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 4 p.m. as they start the festivities a bit early this year with with backyard games hosted by Camp Gladiator, including three-legged race, potato sack race, obstacle course, tug of war, and more, offering fun for the whole family. Live music starts at 6 p.m., with fireworks starting around 9:15 p.m. And for those looking to cool off from the summer swelter, the splash pad will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 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.
Go to the Willie Nelson Festival
That’s right — Independence Day 2018 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 Sturgill Simpson, Asleep at the Wheel, and many other stars. Doors open at 11 a.m.
Head to the Reserve at Lake Travis
Go to the Cypress Club at The Reserve at Lake Travis on June 30 for an early 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.
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.
This post is an editorial contribution from Jon’s Equipment and Tool Rentals, helping Austin build and grow since 1988.