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Where to celebrate the 4th of July around Austin

It’s not all about downtown, after all

Willie Nelson’s 4th Of July Picnic
Willie Nelson at his 2017 picnic
Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage

As you might have heard, the Fourth of July is just around the corner. We’ve provided you with an extensive guide, including a map, of where and how to enjoy the annual fireworks extravaganza on Lady Bird Lake, complete with a performance by the Austin symphony.

If you’re not into that, though—or, say, you want to start celebrating long before nightfall—here are some fine activities in and around the city to check out.

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic

Circuit of the Americas, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Boulevard, Austin, TX 78617

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic is a legendary event that’s been happening for eons and a reliably good time. This year’s lineup includes Luke Combs, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Alison Krauss, Jamey Johnson, and Steve Earle and The Dukes, among others. It’s a friends and family affair that should be on your bucket list—though there’s also something to be said for making it an annual tradition.

Blue Starlite Urban Mini Drive-In’s Independence Day celebration

2103 E M. Franklin Ave, Austin, TX 78723

Another event that’s becoming a tradition is Blue Starlite Urban Mini Drive-In’s Independence Day celebration at its Mueller II location. This year will feature, of course, Independence Day, as well as (at different showings) The Goonies, The Big Lebowski, and Jaws. After the movie is over, Blue Starlite will present a fireworks show on its high-definition screen.

Hill Country Galleria Independence Day Celebration

12700 Hill Country Boulevard, Bee Cave, TX 78738

This event features its own fireworks and ramps up for them with festivities starting at 4 p.m. They include family-style backyard games for the whole family, live music from Edison Chair and Vallejo, an all-day sidewalk sale, face painting and more for the kids (as well as a splash pad where they can cool off).

Parades and other daytime events in and around Austin

Round Rock Frontier Days

Mays Street, between Mays Crossing and Highway 79

This is kind of a big one, actually, with up to 20,000 spectators (locals and visitors alike) in recent years. It features a parade, carnival rides, a jalapeño-eating contest, Swifty Swine Pig Races, children’s games, the Sam Bass Shootout, movies in the park, and fireworks. The best floats, bands, cheerleading squad, drill team, decorated vehicles, equestrian entries, and more will get awards this year.

July 4 Parade with Old West Austin Neighborhood Association

West Austin Neighborhood Park, 1317 W 10th St, Austin, TX 78703

This looks to be an early event (staring at 9 a.m.)—good for families and people who prefer to enjoy being outside before things heat up. The Shook family (of JuiceLand fame) and the Jollyville Brass Quintet will lead the parade, which seems to involve costumed pets as well as people (bikes, strollers, and pets au naturel are also encouraged). Participants will gather at the fire station (presumably the one at 1000 Blanco Street) at 8 a.m. to dress and prep. The parade ends at West Austin Neighborhood Park, where the “Best Dressed Pet” will be judged and more fun and games will ensue. Participants get coffee and breakfast tacos, too.

Lakeway 4th of July Celebration

Lakeway Live Oak Golf Course, Activity Center, and Swim Center

Lakeway’s holiday parade starts at the Live Oak Golf Course at 8:30 a.m. and proceeds to the to the Lakeway Activity Center, where there will be music, awards, and other activities, including a hot dog lunch. The Lakeway Swim Center will be open for fun at noon with special pricing and in-and-out privileges all day.

Westlake 4th of July Parade

101 Westlake Drive Suite 100, Austin, TX 78746

The parade, with starts at 8:30 a.m., features a costume contest and and is pet-inclusive. The party after will feature live music, a bouncy house, games, and more fun activities, as well as food and beverages from local businesses.

Central Texas celebrations

A sampling of the goings-on on the Fourth in nearby towns.

Liberty Fest in Leander

449 San Gabriel Campus Drive, Leander, TX 78641

The free, family-friendly event starts at 5 p.m. and features live music by Jason Boland & the Stragglers and Mike Ryan, food and craft vendors, children’s activities, and a fireworks display.

Pflugerville Pfirecracker Pfestival

1440 West Pecan Street, Pflugerville, TX 78660

Pfestivities start at 5:30 p.m. and include a kid’s area with games, crafts and face painting, 16 food trucks, and live music from Suede, followed by fireworks to be viewed from inside the Pflugerville Stadium.

Red, White and Buda

204 San Antonio Road, Buda, TX 78610

This is an all-day affair with a sensible break in the hot, hot afternoon. It starts at 9 a.m. with a children’s parade on Main Street, followed by a party featuring bouncy houses and more family fun at City Park immediately. Later that night are live music, more activities, and a fireworks display at the Buda Sportsplex.

San Marcos Summerfest

206 N C M Allen Parkway, San Marcos, TX 78666

After floating the San Marcos River (optional), you can celebrate Independence Day along its banks of the San Marcos River starting at 6 pm. with live music, a parade, a children’s costume contest, and food vendors, winding up with a fireworks display.

Taylor Annual 4th of July Fireworks

1600 Veteran’s Drive, Taylor, TX 76574

This low-key celebration focuses on the fireworks display at dusk, but you should get there early to reserve a spot and enjoy the scene. There’s also a rubber duck race with prizes.

Circuit of the Americas

9201 Circuit of the Americas Boulevard, , TX 78617 Visit Website

Taylor

, , TX 76574