Are you ready for fireworks? Or are you just looking forward to walking in an old fashioned neighborhood parade? Whatever your speed - and your bedtime - there plenty of fun ways to celebrate the 4th of July in and around Austin. Most of the events below are free, but admission prices are listed where applicable. Happy Independence Day!
- Austin Symphony HEB 4th of July Concert & Fireworks - Thursday, July 4, 8:30 p.m., Auditorium Shores. On July 4th, more than 100,000 people gather at Auditorium Shores for the largest Independence Day celebration in Austin, featuring patriotic music and the ever-popular 1812 Overture and spectacular fireworks over Lady Bird Lake. The Austin Symphony Orchestra will begin performing at 8:30 p.m. and the fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m., ending at 10:00 p.m. Come early, bring a picnic, claim a grassy spot and enjoy the patriotic music of the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Concessions will be available on site. (800 W. Riverside Dr)
- Barton Springs Pool - Thursday, July 4, from 5 a.m. - 9 p.m. Barton Springs Pool will be open to the public all day on Thursday, July 4th. The Austin Parks and Recreation Department Aquatic Division will be deferring the cleaning of Barton Springs Pool to Thursday, July 11. (The pool is normally closed on Thursdays for cleaning between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.) The schedule for the 4th of July holiday is: 5 - 8 a.m. Swim at your own risk; 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. Guarded Swim - Main Gate open and charging admission; 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Guarded Swim - South Gate charging; 9 - 10 p.m. Guarded Swim - free swim. For more information, call 512-974-9331.
- Main Event Early Morning FUNPass - Thursday, July 4, from 9 a.m. to noon. Purchase your daytime session FUNPass between 9 a.m. and noon, for just $9.95. It will be good until 4 p.m. (13301 N. US Hwy 183 )
- Barton Hills Neighborhood Independence Day Parade - Thursday, July 4, 9 a.m. Line up at 8:30 a.m. Parade begins at Barton Hills Market and goes to Barton Hills Elementary. Join your neighbors and friends and decorate your stroller, wagon, bicycle, or whatever you bring! After the parade, enjoy awards for parade decorations, refreshments, and games. (1220 Barton Hills Dr)
- Steiner Ranch 4th of July Parade & Party - Thursday, July 4, from 9 a.m.- noon. Looking for some 4th of July family fun? The Steiner Ranch family parade and event is free and open to all Steiner Ranch residents and includes a kids parade, post-race food, activities and fun! John Simpson Park. (3504 John Simpson Trail)
- Mueller 4th of July Parade & Pool Party - Thursday, July 4, 10 a.m. - noon. Residents are invited to decorate their bicycles, kids, pets, strollers and wagons, to march from Lake Park to the Ella Wooten swimming pool. Those not marching are encouraged to line the parade route in support of Patriotic Paraders. At the conclusion of the parade, everyone is invited to cool off at a swim party at the Ella Wooten Pool! Pre-Parade line up begins at 9:30 a.m. by the restrooms in Lake Park. The parade will leave Lake Park at 10 a.m. It will travel from Simond to Mattie, and then Mattie to Pinckney, stopping at Ella Wooten Park. (Simond Avenue)
- Allendale Neighborhood 4th of July Parade - Thursday, July 4, 9 a.m. The Allandale Neighborhood Association will host their annual Fourth of July Parade, followed by patriotic festivities and awards for participants. To walk or ride in the parade, meet between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m. on Bullard, just south of White Rock, facing Gullett Elementary. The parade begins at 9 a.m. and will travel north along Bullard, ending at the Gullett Elementary sports fields.
- 41st Annual NWACA 4th of July Parade - Thursday, July 4, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Parade starts at Waterline and Far West in Northwest Austin, then finishes with fun afterward at Doss Elementary.
