The Fourth of July (not 4th of July, even if you do insist on stylizing it that way) falls this year on a Wednesday, a perfectly patriotic way to bisect your week. In North Texas, there are any number of events celebrating the holiday. Corn dog eating contests, performances by the Dallas Winds, Old-Fashioned Fourth of July tributes, the Fort Worth Symphony performing at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden right before a fireworks show. Really just a whole lot of things to do.
But the real stars of the Fourth of July are the fireworks. To that end, we’ve rounded up 20 fireworks shows in Dallas-Fort Worth that are worth your time this July 3 and 4. And one on June 30, in case you really can’t wait. In no particular order, except for the first five events, which are our favorites, let’s get to it:
Kaboom Town at Addison Circle Park | July 3
Traffic in and out of Addison is usually thick on July 3, for good reason. This fireworks extravaganza is regularly hailed by writers and pyromaniacs as one of the finest in the country. Addison Circle Park, the epicenter of the fireworks and on-the-ground action, opens its gates at 4 p.m. Admission is free, which is good news. The bad news is that capacity is limited, so try and show up early if you want to catch the festival, with live music, food and beverage vendors, face painting, and celebratory things of that nature. But if you can’t make it onto the grounds, or don’t want to wade through the crowds, no sweat: find a good vantage spot at one of the parking garages or bar/restaurant patios in Addison, and look to the skies for the bright lights. The show itself, what makes Kaboom Town go kaboom, should begin around 9:30 p.m.. The officially coordinated patriotic music will be on 100.3 Jack FM on your radio dial.
From the Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge, you get a beautiful view of the Trinity River levees, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, and the downtown Dallas skyline. It’s one of the finest views in Texas. Launch some fireworks and now you’ve really got a sight. That’s the premise of this free festival, which runs from 6 to 10 p.m. (fireworks shortly after dark) at the bridge formerly known as the Continental Avenue Bridge.
Texas Rangers Post-Game Fireworks at Globe Life Park | July 3 & 4
The Rangers sure aren’t showing us many fireworks on the field this season (that’s some baseball humor, folks), but stick around after either of these evening games with the defending World Series champs, the Houston Astros, and you’ll at least get some lights in the sky.
Fair Park Fourth at Fair Park | July 4
Free games, water activities, a zipline, and other kid-focused activities get going at 3 p.m. (Early birds can head to the Midway starting at noon, when a $5 to $8 ticket will get you access to the rides and games, which will cost extra, there.) It’s the most lively day of the year at Fair Park, discounting the State Fair. Concession stands will be set up throughout the day outside the Cotton Bowl, and live music kicks off at the Lagoon shortly after 6:30 p.m. Find a vantage point before the fireworks show at 9:37 p.m. Seating will be available in the Cotton Bowl, but the show should be visible from anywhere at Fair Park. It will also be visible at home — Channel 8 is broadcasting the festivities, including live musical performances, starting at 9 p.m. Admission is free, but you’ll have to pay for parking or take DART.
Fort Worth’s got the Trinity River all figured out, evidenced in part by the fun events held in and around the river at Panther Island Pavilion. The Fourth of July is no different. Gates open at 2 p.m., and the flyboard shows (demonstrations of those water-bound jetpacks you may have seen some goofball flying around with before) begin a little after that. Local bands battle on stage throughout the afternoon, while the professional cover and party bands take over in the evening. Face painting, bounce houses, and pony rides, for the kids, throughout most of the day. Tubing, a zipline, and waterslides, for the kids and adults, also throughout most of the day. The F-16 flyover is at 8 p.m., the fireworks at 10 p.m. You’ll be keeping busy all day.
The fireworks will launch from Toyota Stadium, after the 7:30 p.m. FC Dallas match, but they’ll also be easily visible next door from Simpson Plaza outside Frisco City Hall. It’s there at 4 p.m. that the Freedom Fest will begin, with live entertainment, stands occupied by vendors from Frisco restaurants, and other activities.
Starting at about 6 p.m., there will be several stages for live entertainment set up throughout the city’s downtown, including at the outdoor Levitt Pavilion amphitheater. Imagine a carnival-like atmosphere, complete with food and train rides for the kids, and a beverage tent for the adults. The fireworks will start at about 9:45 p.m. If you’re trying to plan out a vantage point, they’ll be launched from the Municipal Office Tower at 101 S. Mesquite St.
Allen just can’t wait to shoot off some fireworks, hence the “First to the Fourth” theme for this celebration. Fireworks and a laser show after dark, but live music and other activities kick off at 4 p.m. for this free event.
