If only we could get a bird’s eye view of Central Texas on a clear 4th of July night. You’d see fireworks displays popping up in dozens of communities — along with several big shows right in Austin.
This year, we’ve highlighted three of the most exciting displays, and each comes with a different set of live music options — classical, rock or good old country and swing. But, of course, many of us are just fine enjoying the holiday at home or out of town on a vacation.
Later in July, you can catch two high quality free concerts in beautiful outdoor settings. And we’ve also spotted a German-Texan festival you won’t want to miss.
Now, grab your calendar and pencil in a few fun summertime outings.
It’s Independence Day, and that means a celebration of freedom accompanied by grilling, family fun and fireworks. Austin’s primary celebration starts at 8:30 p.m. with a concert by the Austin Symphony. The fireworks will start around 9:30 p.m. The event draws tens of thousands of people to downtown Austin, so plan your trip accordingly by either finding a parking option early or taking the bus, walking the trail along Lady Bird Lake or planning for an Uber or other ride home when the crowds head out after the fireworks.
Where: Vic Mathias Shores (formerly known as Auditorium Shores) 900 W. Riverside Dr.
If the downtown fireworks aren’t you thing, you could always hang out with Willie Nelson at the Circuit of the Americas racetrack in southeast Austin. Willie is hosting his 44th annual 4th of July Picnic. Performers include Sheryl Crow, Kacey Musgraves, Asleep at the Wheel, David Allan Coe and, of course, Willie Nelson & Family to cap it off.
When: Gates open at 11 a.m. and music starts at noon
Where: Circuit of the Americas
And if you’d like to check out the fireworks in Hill Country, you can check out the music and fireworks at the Hill Country Galleria celebration. The Watters and Vallejo are playing, starting at 6:30 p.m.
When: 6:30 p.m. for music and about 9 p.m. for fireworks
Where: Hill Country Galleria, 12700 HIll Country Blvd, Bee Cave, TX
It’s the final Blues on the Green of the summer. Bring the whole family down to Zilker Park in the evening for a free community concert by Shinyribs. You’ll see thousands of people — and dozens of dogs, families and free-spirited friends, along with food trailers with tasty bites. It’s a BYOB situations, so remember to bring your favorite beverages, including water on a July evening, and a chair or blanket to sit on.
When: The music starts at 8 p.m., but hundreds of people show up at least an hour before.
Where: Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd.
Central Texas has a rich history of German immigration, and you can get a taste of the Texas version of German culture during the Texanische Nacht party. You can dance to swing bands, grab a bite and a pint or three. Or go with the Texanisch classic — margaritas and chips with guacamole and salsa before dining on chicken and beef fajitas.
When: It starts at 5 p.m.
Where: Austin Saengerrunde, 1607 San Jacinto Blvd.
It’s summertime in the city. Why not enjoy a night under the stars while enjoying a free concert — and pitching in a few non-perishable items for the Central Texas Food Bank? Tameca Jones headlines the final outdoor show of the summer. Bring a camping chair or blanket, and you can buy cocktails on site.
When: 6-9 p.m.
Where: The Bullock Museum, 1800 Congress Ave.