you about the best places to celebrate the Fourth of July.
Continually named one of the top fireworks shows in the country, Addison’s Kaboom Town on July 3 brings an overwhelmingly large crowd every year to Addison Circle Park (4970 Addison Circle Drive, Addison). Anyone looking to attend is advised to show up early and beat the rush to secure a spot. To make it easier, pack light —Addison will not allow outside alcohol, pets, oversized chairs or weapons inside the park. If your hands are deadly weapons, officials will thank you for your service and let you in.
During the day, there will be a carnival, midway games and face painting for the kids. Artists will probably paint adult faces too, so just ask and don’t feel guilty seeing the growing line of children waiting for you to finish transforming into a ferocious cat. Food vendors will be on site, too; just make sure to bring cash because they will not accept cards. Admission is free from 4 p.m. to midnight.
Red White and Boom on the Bridge
Now in its third year, Red White and Boom on the Bridge is July 3 on the Ronald Kirk Bridge, The Felix Lozada Sr. Gateway and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge for residents close to downtown Dallas. The event is free, with live music and food trucks starting at 6 p.m. to keep everyone entertained until it’s dark enough for the fireworks show.
Fair Park Fourth
The sights and sounds of the state fair come early with Fair Park Fourth at Fair Park (1121 First Ave.). All of the regular attractions at Fair Park, such as the Texas Discovery Gardens and the Children’s Aquarium, will be open to the public for their year-round admission costs.
The midway and concession stands will open at noon. Midway admission is $8 at the gate or $5 at bigtex.com, and each game and ride will cost you. Fingers crossed that you don’t get charged an exit fee to leave the midway.
Starting at 6 p.m., guests will be treated to live entertainment until the fireworks show starts around 9:30. The fireworks can be seen from any vantage spot in the park, but for a seated view, the Cotton Bowl will be open. Admission is free, and parking at Fair Park gates 5 and 6 is $10.
Lone Star Park
Combine your love for your country with your love of putting your savings at risk July 3-4. Lone Star Park (1000 Lone Star Parkway, Grand Prairie) will have entertainment for the whole family, making this one of the only times you can lose your house payment and cheer up by jumping in a bounce house.
Gates open at 3 p.m. with the first race starting at 5 p.m. After the last race is finished, a fireworks show will start. The crowds will be sure to love the live music and fireworks, but based on how dogs react to vacuum cleaners, the horses will hate it. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 4-12, and free for children 3 and younger.
July 4 in Grapevine
You could hang out in your above-ground pool and stare into the sun, or you could cool off in Lake Grapevine and enjoy the fireworks show. At 9:30 p.m., the city of Grapevine will kick off its 36th annual July 4 Fireworks Extravaganza.
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It’s free to get in and watch the show, but be advised that certain business and private docks might charge a premium for access to their vantage points. All boat ramps owned by the city will be accessible, except for Sand Bass Point, so all you fancy boat owners can enjoy your day off in style.
The Gaylord parking lot will be closed and inaccessible for this year’s event because of construction and expansion. Good news is you still have about a week to buy a boat.
Firewheel Town Center
If you want to enjoy some fireworks but also need to stop in at Hot Topic for Dr. Who socks, check out Firewheel Town Center in Garland (245 Cedar Sage Drive, Garland) as it host its Star-Spangled Spectacular. Events for the entire family will start at 4 p.m. and continue until 9:15 p.m., when the fireworks are planned to begin.
Parking is limited, so arriving early is recommended. Try to sleep in the Sunglass Hut the night before so you have the best seats possible. Admission is free.