- Rosedale 4th of July Celebration - Thursday, July 4, 9:30 a.m. Join your neighbors at Ramsey Park to celebrate the 4th of July! Gather at the bleachers in the park at 9:30 a.m. to decorate bikes, hats, strollers, etc. and then at 10:00 a.m., promenade around the park. Enjoy watermelon and the water balloon toss back at the bleachers after the promenade and then at 10:30 stroll over to the playscape for delicious baked goods and carnival games. Games will include: fishing, lollipop tree, golf, treasure dig, face painting, nail salon, spin art, and fish pond, as well as music and home-baked treats to eat. (4301 N. Rosedale Ave.)
- Hancock Neighborhood Parade - Thursday, July 4, 10 a.m. The third annual 4th of July Parade and Picnic will be presented by the Hancock Neighborhood Association. All families and pets are invited to participate in the parade or to cheer on the participants along the route. The parade route will begin at the Lee Elementary School parking lot on Harris Avenue and travel west on Harris Avenue, north on Woodrow Street, west on Texas Avenue, south on Montrose, and then follow Harris Avenue back to Lee Elementary. At the school, you can enjoy watermelon, lemonade, cold water, entertainment for the kids and more! Please dress up your pets, children, wagons, and bikes, bring a picnic and and join your neighbors in celebrating this festive occasion. Gather at 10 a.m. The parade will start at 10:30.
- Fourth Fest in Wells Branch - Thursday, July 4, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. The traditional parade begins at the community center at 10 a.m., followed by an afternoon of music, food and games in Katherine Fleischer Park, ending with fireworks above the Willow Bend Pool. (2106 Klattenhoff Dr)
- Independence Day Celebration at Roy Guerrero Park - Thursday, July 4, from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. There will be music, face painting and raffle prizes, along with hot dogs and drinks for the whole family, at this new park in southeast Austin. (400 Grove Blvd.)
- 4th of July at Shore Club - Starting at dusk, enjoy music and the famous Volente Beach fireworks. Admission is $10 for beach access after 6 p.m., or free with Volente Beach waterpark admission. Daily waterpark admission is $20.99 for 42" and up, $15.99 for under 42 inches, and free for ages 2 and under. (16107 FM 2769, Volente)
- Independence Day at Pioneer Farms - Saturday, July 6, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. In the 1800s, Independence Day was a time for fun and patriotism. The same will be true come at Pioneer Farms' star-spangled, old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration. Entertainment will include horse-drawn wagon rides from 10-4, live music, historical reenactments, display of historical independence flags, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, a watermelon seed-spitting contest, special summer pies, historical games and other family-fun activities. At the Blacksmith Shop, you can see artisans busy at the forge. At the 1873 Texian Farm, the sweet smell of wood-stove pioneer cooking will waft through the kitchen. Food will be available at the Sprinkle Corner town square. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children over age 2. Children age 2 and under are free. (10621 Pioneer Farms Dr)
- Pet & Pal Parade - Saturday, July 6, 10:30 a.m., Bastrop County Courthouse. Pets of all shapes and sizes are welcome. There will be bearded dragons, tortoises, and goats on leashes. This year prizes will be awarded for top categories and we will serve drinks and cookies to everyone who participates. Registration from 9 - 9:45 a.m.
