Scott Ball / Rivard Report
Snap. Crackle. Pop. The Fourth of July is this Saturday. This year, however, fireworks won't be bursting over the Tower of the Americas because of construction at Hemisfair Park. Woodlawn Lake Park will be hosting its festival and firework celebrations, but keep in mind that it's capacity is far less than that of Hemisfair – so get there early or scope out a spot nearby to get a good view (see more information below).
Because of the rain we've had this season, there are no restrictions on the sale and use of fireworks in unincorporated Bexar County – so enjoy the shorter drive to stock up on your favorites.
It's still important to use necessary precaution when shooting fireworks. It is still " illegal to discharge fireworks within 600 feet of a hospital, sanitarium, veterinary hospital, school or church; and within 100 feet of a fuel dispensing station for liquids; and to discharge fireworks at or from a motor vehicle," according to Bexar County officials.
“We’ve been really fortunate to have as much rain as we’ve had this year, which has pulled us out of the drought,” stated Fire Marshal Chris Lopez. “However, that also means there is abundant vegetation on the ground, which provides fuel for fires to spread if it starts to dry out. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch a public display put on by professionals.”
Here are a few places to consider when making your Fourth of July plans:
Woodlawn Lake Park
San Antonio’s celebration at Woodlawn Lake Park, sponsored by the San Antonio Parks Foundation is an all-day family friendly event that consists of games, food, and musical entertainment.
Arrive early to catch the first ever Zumbathon from 8-9:45 a.m. Sea World Children's Red White and Blue Parade begins at 11 a.m. and at noon families can participate in arts and crafts at the Family Pavilion. The H-E-B Fireworks Extravaganza kicks of at 9:30 p.m.
Here's a full list of events at Woodlawn Lake:
8-9:45 a.m. – Zumbathon
10 a.m. – H-E-B Pet Place
11 a.m. – Sea World Children's Red White and Blue Parade
11:30 a.m. – H-E-B All American Military Cook-off
Noon – Opening ceremonies
Noon-6 p.m. – Rio San Antonio Cruises' All American Kids Zone
Noon-6 p.m. – Family Pavilion
Noon-11 p.m. – Thomas J. Henry Family Stage
9:30 p.m. – H-E-B Fireworks Extravaganza
Take a Swing at Trinity University's Skyline Room with KRTU
KRTU Jazz 91.7 is hosting the Jim Cullum Jazz Band at Trinity University's Skyline Room for a night of swing dancing, jazz music, and a DJ set between breaks. The San Antonio Swing Dance Society will provide dance lessons starting at 7 p.m. Free parking is available across the street at the Alamo Stadium. The event is $10 for the public, $7 for San Antonio Swing Dance Society members, and free for Trinity University students.
Outside of San Antonio
Perhaps it’s time to venture away from the norm and be spontaneous. Maybe that means leaving the city. Here are a couple of spots that might make for a good get-away weekend:
It’s about an hour and a half’s drive from San Antonio to Fredericksburg, a Hill Country town rich with German culture. Fredericksburg’s main strip in the center of town is lined with restaurants, boutique shops, and antique stores.
Fredericksburg, which sits in the heart of the wine region, is home to numerous wineries and vineyards. Chisholm Trail Winery is hosting an Independence Day celebration from 12-5 p.m. and Becker Vineyards is hosting a chili cook-off from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
If you’d rather spend Fourth of July clearing, instead of hazing your mind, then head to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. The park, named for the massive pink granite dome called Enchanted Rock, is a scenic park for hiking, camping, rock climbing, and stargazing.
Sometimes the Fourth of July calls for a beer, an inner tube, and the quieter country life of Concan, Texas, a small Hill Country town nestled along the Frio River. Concan is said to have the "Best little swimming hole in Texas." Neal's Lodges offers cabins for rent from about $100-$35o a night. Attached to the Lodge is Neal's Cafe, a casual restaurant with a country feel that overlooks the river.
Garner State Park is minutes away from Concan. Nearly three miles of the Frio River winds through the park's grounds, and 11 miles of scenic trails are available for hiking. Guests can either camp or stay in a screened shelter or cabin. Since the '40s people have gathered at the park's dance hall for summer dances, and the tradition has held strong. So get ready to boogie down for a jukebox set starting at 8:30 p.m. during the warm summer nights.
Schertz, which is just outside of the City of San Antonio, is hosting their Jubilee celebration beginning July 3 at Pickrell Park. The event includes live music, a parade, a 5K run, a carnival, a BBQ cook-off, and fireworks.
July 3 Music:
4:30 p.m. – River City Kings
6 p.m. – MC & the Mystyx
8 p.m. – Dean Seltzer
July 4 Music and Entertainment:
9:45 a.m. – 5K run
11 a.m. – Senior Center Choir
12 p.m. – Opening Ceremonies
1 p.m. – Cheyenne Gonzales, 2014 Schertz Idol
1 p.m. – Doggie Races (Park Center Tent)
1 p.m. – Schertz Idol 2015 Semi-Finalists
4:30 p.m. – Watermelon Eating Contest
5:30 p.m. – Sponsor Introduction/BBQ Awards
6:30 p.m. – TreMmr
8:30 p.m. – Gun Powder Soup
9:12 p.m. – Star Spangled Banner
9:15 p.m. – Fireworks
9:45 p.m. – Gun Powder Soup
Gay Pride Parade
The Fourth of July represents freedom. What better time to participate in the Gay Pride Parade than now – just after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to give same-sex couples the freedom to marry?
Pride San Antonio is hosting the 12th annual "Pride Bigger Than Texas" Festival and Parade. The festival is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Crockett Park. The parade kicks off at 9 p.m. at the Dewey Place and North Main intersection in front of the Silver Dollar.
Don't limit yourself to red, white, and blue for this one. Wear every color of the rainbow to celebrate the freedom to love.
*Featured/top image: Fireworks explode near the Tower of Americas during the 2014 Fourth of July celebration at Hemisfair Park in San Antonio. Photo by Scott Ball.