There may be no better city in the country to celebrate Independence Day than Austin. Live music at the H-E-B Austin Symphony Concert, patriotic festivals, tons of fireworks, traditional southern barbecues, and more are all happening this July 4th in the ATX. If you’re an out-of-towner looking to celebrate like the locals, look no further. Here’s what an Austinite does to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence:

Attend the Largest Celebration in the State

You can’t miss the annual H-E-B Austin Symphony Concert and firework show — the biggest 4th of July gathering in Texas! Tens of thousands of people come in their red, white, and blue to gather on Vic Mathias Shores for a stunning firework display, with the Austin Symphony playing in tune to the show. The Symphony starts at 8:30 p.m., with fireworks shooting off around 9:30 p.m. This is a free, open-to-the-public event, but it gets busy — arrive early for the best seats on the lawn!

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Enjoy Fireworks in the Hill Country

If you don’t go to the H-E-B Austin Symphony Concert, you have plenty of other opportunities to see spectacular firework displays. Join the Hill Country Galleria Independence Day Celebration at the Hill Country Galleria Amphitheater at 6:30 p.m. for live music, with fireworks starting around 9:15 p.m. Parking and admission are free.

See a Display From the Water

Celebrate like a true local by renting a kayak for the Fourth of July and watching fireworks bloom over the Austin cityscape from serene Lady Bird Lake. Many places rent kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards for the holiday, or you can use your own. Bring some snacks, paddle out to the center of the lake, and watch multiple shows at once from the water.

4th of July over Lady Bird Lake in Austin #fireworks #austin #ladybirdlake #skyline

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Go to the Willie Nelson Festival

That’s right — Independence Day 2017 in Austin sees Willie Nelson, his family, and famous performers at Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic at Circuit of the Americas. Nelson hosts and is set to perform this year, as well as Sheryl Crow, Kacey Musgraves, and many other stars. Doors open at 11 a.m. with tickets on sale starting April 21

Enjoying independence #willienelsonpicnic

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Head to the Reserve at Lake Travis

Go to the Cypress Club at The Reserve at Lake Travis the two days prior to the fourth for a celebration with live music, dancing, barbecue, and fireworks on Lake Travis. The best part of this event is that it still leaves your schedule open for other holiday events on the actual fourth of July.

About to enjoy an amazing dinner at the Cypress Club Lodge…Memorial Day style 🇺🇸

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Host a Barbecue

To many, it isn’t Independence Day without a good old-fashioned barbecue. Host your own party before going out to see a local firework show. You can’t go wrong with barbecued ribs, hamburgers, and hotdogs or get creative with your celebration of America with special July 4th recipes, such as red, white, and blue pancakes or star-spangled cupcakes. Get into the spirit and invite your friends, family, and neighbors for an outdoor celebration.

Take Advantage of Restaurant Specials

Plenty of restaurants, bars, and dives offer Independence Day specials and discounts on food and drinks. Head to Hops & Grain for unlimited beer (for the price of a $25 ticket) or Trace at the W for all-day happy hour prices. Try Bonneville’s “red, white, and blue special” and enjoy a classy all-American meal complete with lobster rolls, blueberry buckle, and bubbly champagne.

Happy 4th from Austin! #austinfireworks #fireworks #austin

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This post is an editorial contribution from Jon’s Equipment and Tool Rentals, helping Austin build and grow since 1988.

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