Famous for its vibrant music scene, Austin holds quite a few large concerts, parades, and fireworks to celebrate the 4th of July. Besides the main event at Auditorium Shores, there are plenty of community festivals and local street parties. Festivities and music are heard on every corner, and every neighborhood displays its best star-and-stripe decorations.
H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks (canceled)
Attending the Austin Symphony H-E-B July 4th Concert is the favorite tradition for Austin residents. Some 100,000 people gather every year at Auditorium Shores to listen to classical and patriotic music at Long Center for the Performing Arts and, more importantly, to watch the magnificent fireworks display over Lady Bird Lake. An orchestra performs at 8:30 pm, the“mile-high” fireworks illuminate the sky at approximately 9:30 pm.
Attendees are allowed to bring their own lawn chairs and picnic baskets. The most popular spots for watching the fireworks include Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge, the South First Street Bridge, and Congress Bridge. Another way to enjoy the pyrotechnic show is in a boat, a canoe, or a kayak at Lady Bird Lake. Many people use stand-up paddleboards and other flotation devices. You can enjoy paddling and listening to the music from Long Center and let the fireworks leave you in awe.
Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic (canceled)
Willie Nelson is an iconic figure for the Texan music scene, and his 4th of July Picnic has become one of the iconic events in Austin. Thousands of people gather at Circuit of The Americas racing track near Austin to listen to Willie's band and his friends. The festival features country music stars like Luke Combs, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Alison Krauss, and Jamey Johnson. The event dates back to 1972 when Willie Nelson held his first festival in Dripping Springs, Texas.
Lakeway 4th of July Parade & Events (July 4, 2020; pending)
Independence Day is the largest annual event in Lakeway, Texas, which is about a half-hour drive from Austin. This festive parade starts at 8:30 am and marches from the Live Oak Golf Course to the Lakeway Activity Center. The procession is followed by a hot-dog lunch, fun activities, and the Pageantry of Flags program. Live music and other entertainment spice up the day. Families would enjoy the celebration at Lakeway Swim Center that lasts from noon to 8 pm. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, Lakeway will not host a parade or ceremony. However, they are planning a fantastic fireworks display.
As the dusk comes down, be ready for a pyrotechnic miracle to highlight your day. Whatever neighborhood of Austin you end up in, you are likely to witness a spectacular fireworks display. However, in 2020, there might be no fireworks.