Culture / Entertainment

Houston’s Ultimate Fourth of July Guide — Where to See Fireworks, Picnic in the Sky, Pool Party and More

The 10 Best Independence Day Options

BY Matthew Ramirez and Virginia Reynolds // 07.03.19

If you’re in Houston for Fourth of July and haven’t decided on your plans yet, do not worry, there are plenty of great options, from fireworks to much more.

PaperCity‘s Weekend Gurus are completely focused on Independence Day fun this week. PaperCity‘s new events calendar offers a curated look at all of the best things to do in the area, but we’ve narrowed things down to the best of the best.

Here are Houston’s top Fourth of July events:

Let Freedom Ring

It’s Houston’s signature Fourth of July event – Freedom Over Texas — and the good news is the forecast is looking like it will cooperate this year, after last year’s early morning floods prompted its cancellation. Not only is it the state’s signature Independence Day event at Buffalo Bayou and Eleanor Tinsley Park, it doubles as Houston’s premier summer event, too.

The full glory of Freedom Over Texas take over the sprawling Eleanor Tinsley Park for a headlining concert, picnic nirvana, and big-time fireworks show vantage point. This year’s Freedom Over Texas is special because in addition to a performance from country stars Jake Owen with special guest Kellie Pickler, the fireworks finale will pay special tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, which took place July 1969.

Gates open at 4 pm; day-of tickets are $10. – Matthew Ramirez


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Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

“American Idol” alum and country singer Kellie Pickler joins Owen as a special guest at July 4th’s Freedom Over Texas celebration.
“American Idol” alum and country singer Kellie Pickler joins Owen as a special guest at July 4th’s Freedom Over Texas celebration. 

Bend it Like MFAH

Few spaces in the city are as unique as Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, so what better way to ring in the Fourth of July than a day party at MFAH’s renowned house museum?

From noon to 5 pm, this gratis event offers patriotic music and performance from the Texas Army Fife and Drum Corps who will read the Declaration of Independence (with a chance for revelers to sign an eight-foot replica of the document), “appearances” by George Washington and Betsy Ross, and music from Jawad and Joseph Dixon. – Matthew Ramirez

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing

Live at Karbach

The most raucous Fourth celebration will no doubt be legendary power-pop forebears Cheap Trick roaring into town for Karbach Brewing Co’s July 4th Music and Fireworks Spectacular. Free parking, $5 beers, and a finale fireworks showcase (alongside the chance to hear “Surrender” live) round out the truly spectacular day.

I want you to want to go to this show! Tickets for the concert and fireworks bonanza start at $28; the celebration gets going at 6 pm. – Matthew Ramirez

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing

The Stars and Stripes

The most patriotic way to celebrate the Fourth however is to see the Houston Symphony’s Star Spangled Salute to America at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Houston’s answer to the National Mall’s musical celebration and fireworks extravaganza, Miller Outdoor Theatre hosts the Symphony’s rendition of patriotic standards capped off by a fireworks show.

As always, entrance to Miller Outdoor Theatre is free, but tickets for the covered seating area will be available at the box office on a first-come first-served basis starting at 10:30 am (those are also free).

The show gets underway at 8:30 pm. – Matthew Ramirez

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing

B.B. Lemon’s July 4th Cookout

Benjamin Berg, the man behind B&B Butchers, is on a roll right now, fresh off serving meats to Beyoncé and the imminent opening of a second location of his comfort food haven B.B. Lemon in Montrose. And, more urgently, the original B.B. Lemon on Washington is hosting a 4th of July backyard cookout.

The Washington location offers a perfect vantage point for all downtown firework displays, but before that burgers and hot dogs will be served straight from the grill for a fixed price of $29.76, with your choice of a Wagyu burger or two Wagyu hot dogs, watermelon salad, cottage fries,and strawberry shortcake for dessert.

Buckets of rosé will be on sale for $17.76 as well. A reservation is recommended; the festivities get underway at 6 pm. – Matthew Ramirez

bb lemon exterior
Berg’s newest restaurant, B.B. Lemon, was inspired by the restaurants he went to during his childhood in New York.

169th Round Top 4th of July Parade

Take a short drive to Round Top to enjoy the town’s Fourth of July parade, which happens to be the longest running Independence Day celebration west of the Mississippi River. The Round Top roads will be packed with visitors from Houston, Austin, San Antonio and everywhere in between, so get there early to claim your spot.

The parade will begin and end at the Round Top Rifle Association Hall. Following the festivities, you are invited to the Hall to enjoy a delicious barbecue meal, prepared by members of the Round Top Rifle Association. There will also be games for the kids, plus a raffle and music.

A cannon will signal the start to the parade at 10:30am. Bring a fan, plenty of water, and maybe some extra cash so you can hit some of the shops and restaurants while you’re in town.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing

The Galveston Marine Corp League Fourth of July Parade

The City of Galveston, in partnership with The Marine Corp League and a number of community volunteers, will be hosting its 180th Annual Independence Day celebration along the Seawall. The parade will start at 7 pm, and will include a variety of floats, performers and decorated military vehicles. Following the parade will be a fireworks show over the Gulf of Mexico at 9:15pm, near 37th Street and Seawall Boulevard.

The parade will start at 59th Street and Seawall Boulevard, and end at 25th Street and Seawall Boulevard.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing

Picnic in the Sky

The Houston Club will be hosting a Picnic in the Sky for its members this Independence Day. In addition to the gourmet All-American spread for the celebration (with family style seating), the Club will undoubtedly offer one of the best spots to view the city’s explosive fireworks display. Attire is casual, and reservations are required to attend the dinner.

Adult tickets begin at $52, children ages 6 to 12 are $20, and children 5 and under are free.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing

Pool Party and Jaws Movie Night

Grab some cold ones and cool off this Fourth at Axelrad’s Fourth of July Pool Party and Jaws Movie Night. No, Axelrad doesn’t have a giant pool – this is a BYOP (Bring Your Own Pool) event. As you kick back in your pool and sip from the beer garden’s variety of refreshing brews, enjoy live music from Houston-native Will Van Horn, with the thrilling classic movie Jaws to follow.

And of course raise a toast to America as you watch the fireworks show.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing

An American Tradition

If you’re looking for family-friendly fun this holiday, hit the road and head to George Ranch Historical Park in Richmond for An American Tradition. The all-day event will include food, historic games, a scavenger hunt throughout the Park, and a reading of the Declaration of Independence at the Davis Victorian Mansion.

Admittance to the event is included with general admission to the Ranch (adults $15, seniors $12, children ages 4 to 12 $10, children under 3 free).

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing

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