New fireworks displays pop up all over town every year, but the main event is still downtown over Lady Bird Lake. Our beloved hometown grocery store HEB is teaming up with the Austin Symphony to present rousing music along with the show in the sky. See below for details about all the major July 4 fireworks displays around Austin.
Bring a blanket and a picnic dinner and relax on the sprawling lawn near the lake for this free annual event. If you arrive a little late and end up seated way back in the crowd, you can still hear the music if you tune into Majic 95.5 FM on a radio or streaming app on your phone. Booths selling food, drinks, and arts and crafts will be arranged along the boundaries of the Lady Bird Lake park. The closest place to park is the Palmer Events Center Garage just south of the lake along Barton Springs Road ($10 fee).
If you’d like to do a little shopping before celebrating the country’s independence, look no further than the Hill Country Galleria. Its six-hour extravaganza includes live music from School of Rock, Eve & The Exiles, The Derailers, KP & The Boom Boom and Vallejo. The event will be held at the Central Plaza Lawn, which has plenty of room for kids to burn off excess energy. There’s even a nearby splash pad to help the kiddos cool down. Plus, there will be face painting for the little ones, food and drink booths, and pop-up shops selling locally made art and gifts. Admission and parking are free.
Willie Nelson’s annual picnic has had many homes over the years, but the Circuit of the Americas race track might just be the most exciting. You can buy seats in the stands or opt for the more affordable general admission seating on the lawn. In addition to Willie Nelson, the musical acts include Alison Krauss, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Hayes Carll and Ray Wylie Hubbard. If you don’t want to deal with driving home, there’s even a camping and RV area where you can stay overnight. Be prepared for blazing heat. There are a few shady spots, and misters will be available, but most of the concert viewing areas and many of the booths and other attractions are in full sun.
Held at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park & Event Center, the event is one of the few around Austin that still have a small-town vibe. Family-friendly events and food booths will be offered throughout the park. The main event is free, but you can buy a ticket to a VIP barbecue dinner beforehand that also features live music. The proceeds benefit North Hays County Fire Rescue. A fireworks display caps off the night of fun at 9:30 p.m.
For those living in Austin’s northern suburbs, this 4th of July party in Cedar Park might be a more convenient option. The fun begins at 10 a.m. with a parade along Discovery Boulevard beginning at the Cedar Park Recreation Center. The main event at Elizabeth Milburn Park includes bouncy castles, laser tag, free watermelon, bingo and a washer tournament. In addition, there will be carnival rides, other kids’ games and attractions, and food booths galore. If the kids get overheated, you can let them take a dip at nearby Milburn Pool until 8 p.m. The fireworks display begins at 9:15 p.m., and there’s an After Glow dance party afterwards.
Watch fireworks over Lake Travis from the laid-back Bar K Park in Lago Vista. The fun for kids includes a dunk tank, train rides and Slip and Slide Baseball. There will also be plenty of cotton candy, ice cream and other festival foods. The fireworks display begins at 8:30 p.m.