One of the best things about the Fourth of July is that it tends to be the most low-maintenance of all major holidays. Much of the cooking involves grilling at your leisure and it requires very little actual ceremony. If you’re feeling especially lazy, there are many events in and around Dallas that will do all this hard work for you, including extremely elaborate fireworks shows, which we recommend over taking matters into your own hands. You don’t want to end up in some crowded ER because you decided to put on your own tiny extravaganza in an unincorporated abandoned lot in Wylie (Don’t ask).
The Whole Package
Dallas Wind Symphony’s Star-Spangled Spectacular (July 4). Ever since Archibald Willard decided to toss a flute into his 1875 Yankee Doodle painting, The Spirit of 76, the wind instrument has played an important symbolic role in the tradition of American patriotism. The Dallas Wind Symphony takes Willard’s idea and runs with it, for an entire evening of tunes that are sure to stir the citizen in you.
Fair Park Fourth (July 4). The graceful art deco confines of Fair Park are already a great place to watch a traditional fireworks display, but the best part of this family-friendly event? It’s free. The clearest sightlines will be right inside the Cotton Bowl, but plenty of alternatives will be provided around the park grounds. While you’re waiting for the big show, kill some time at one at the attraction’s multiple museums; This free event is full of live music, water features and access to rides, games and concessions in the State Fair of Texas Midway.admission will be discounted for attendees. Musical performances include Razzmajazz Dixieland Band, Trio Grande and more. The fireworks show will begin at 9:30 pm.
Fort Worth’s Fourth (July 4). A night of free fun including live music featuring Party Machine and Larry G(ee), food, tubing, jet skiing and fly board shows. There will also be many kid-specific activities including pony rides, bounce houses, face painting, water slides, and more. There’s even zip lining, which I had no idea was something you could do in this area.
Kaboom Town (July 3). Let’s not dress it up: We like one thing above all else when it comes to the 4th: Blowing stuff up. We like it more than the hot dogs, more than the swimming pools, more than the stars-and-stripes speedos. Addison’s Kaboom Town is probably the most-self explanatory of all Independence Day celebrations. It’s a fireworks show set to music while vintage warplanes conduct flyovers. Forget the geopolitical and psychological implications and embrace your inner munitions expert.
Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic at Billy Bob’s (July 4). Does it get any more American than Willie Nelson at Billy Bob’s, on the Fourth of July, in Texas? “Icon” isn’t even big enough a word for the 81 year-old singer, who has made a career out of uniting the disparate worlds of cowboys and hippies, conservatives and leftists alike. So no matter your political stripe, head out to the picnic and embrace the cultural unity that one of our state’s living musical treasures represents.
Fireworks Extravaganza at Lake Grapevine (July 4). The show can be viewed from any lakeside location, or from a boat, should you be so lucky. The explosions begin at 9:30 and will continue no matter what our unpredictable weather has in store.
Lone Stars and Stripes (July 4). This event will feature live music, a ford truck-themed giveaway and a firework show, following the race, of course.
Old-Fashioned Family Fireworks Picnic (July 2—4). Fort Worth is not a place to be outdone by the aforementioned wind instruments and grandiose firework shows of neighboring municipalities. For three straight days in July our sister city will take full advantage the gorgeous backdrop of their celebrated botanical garden, while unleashing their entire symphony orchestra on our nation’s most sacred tunes. Don’t be surprised if a bald eagle flies over when they hit the high note. So pack a picnic and come celebrate Independence Day in a truly patriotic fashion by watching marches, military salutes and the inevitable fireworks show.
Texas Rangers Fan Sleepover and Fireworks Show (July 3). Ever dream of sleeping under the stars on a baseball field? No? Keep reading. Yes? You’re in luck. Pack a bag and come camp out in the outfield and watch the Rangers live broadcast followed by fireworks in the park. Bring your sleeping bags and pillows to get comfortable.
Out in the ‘Burbs
Farmers Branch Independence Day Celebration (July 3). Along with a low-level fireworks display, there will be concessions, live music by Groove Knight and a kid-hospitable area featuring face painting, bounces houses and more.
Plano’s All-American Fourth (July 4). Tune in to 97.5 FM for a simulcast to accompany the big show.
Plano Lions Independence Day Parade (July 4). The Plano Early Lions Club, named 2012-2013 District Club of the Year, is hosting its 34th annual Independence Day parade. It begins the Plano ISD Administration Building and end at Plano Senior High School.
Stars and Stripes Southlake (July 3). There will be live entertainment, candy art, balloon artists, crafts, games, an inflatable obstacle and fireworks. Are you still with us?
Red, White and Boom (July 4). The day will kick off with a parade and car show, followed by food, family activities, live entertainment and last but definitely not least, fireworks.
Brass Knuckle Corn Dog Beatdown at The Libertine (July 4). I can’t really vouch for the tastefulness or subtlety of this event, but it should be entertaining, if not a little stomach-turning at times. Now in its sixth year, the contest includes the totally safe combination of corn-dogs and tequila. Warning, there are no fireworks involved here, save for whatever happens to the major organs of the contestants.
Driftwood Anniversary Lobster Boil Bash (July 3). Kick off your Fourth of July festivities early by joining Driftwood for an anniversary lobster dinner. Dinner will include wine and beer pairings, and this sounds like a lovely respite from the bang-happy proceedings elsewhere in town.
Fourth of July at Double Wide (July 4). As with many holidays, the Double Wide becomes an unofficial safe place once the formalities of the day are over. Expect some rowdiness, along with performances by Pink Smoke, Gabriel Mendoza, and more.
Written with heavy assistance from D Magazine web editorial intern, Alison Matlock.