What To Do in Dallas-Fort Worth This 4th of July Weekend

From D Magazine

Wondering what to do on the 4th of July holiday? Not to worry. Check out our list of the best parades, fireworks shows, and celebrations—from Southlake to Oak Cliff and everywhere in between.

JULY 3

 

Kaboom Town. Join 400,000 of your closest friends for this spectacular annual event. You can enjoy food, live music, and a fly-over of historic planes from the Cavanaugh Flight Museum (complete with stunt pilots, parachutists, and more). Oh, and of course there are fireworks—one of the most extraordinary displays in town. Stick around for a showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark immediately following. Free. 5 pm–midnight. Addison Circle Park, 4970 Addison Circle Dr. 800-233-4766. www.addisontexas.net.

Lone Star Park’s Stars and Stripes Fireworks Celebration. Just ask Uncle Larry. No holiday is complete without a little gambling. Go to Lone Star Park for the annual Stars and Stripes Fireworks Celebration, and you’ll see just what Uncle Larry means. Enjoy live horse racing (of course), plus pony rides, a petting zoo, live music from Incognito (Friday) and Maiden Texas (Saturday), and a huge fireworks display directly following the last race. Did we mention it’s choreographed to music? Yep, that put us over the edge, too. July 3 & 4, 3 pm. Tickets from $5. Lone Star Park, 1000 Lone Star Pkwy., Grand Prairie. 972-263-7223. www.lonestarpark.com.

Lone Star State Classic Dog Show. Ever since we saw Best in Show, we’ve wanted to attend a dog show. Unfortunately, our pound puppy will never qualify to participate, so we are going to sneak out without telling him and head to the Lone Star State Classic. More than 2,000 dogs from all over the country are in town to compete, and a Best In Show award is given at the end of each day. Check the web site to find out when your favorite breed will make an appearance. Through July 5, times vary by day. $8; $5 for children 5–12; free for children under 5. www.lonestarstateclassic.com.

Fireworks at Addison’s Kaboom Town.
photography courtesy of City of Addison

 

Southlake’s Stars and Stripes. Start celebrating early at Southlake’s Stars and Stripes Festival. Grab a lawn chair, a picnic basket, and a family—your own or someone else’s—and set up camp in Southlake Town Square. Expect local music, face painting, magicians, clowns, and fabulous fireworks when the sun goes down. Free. Square opens at 3 pm. 1450 Plaza Pl., Southlake. 817-310-3935. www.shopsouthlaketownsquare.com.

JULY 4

 

The Libertine’s Brass Knuckle Corn Dog Beatdown. We are no stranger to corn dogs. In fact, we could probably put down four in a day. But in 15 minutes? We prefer not to vomit, so we don’t think we’ll enter this corn dog-eating contest at the Libertine Bar. The deets: you get 15 minutes to eat as many dogs as you can. The one who eats the most wins a $100 bar tab and the Golden Corn Dog Trophy. Second place is a $50 bar tab;  third is $25 in quarters (no idea). Throwing up gets you disqualified. Plus it’s a total downer, so let’s try to avoid it. Free. 7 pm. The Libertine Bar, 2101 Greenville Ave. 214-824-7900. www.libertinebar.com.

Elphiesta. We love the sound of this. Chef Tim Love’s Love Shack and White Elephant Saloon in the Fort Worth Stockyards will be jumpin’ this Fourth of July during Elphiesta, the sixth annual all-day music fest and party. All of the bands are from Texas; they start at noon and keep playing until midnight. That’s 16 bands on two stages total. Best of all, it’s free, but we’re betting you won’t be able to resist a few cold ones and a burger or two throughout the day. Free. noon–midnight. The White Elephant, 106 E. Exchange Ave., Fort Worth. 817-624-8273. The Love Shack, 110 E. Exchange Ave., Fort Worth. 817-740-8812. www.cheftimlove.com.

