Independence Day Guide

Independence Day Guide: From fun run to fireworks, our can't miss list for an amazing Fourth of July

4th of July Guide: Fireworks, fun run and all kinds of festivities

Houston Symphony Fourth of July fireworks at Miller Outdoor Theater July 2013
There's always fireworks over Hermann Park on the Fourth of July. This photo was taken in 2013. Photo by © Michelle Watson/

From early morning until the last ember has cooled, we’ve got you covered for every minute — with backup plans, too!— of the Fourth of July. Remember: It’s illegal to discharge fireworks or even to have them in your possession in the City of Houston, so unless you're outside those lines, keep your Roman Candles unlit. 

7 am — 27th Annual Baytown Bud Heat Wave 5 Mile Run
If you finish the 5-mile run, you qualify for the sausage-eating contest that follows the runner award ceremony. And nothing's more American than competitive eating and beer. 

9:30 am - 1 pm — Bellaire's July 4th Parade and Festival
You've already been for a run and power-slammed some sausages (and, one presumes, that all-American pilsner), so why not walk it off? The Bellaire Parade is taking the first 75 applicants to join as marchers, so look lively! This year's theme is Go for the Gold. Also there: a petting zoo, moon jumps, and carnival games.

1:10 pm —Astros v. Mariners at Minute Maid Park
Ah, the American pastime -- perfect for Independence Day. It's also Military Appreciation Day at the ball park; the first 10,000 entrants get a patriotic T-shirt, which will come in handy after all that sausage and marching. Go 'Stros!

Noon-5 pm, Bayou Bend 4th of July Celebration
Go put your John Hancock on a giant Declaration of Independence at this rather high-brow bash, which includes a reading of the Declaration of Independence and birthday cake on the Diana Terrace. This is also one of the most historically fulfilling things you can do around town today. Also planned: music, art and other historical demonstrations. 

4 pm-10 pm Freedom Over Texas at Eleanor Tinsley Park
Get there early to beat the crowds. Darius Rucker is headlining again this year. He'll be joined by Houston's sweethearts, The Suffers, as well as Eli Young, Brooke Eden, John Evans Band, Rusted Root, Cowboy Mouth and Zach Person. You'll get to spend time in one of Houston's most beloved parks with a view of the downtown skyline, so we don't blame you if you stick around for the fireworks here, but if you're feeling the need for some serious artillery and historical music, you can check out a B-Cycle from the Sabine Street Promenade and head over to ...

8:30 pm The Star-Spangled Salute at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park
The Houston Symphony will be performing patriotic classics ending with the 1812 Overture, including cannons, followed by fireworks. 

Other options abound, including:

Katy: Typhoon Texas is open from 10:30 am to 10 pm, and this might be the best way to beat the Houston heat. The City of Katy's fireworks show is visible from the waterpark. 

CityCentre is making a long weekend of it with four nights of concerts. Fireworks are scheduled for the 4th.

Galveston: The 177th Annual Galveston Independence Day Parade and Fireworks will be happening along the Seawall. The parade starts at Seawall Blvd. and 41st and ends at 12th; fireworks are planned to go off around 9:15 pm at 37th Street. 

Kemah: The Kemah Boardwalk will be having their 4th of July Celebration with live music and a 9:15 pm fireworks show. 

Pearland: Their Celebration of Freedom is going down at the Pearland High School football stadium, and will feature a VFW military salute, music by The Slags, and a 9 pm fireworks show. 

Pasadena: The Annual 4th Fest will be at the Pasadena Convention Center and Municipal Fairgrounds, and will feature music by The Pasadena Philharmonic Orchestra. There will also be a car and motorcycle show from 4-6 pm and a USMC Toys for Tots BBQ Cook-Off, followed by fireworks. 

Tomball: July 4th Celebration and Street Party will take place on Business Highway 249 north of FM 2920, with live music by The Bottle Rockers and Bayou Roux. Fireworks are scheduled for 9:15 pm.

Fulshear: The Fulshear Freedom Fest starts at 6 pm. The Highwaymen Live will be performing hits from the likes of Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. Fireworks are set to go off at approximately 9:15 pm.