21 ways to celebrate Independence Day in the Austin metro area

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Whether you are interested in partying at Summerfest in San Marcos, watching parades in Cedar Park or enjoying the symphony in Austin this Fourth of July, Central Texas has plenty of activities from which to choose. Entries in this list are sorted by the time they are scheduled to start.

Start your day at the Popsicle Run in Kyle

Begin the holiday with a 1K, 3K or 4-mile race through the Plum Creek neighborhood in Kyle. The course includes soaker stations for a refreshing splash from volunteers, Popsicles for all finishers and prizes in different age categories for the two longer races, both of which are timed. 7 a.m. (4 mile), 8:30 a.m. (1K, 3K). $10 (1K), $15 (3K), $20 (4 mile). Races start and finish at Negley Elementary School, 5940 McNaughton, Kyle. www.athleteguild.com/running/kyle-tx

City of Lakeway throws a moon landing-themed July Fourth celebration

Lakeway’s 44th annual parade theme is “Fly Me to the Moon” in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing. The parade will feature floats designed by businesses and organizations in the Lake Travis area, and NASA Research Pilot Kenneth Dale Cockrell will serve as grand marshal. After the parade, attendees are invited to the Lakeway Activity Center to participate in the patriotic Pageantry of Flags Ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. and to enjoy a free ‘picnic on the patio’ complete with hot dogs, chips, drinks and snow cones. 8:30 a.m. Free. The parade route will go up Lakeway Drive from the Live Oak Clubhouse to Cross Creek. 512-261-1010. www.lakeway-tx.gov

Northwest Hills throws Freedom Festival after a neighborhood parade

The Northwest Austin Civic Association parade runs along Far West Boulevard, leading to Freedom Festival, which includes snow cones, music, a petting zoo and booths. The parade goes from Waterline Road to Chimney Corners. Parade begins at 9 a.m. with festival to follow. Free to attend. Festival located at the corner of Far West and Chimney Corners. www.nwaca.org

Party all day with Frontier Days, a parade, fireworks and a movie in Round Rock

The local Sertoma club organizes a parade on Mays Street from Mays Crossing to Hwy. 79 to kick things off at 9 a.m., followed by Frontier Days at noon with music, activities and contests at Old Settlers Park. 9 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Fireworks begin at dark followed by a viewing of the film “Captain Marvel.” Free to attend. 3300 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock. www.roundrocktexas.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation

Celebrate patriotism with Red, White & Buda

Independence Day in Buda begins with a patriotic kids parade beginning near the old City Hall and ending at the downtown greenbelt, where awards will be given out for the best decorated bikes. The parade begins at 9 a.m. at 121 S. Main St., Buda. In the evening, head out to the Buda Sportsplex to enjoy entertainment, food and a fireworks display. The evening event begins at 5 p.m. with fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Free. Buda Sportsplex, 310 Sportsplex Drive, Buda. 512-523-1081. www.ci.buda.tx

Participate in the Rattan Creek Neighborhood Association parade

The Rattan Creek Neighborhood Association hosts its annual parade in the morning in which residents and participants walk, bike or steer their own floats. The parade is lead by the Jollyville Fire Department. Parade participants begin assembling near Rattan Creek Park, at the corner of Elkhorn Mountain Trail and Tamayo Drive, around 9 a.m. The parade begins at 9:15 a.m. Free. Parade route runs through the neighborhood. www.rattancreek.org

Visit the LBJ Presidential Library in downtown Austin for free

Admission is free on July Fourth and includes access to the temporary exhibition “Motown: The Sound of Young America,” a 60-year retrospective of Motown Records. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. LBJ Presidential Library, 2313 Red River St., Austin. 512-721-0200. www.lbjlibrary.org

Parade and swim at El Salido Park in Northwest Austin

The Anderson Mill Limited District invites the public to celebrate July Fourth at El Salido Park with its annual parade and pool party. Entry into the El Salido pool is free from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., and the parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. Please contact the district if you are interested in participating in the parade. 9 a.m. Free. El Salido Park, 11449 Morning Glory Trail, Austin. 512-258-4104. www.amld.org

Cedar Park celebrates Independence Day with a parade

The parade runs along Discovery Boulevard from the Cedar Park Recreation Center to the H-E-B Center (the corner of Discovery and New Hope Drive). Parade entries are free, and entry forms are available online. 10 a.m. Free. Cedar Park Recreation Center, 1435 Main St., Cedar Park. 512-401-5500. www.cedarparkparks.com