 Fair Park Fourth. Billed as North Texas’ largest Independence Day celebration, Fair Park Fourth features fireworks by Grucci (synchronized to music, of course); holiday-appropriate food such as hot dogs and funnel cakes; and free admission to the Women’s Museum, the African American Museum, the Texas Discovery Gardens, the Museum of Nature and Science, and the Museum of the American Railroad. Prior to the fireworks, the Dallas Wind Symphony performs, as do the Hell Cats from the United States Military Academy at West Point and Alvy Powell, one of the world’s premier opera singers. Free. 4:30 pm. Fireworks at 9:30 pm. 1121 First Ave.214-421-9600. www.fairpark.org.

Firecracker Fun Run. We’ve seen how you eat on July 4. Six hot dogs in one sitting is pretty impressive. But we recommend doing a little extra exercise that day to avoid a “tight-pants situation” July 5. Start with the Firecracker Fun Run first thing in the morning and you’ll be able to indulge all day. The 5K is for runners and walkers, so grab your family and your Nikes and get moving. $15 in advance; $20 the morning of. 7:30 am. Curtis Park, 7035 Dickens Ave. 214-98705488. www.uptexas.org.

Fireworks on Lake Grapevine. You could sit in your backyard and strain your neck to see the fireworks at the nearby country club. But we think kissing up to your neighbor for a ride on his boat on Lake Grapevine is a much better way to spend the holiday. The sky over the lake lights up around 9:30 pm, and you can view the show from the lake or from several other spots around Grapevine (in case the whole neighbor thing doesn’t work out). Music from 98.7 KLUV is simulcast along with the show. Free. 9:30 pm. 2500 Fairway Dr., Grapevine. 817-410-3185. www.grapevinetexasusa.com.

Fourth of July at the Belmont Hotel. Having a great view on the Fourth of July is key. Nobody wants neck cramps during fireworks due to poor location planning. Make it easy on yourself and head to the Belmont Hotel, where the views of downtown are nearly unparalleled. DJ Mark Ridlin entertains the crowd on the patio at BarBelmont until midnight, and hotel guests have access to a poolside concert from Bona Fide Blues. Packages are available for the weekend if you really want to make a fiery (ha!) impression. 7 pm–midnight. Belmont Hotel, 901 Fort Worth Ave. 866-870-8010. www.belmontdallas.com.

Fourth of July at the Dallas Arborteum. We’re sure you have a place to watch the fireworks. But do you have plans for the afternoon? If you’re not driving to West Texas to pick up a few bags of bottle rockets, we recommend hitting the Dallas Arboretum. Bring a picnic and set yourself up in front of White Rock Lake for a real lunch with a view. You can also hit up the Storybook Playhouse, or just stroll around the gorgeous gardens. 10 am–5 pm. Free for veterans and current military; $9.50 for adults; $8 for seniors; $6 for children 3–12; free for children 2 and under. 8525 Garland Rd. 214-515-6500.
www.dallasarboretum.org.

Irving’s Firecracker Fourth. Listen—you could sit in your car with the radio tuned to a particular station during fireworks. Or, you could head to this event and listen to the Irving Symphony Orchestra perform patriotic tunes instead. This annual event features live bands, food and drinks, and “Disney-style fireworks,” according to the press release. Best of all, it’s free, except for the $5 parking fee. 5 pm. Williams Square, 5215 N. O’Conner Blvd., Las Colinas. 972-831-8818. www.irvingsymphony.com.

Lakewood’s Got Talent Parade. Got a talent you think others would appreciate? Are you absolutely sure? Okay, then, get your act ready to go (or decorate the float you’ve been crafting in your head) and make your way to the Lakewood’s Got Talent Parade. Singers, dancers, skateboarders, yodelers–everyone is welcome, and prizes are awarded in categories such as “Most Humorous Entry,” “Best Patriotic Float,” “Best Musical Entry,” and “Judge’s Choice.” Immediately following, enjoy music, refreshments, and gloating for the winners in the park. 9:15 am. Starting point: Lakewood Blvd. and Cambria. www.lakewoodparade.com.