- Bastrop Patriotic Festival - Saturday, July 6, 6 p.m., Fisherman's Park. Music by the Bastrop Community Chorus and Band will begin the evening festivities at 6 p.m., with people dining, children playing, and families stretched out on the grass or relaxed in lawn chairs as they await the Austin Symphonic Band and fireworks. (1200 Willow St, Bastrop)
- Red White & Buda - Thursday, July 4, 9 a.m. - 10 p.m., Buda City Park. Bring a picnic, a blanket or your lawn chair to Buda City Park and enjoy a children’s parade at 9 a.m., children’s activities and a magician from 9 - 11 a.m., and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. (121 Main St, Buda)
- 4th of July Celebration - Thursday, July 4, 4 - 10:30 p.m. Elizabeth Milburn Park. Come celebrate with live music, dancing, bingo, a washer tournament, air castles, free watermelon, and a fireworks display. Fees apply for food concessions, face painting, carnival games, hamster balls, super slide, quad jump, Races2u, spinner ride, and rock wall. You may also cool off in Milburn Pool, which is open from 1 - 8 p.m., with daily pool admission rates of $3 for adults age 18+, $2 for students age 9 - 17, and $1 for seniors 55+ and children ages 4 - 8. Children ages 3 and under are free. (1901 Sun Chase Blvd, Cedar Park)
- JT's Sports Grill's July 6th Party - Saturday, July 6, 2:30 p.m. Enjoy a car show, pork rib cookoff, poker tournament at 2:30 p.m., water balloon fights, and a wing eating contest. There will also be live music, clowns, bouncy house, and face painting. Don't forget to bring an unwrapped toy for Operation Blue Santa with the Cedar Park Police Department. (200 Buttercup Creek Blvd)
- 4th of July Parade - Thursday, July 4, 9 - 11 a.m., Downtown Elgin. Join the City of Elgin for the annual 4th of July Parade from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. in downtown Elgin. This year's theme is "Marching Through Time," and this year all parade entries were invited to dress up their parade units in historic time period appropriate décor for the Elgin 4th Parade panel of judges to score alongside all 2013 parade floats.
- 4th of July Parade - Thursday, July 4, 10 a.m. Arrive early for a good spot!
- Sertoma 4th of July Celebration - Thursday, July 4, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., San Gabriel Park. The festivities will begin at 11:00 a.m. with over 60 arts and craft booths and over 20 food vendors, Kiddie rides, bounce houses and games along with a petting zoo are provided for the children. Musical entertainment, featuring some of the best local and central Texas talent, will begin at the Gazebo at noon and will continue all day. A "Hometown Parade" sponsored by the Leadership Georgetown Alumni begins at 11:00 a.m. at the low water crossing, ending at the Gazebo. Fireworks will begin around 9:30 p.m. (455 E Morrow St, Georgetown)
- Independence Day Celebration & Fireworks Show - Thursday, July 4. The City of Kyle will be celebrating the 4th of July with a fireworks show launched from Plum Creek Golf Course (PCGC). From 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., the pre-show celebration at the PCGC Clubhouse is free to the public and includes live music and fantastic viewing. Hot dogs and cold drinks will be sold along with other snacks. When it gets dark enough, around 9:30 p.m. on July 4th, the fireworks show will launch from the driving range. Find a spot early enough to see the tall water tower that is next to the Hays CISD PAC on Kohler’s Crossing.
- Lago Vista 4th of July Celebration - Thursday, July 4. There will be Family Games, Sporting Events, the We've Got Talent Finalists Competition, Live Music, vendors, and a Fireworks Display. This segment of events will start at 4 p.m. and go until the end of the Fireworks Display, which starts at "Dark 30" (roughly 9:30 p.m). Gate admission donations are encouraged. Bar-K Recreational Park. (Directions)
- July 4th Celebration - Thursday, July 4, 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m., Lakeway Activity Center and Swim Center. Parade begins at 8:30 a.m. and runs along Lakeway Drive. Afterwards, enjoy the Pageant of the Flags and a keynote address by the Grand Marshall. The Lakeway Swim Center is open from noon - 9 p.m. ($3 per person). Block party and concert from 7 - 10 p.m. at Swim Center Park. Fireworks will be determined by drought level. (3103 Lakeway Blvd)
- July 4th Extravaganza - Thursday, July 4. The day starts with free swimming at the City Park pool from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Celebrate the City Pool's 40th Anniversary with some special activities. The day continues with fishing at the pond and a Horseshoe & Washer Tournament. During afternoon, the community is encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to reserve a spot in the Park to watch the fireworks that truly can be seen all over the city. At 5 p.m., a variety of booths open with food, arts and crafts, and games for the kids. At 8:45 p.m., watch Sky Divers San Marcos, followed by a spectacular fireworks display at dusk. It is the largest fireworks show, for a city of Lockhart's size, in Central Texas!