Picnic with Willie Nelson and his friends at Circuit of The Americas

Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic returns to Circuit of The Americas for its fifth year. Performers include Luke Combs, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, and Alison Krauss. Music begins at 11 a.m., fireworks close out the night. $45-$399. 9201 Circuit of The Americas Blvd., Del Valle. 512-301-6600. www.circuitoftheamericas.com

Sertoma Club of Georgetown throws a family-friendly celebration

The Sertoma Club of Georgetown celebrates the Fourth of July with its annual event featuring more than 80 vendors, a petting zoo, live music, a parade and a fireworks display. 11 a.m., fireworks start around 9:30 p.m. Free. San Gabriel Park, 445 E. Morrow St., Georgetown. www.gtxsertoma.org

Attend the Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.’s luau

Stop by a luau-themed cookout during the afternoon that offers pizza and beer, cornhole and live surf rock. Event-goers can bike to Lady Bird Lake to see fireworks in the evening. Noon-8 p.m. Free. 1305 W. Oltorf St., Austin. 512-298-2242. www.theabgb.com

Enjoy the annual festival at the Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave

The annual family-friendly festival features barbecue, live music, fair rides, an art fair and fireworks. 4-10 p.m. Free. 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave. 512-263-0001. www.hillcountrygalleria.com/events

Pfirecracker Pfestival returns to The Pfield in Pflugerville

Food trucks and kids activities begin at 5 p.m. for the annual July Fourth festival. The stadium officially opens at 6 p.m. with live music at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks scheduled for 9:05 p.m. 5-9:30 p.m. Free to attend. 1440 W. Pecan St., Pflugerville. www.pfirecrackerpfestival.com

Downtown Hutto celebrates Independence Day

The city of Hutto supplies the music and fireworks for the community celebration. 5-10 p.m. Free. Hutto Park at Brushy Creek, 1001 CR 137, Austin.

Listen to music and play games in Cedar Park

An event celebrating July Fourth in Cedar Park features live music, fireworks, bingo, laser tag, bounce houses and watermelon. 5 p.m. Fees apply for concessions and carnival games and rides. Elizabeth Milburn Park, 1901 Sun Chase Blvd., Cedar Park. 512-401-5500. www.cedarparktexas.gov

Watch ‘Fire in the Sky’ in Dripping Springs

While it is free to view fireworks at this event at Dripping Springs Ranch Park, tickets are also available for dinner from The Salt Lick, accompanied by live music. The event is sponsored by former state Rep. Jason Isaac. 5-10 p.m. Free. Dripping Springs Ranch Park, 1042 Event Center Drive, Dripping Springs. 512-858-4725. www.destinationdrippingsprings.com/events

Eat and play games at Leander’s Liberty Fest

Leander’s annual Liberty Fest includes music, food, games and vendors. Music is from Jason Boland & The Stragglers and Mike Ryan. A fireworks display at 9:25 p.m. caps off the event. 5:30 p.m. Free. East of the Austin Community College San Gabriel campus, 449 San Gabriel Campus Drive, Leander. 512-528-2994. www.leandertx.gov/parksrec

San Marcos parties at Summerfest

Enjoy the annual San Marcos celebration of Independence Day at the downtown festival, which begins with free activities for kids, a children’s costume contest, food vendors and live music by Jeff Plankenhorn and other musicians. The event is topped off after dark with a fireworks show. 6 p.m. (festival), 9:30 p.m. (fireworks). Free. 512-393-8400. www.summerfestsmtx.com

Kyle launches fireworks for Independence Day

Attend the fireworks pre-show at the Plum Creek Golf Course Clubhouse—where hot dogs, snacks and drinks will be sold and accompanied by live music—or arrive in time for the display. 6-9 p.m. (pre-show), 9:30 p.m. (fireworks). Free. Plum Creek Golf Course Clubhouse, 4301 Benner Road, Kyle. 512-262-5555. www.cityofkyle.com

See fireworks and listen to the symphony in downtown Austin

The 42nd annual H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks event is the largest Independence Day celebration in Texas. Fireworks will follow a symphony performance. 8:30 p.m. Free. Vic Mathias Shores, 900 W. Riverside Drive, Austin. 512-476-6064. www.austinsymphony.org

Editor’s note: This story was updated July 2 to include updated route information for Cedar Park’s July 4 parade.

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Nicholas Cicale
Nick was born in Long Island, New York and grew up in South Florida. He graduated from Florida State University in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in writing and a minor in music. Nick was a journalist for three years at the St. James Plaindealer in Minnesota before moving to Austin to join Community Impact Newspaper in 2016.
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