If you’re not trying to hurt your neck staring too high at the sky this year, Farmers Branch has you covered with what’s known as a “low-level fireworks show,” which goes heavy on the pops and crackles below 200 feet. Think of the Roman candles you shot off in your backyard as a kid, but a lot of them, launched with flair and pizazz. Live entertainment and festival food starting at 6:30, with the fireworks at 9:30. It’s free for Farmers Branch residents, but $5 if you’re coming in from elsewhere.
Kid-friendly activities and family fun beginning at 4 p.m., live music starting at 7, and the fireworks display around 9:15 p.m. at Garland’s finest outdoor mall. BYOC&B (bring your own chairs and blankets) and consider coming early to grab a good vantage point.
This one doesn’t have fireworks. But some of you may need something to do in the morning before you gorge yourselves on hot dogs and Budweisers. So head to everyone’s favorite park over a freeway at 8 a.m. for the Dallas Marathon’s first Independence Day outing. Enter in a five mile run, a two mile walk, or pick from one of multiple races for the kiddos. There’s also face painting, balloon artists, and music. Some of the proceeds will be donated to the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. Register here.
Gates open at 3 p.m., allowing you to spend a day at the races — or at the Family Fun Park with the bounce houses, petting zoo, and other activities; or at the bar — before a fireworks show immediately following the last horserace. Tickets ahead of time will cost you $10, and $20 on the day of the event.
The show is blasting off from Lake Grapevine at about 9:30 p.m., so find the viewing area that suits you best. The city of Grapevine has a number of suggestions, including Acorn Woods Park, Oak Grove Park, and Lakeview Park. Depending on where you wind up, you may have to pay for parking. And beware: the top level of the Gaylord parking garage, a reliable vantage point in years past, is closed for construction this year.
Bring your own blankets and lawn chairs and umbrellas, and your own food. Do not bring your own booze, because you’re not allowed to bring that in or out. The hangout and festival-like good times begin at 6 p.m., with the big show itself happening at about 9:30 p.m. Most of the action will be on the lake’s south shore, but the fireworks themselves are going up from a barge in the middle of Lake Carolyn. The event is free, but parking in the nearby garages will cost $10 a vehicle.
If you’ve read this far down the list, you’re beginning to get how these things work: an afternoon full of family-friendly things to do, food trucks, live entertainment, and then, yes, fireworks. But there are a couple things making this event special, including a giant inflatable maze, giant water slides, and giant fireworks. (OK, they’re normal fireworks, but still pretty cool.) Things get going at 5:30 p.m., with fireworks after dark.
The day starts early with a 10 a.m. parade and subsequent block party in downtown McKinney, but let’s talk fireworks. Starting at 5:30 p.m., the party moves over to Craig Ranch, with live music, children’s activities, and other things to do. The fireworks start at 9:45 p.m. All of the above is free.
Come for the food trucks at 5 p.m. Stay for the Fourth of July fireworks at 9:30. Or come for the fireworks, stay for the food trucks? We don’t know. Just have fun. This is one of the more scenic places in DFW at which to view fireworks this year, in our humble estimation.
The picnics and seating are on you. The live entertainment, bounce houses, and a climbing wall are on the city of Richardson. The event is free, but concessions cost. The Don’t Tell Mama Band plays at 6:15, and a patriotic salute concert by the Richardson Community Band is at 8:30. Fireworks are at 9:30.
The parade is at 11 a.m. (route here), but here’s the real headline: FREE HOT DOGS from noon to 2 p.m. in the “kid zone” at Harry Myers Park. For the fireworks show that night, you’re advised to stake out some viewing territory at Harry Myers Park, the Dobbs Elementary Tuttle Athletic Complex, or the Rockwall ISD administration building.
If you’re in Denton during the daytime, you’ll find a 4th of July Yankee Doodle Parade starting near the downtown square at about 9 a.m. This is a Fourth of July fireworks post, though, right? Right. Go to Apogee Stadium, home of the Mean Green, for the Denton Noon Kiwanis Club fireworks show. No outside drinks allowed, but there will be plenty of inside drinks for sale. Before the post-sunset fireworks, you’ll find a dedicated area for children’s activities and some live music. If you’re parking there, $10 per car. Entry is free.
Stars & Stripes in Southlake | July 3
Stars! Stripes! Fireworks! The beautifully designed Southlake Town Square! Be there or be a less beautifully designed square! Event begins at 6 p.m.!