Lone Star Park’s Stars and Stripes Fireworks Celebration. Just ask Uncle Larry. No holiday is complete without a little gambling. Go to Lone Star Park for the annual Stars and Stripes Fireworks Celebration, and you’ll see just what Uncle Larry means. Enjoy live horse racing (of course), plus pony rides, a petting zoo, live music from Incognito (Friday) and Maiden Texas (Saturday), and a huge fireworks display directly following the last race. Did we mention it’s choreographed to music? Yep, that put us over the edge, too. July 3 & 4, 3 pm. Tickets from $5. Lone Star Park, 1000 Lone Star Pkwy., Grand Prairie. 972-263-7223. www.lonestarpark.com.

Lone Star State Classic Dog Show. Ever since we saw Best in Show, we’ve wanted to attend a dog show. Unfortunately, our pound puppy will never qualify to participate, so we are going to sneak out without telling him and head to the Lone Star State Classic. More than 2,000 dogs from all over the country are in town to compete, and a Best In Show award is given at the end of each day. Check the web site to find out when your favorite breed will make an appearance. Through July 5, times vary by day. $8; $5 for children 5–12; free for children under 5. www.lonestarstateclassic.com.

Parades, Pooches, and Patriots on the Green at Watters Creek. Everyone has plans at night on the Fourth of July. But what do you do during the day? Bring the fam to Watters Creek for the first annual Parade, Pooches and Patriots on the Green party. Dress up your child and pet in patriotic colors, and they can participate in the costume contest and parade. Prizes are given based on originality, creativity, and the best display of red, white, and blue. During and after the parade, clowns, face painters and balloon artists entertain the crowd, and there’s even a “Patriot Wall” where you can post a star in honor of someone you know who has served in the armed forces. Families should also bring items to donate to soldiers serving overseas. Doesn’t that sound better than hot dogs at Uncle Frank’s house? 11 am–1 pm. Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm, 970 Garden Park Dr., Allen. 972-747-8000. www.watterscreek.com.

Families enjoy swan rides in Fair Park.
photography courtesy of Fair Park

 

Park Cities Fourth of July Parade. In college, we helped build our sorority’s float for the homecoming parade. We are guessing that “Principals and Schoolgirls” is not appropriate for the Park Cities Parade, however, so we’re going to go with something a little more conservative. Those who construct “tasteful” floats are eligible to participate, as are those on bicycles, tricycles, go-carts, antique cars, and antique fire trucks. The line-up begins at 7:30 am, but for those who are just watching, be in place by 9 am. Refreshments are available for purchase in Goar Park. 9 am. Start: Euclid Avenue near Highland Park Town Hall; End: Goar Park, 3800 University Blvd. 972-490-0845. www.astro-graphics.com.
Trinity Hall Fundraiser and Party. Skip the cooking and head to Trinity Hall for a patio barbeque, including hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and iced tea. The proceeds benefit the North Texas Food Bank, and cash donations are accepted ($2 for hot dogs and $4 for hamburgers is suggested), as are canned food donations. noon– 4 pm. Trinity Hall Irish Pub, 5321 E. Mockingbird Ln., Ste. 250. 214-887-3600. www.trinityhall.tv.

W Hotel Backyard. It’s a choice we all must make—spend Fourth of July sweating at a friend’s BBQ, or spend it sweating among hotties at the W Dallas–Victory. A tough choice for some, surely, but for those thinking W, you won’t be disappointed. The hotel is throwing a “W Backyard” bash, complete with plush lounge chairs for watching fireworks, food from Craft, and complimentary drinks from Republic Beverage. We can guarantee the people watching will be significantly better than at Joe’s house. 6:30–10 pm. $45. 2440 Victory Park Ln. 214-397-4100. www.whotels.com.

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