Top 5 Texas Towns to Spend the Fourth of July

Fourth of July fireworks in Austin

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Fourth of July is always one of the summer's most festive times. Special events are celebrated throughout Texas on Independence Day, but a few cities and towns, in particular, go all out each year. Locals and visitors enjoy fireworks shows, live music, picnics, and more everywhere from small towns to big cities in the Lone Star State.

Some of these events have been altered or canceled in 2020, so check the details below and event websites for more information.

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South Padre Island

South Padre Island has been officially designated as the "Fireworks Capital of Texas" because of its weekly summer pyrotechnics displays. The shows go on at 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays at Clayton's Beach Bar and Grill. On Independence Day, South Padre Island lives up to its nickname when Clayton's puts on a huge extravaganza brightening the sky over Laguna Madre Bay. The colorful fireworks and live music taking place from 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on July 4, 2020, can be viewed from condos and restaurants on both South Padre Island and across the bay in Port Isabel.

In addition to this Texan holiday event, this popular summer vacation spot offers visitors a full slate of activities, including fishing, swimming, kite-boarding, parasailing, surfing, and sandcastle building.

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These three events have been canceled for 2020.

The state capital of Austin, Texas, is a festive place to spend Independence Day. Every year, the Austin Symphony Orchestra performs its Fourth of July Fireworks & Symphony at Vic Mathias Shores. Other events locals and tourists enjoy are Willie Nelson's Fourth of July Picnic at Circuit of The Americas and the Hill Country Galleria Independence Day Celebration.

Additional summer activities include swimming at Barton Springs Pool and water skiing on Lake Travis. While you're in town, also make some time for a stop at the Texas State Capitol. Centrally located in the Texas Hill Country, Austin gives visitors the option of enjoying day trips to surrounding towns and attractions. Longhorn Cavern State Park, about 90 minutes from Austin, is a great place to explore underground wonders.

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Luckenbach—a tiny town in the Texas Hill Country made famous by the Waylon Jennings ballad "Luckenbach, Texas" sung by Willie Nelson—holds a fun all-ages event every Independence Day. It's one of the state's largest Fourth of July celebrations each year.

On July 4, 2020, enjoy a free family-friendly show from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The blues band The Hot Attacks will play on the Luckenbach outdoor stage, along with bluegrass group Chords of Grace. From 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. that night, check out a country music show featuring Bill Creager's B-Day Bash with Roger Creager & Friends. Attendees must purchase a $20 ticket for this evening concert held on the outdoor stage.

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San Antonio

Several events around San Antonio were canceled in 2020, but Alamo City has plenty to celebrate on the Fourth of July.

Summer is one of the best times to vacation in San Antonio, nicknamed Alamo City and home to the Natural Bridge Caverns underground attraction. Known for some of the state's largest and greatest celebrations, it should come as no surprise that the city honors the Fourth of July in a big way, too.

Every year the City of San Antonio’s Official Fourth of July Celebration features fireworks and fun at Woodlawn Lake Park from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., but it is canceled in 2020.

SeaWorld has fireworks on July 4 at 9:45 p.m. and on July 3 and 5 at 10 p.m. in 2020. And Six Flags Fiesta Texas will stage their own fireworks displays from July 3-5, 2020, right after the multi-media “Rock the Night” show, which begins at 9:15 p.m.

Freedom Fest at Historic Market Square is a festive gathering featuring live music, artists, and food vendors. In 2020, this event was postponed.

In the morning at Fort Sam Houston Cemetery, reenactors battle the American Revolution every year. As of mid-June, the Fort Sam Houston Cemetery event details were not available.

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Some of the mainstay events around the surrounding Dallas area have been canceled for 2020, including the Addison Airport Airshow and Watch Party in Addison Circle Park, along with the Fair Park Fourth annual free event. 

But if you're visiting North Texas in early July, it's still worth time spending some holiday time in Dallas.

On July 3, the highly-rated Addison Kaboom Town! fireworks display will start at 9:30 p.m.—with some changes for 2020. Event organizers recommend watching the sparkling show from your hotel, home, car, or a restaurant patio; it will also be live-streamed on social media.

In addition, the Dallas area has many other summer activities to fill out a vacation. Check out water sports on Lewisville Lake, about 45 minutes from Dallas. You can also enjoy thrilling rides at ​Six Flags Over Texas, and Forth Worth Zoo, the state's oldest.

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