- 4th of July Parade - The parade starts at 9:15 a.m. at Bridge and Castell St. and continues around the plaza to Seguin and Mill St. Set up early for a good spot. After that, enjoy the Patriotic Program at the bandstand.
- 4th of July Firewworks Show - The evening kicks off at 7 p.m. with a concert at the Landa Park Dance Slab. Fireworks start at 9:15 p.m. and can be viewed from pretty much all over the city. Tip: Tune in to 92.1 FM for patriotic music during the extravaganza. (Golf Course Dr., New Braunfels)
- Austin's Park - Thursday, July 4, from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Celebrate the 4th of July with hot dogs, corn dogs, birthday cake, go karts, mini golf, laser tag, prizes, contests, and more. Under 40" - free; 40-43" - $11.95 + tax; 43" and taller - $14.95 + tax. (16231 North IH-35)
- Pflugerville Pfirecracker Pfestival - Thursday, July 4, 4 - 11 p.m., Lake Pflugerville. Come out July 4 and plan to spend an old-fashioned Independence Day on the shores of Lake Pflugerville. The event begins at 4 p.m. with live music and vendors on the north and south ends of the lake. Pfestival pfood and games for the kids, followed by a pfabulous pfireworks display and a concert to top off the evening, will make this a Pfamily Pfourth to remember. (18216 Weiss Lane, Pflugerville)
- Frontier Days Celebration - Thursday, July 4, 10 a.m. - 11 p.m., Old Settlers Park. It’s a day of fun with an annual parade, pony rides, inflatables, arts and crafts vendors, Ballet Folklorico dancers and a re-enactment of the historical Sam Bass Shootout, all leading up to the annual fireworks celebration and Movies in the Park! This event is free for the entire family. The July 4th Fireworks show will be synced with the Round Rock Express fireworks show simultaneously and will begin following the completion of the Express game. Independence Day festivities will begin with free watermelon at the Lakeview Pavilion in Old Settlers Park. Next, skydivers will fly into the festivities; then guests will enjoy music from the Austin Symphonic Band, fireworks then a Movies in the Park featuring The Amazing Spider-Man. (3300 Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock)
- Brushy Creek Independence Day Celebration - Thursday, July 4, 9 a.m. - noon. FREE 4th of July Parade & Festival in Cat Hollow Park. Celebrate Independence Day Brushy Creek style with lots of family fun and activities for all ages. Inflatables, games, water attractions, crafts and a parade with prizes for the most patriotic participants! Parade line-up starts at 9, the parade begins at 9:30 and the festival begins at 10 a.m. (8600 O'Connor Drive, Round Rock)
- Round Rock Express Host Red, White and Blue Weekend - Post-game fireworks follow Games on July 4th, 5th and 6th. The Round Rock Express announced their plans for Red, White and Blue Weekend, a special Independence Day celebration at Dell Diamond July 4 – 6. The Express will host the Omaha Storm Chasers (Kansas City Royals affiliate) for those three games with a spectacular fireworks display lighting up the Central Texas sky following each game. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Thursday also features The Original Thirsty Thursday with $1 Pepsi products and discounted draft beer, presented by Firetrol Protection Services. Great seats remain for all three games. Fans can purchase tickets by calling the ticket office at (512) 255-2255 or online at RoundRockExpress.com.
- MetroMoms' Oh Say Can You Play? Independence Day Bash - Monday, July 8, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Safari Champ. Join in for play, activities, goodie bags and raffle prizes! Cost is $7.50 per ticket (includes 1 child and 1 adult). Additional children are $3 for ages 12-23 months and $7.50 for 24 months and up. 11 months and under are free. Limit 1 gift bag and 1 raffle entry per ticket. (1400 E. Old Settler's Blvd, #200, Round Rock)
- Summerfest - Thursday, July 4, 6 - 10 p.m., San Marcos Plaza Park. The City of San Marcos is hosting the most exciting community independence celebration along the banks of the beautiful San Marcos River. This FREE event will feature live entertainment, food booths, children's activities, children's costume competition and parade. (202 N. CM Allen Pkwy)