A Guide to Celebrating the Fourth of July in San Antonio

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Fireworks are set off at Woodlawn Lake and nearby houses in the neighborhood in the distance. Photo by Scott Ball.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Fireworks Illuminate Woodlawn Lake Park on July 4, 2016.

Just because Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday this year doesn’t mean there aren’t ample opportunities to celebrate Independence Day in San Antonio. To that end, the Rivard Report has compiled a list of events around the city.

Fireworks went on sale on June 20 and will be sold throughout the holiday in unincorporated Bexar County, where their use is allowed. Only sparklers are permitted for use inside City limits. In keeping with a burn ban recently issued by the County Commissioners Court because of dry weather conditions, local fireworks vendors have voluntarily suspended the sale of rockets with sticks and missiles with fins.

Bexar County Fire Marshal Chris Lopez encourages citizens to enjoy public fireworks displays conducted by professionals. So, if you’re not celebrating with a homestyle picnic or barbecue, check out the numerous festivities happening all over the city.

Fourth of July Celebration at Woodlawn Lake
Wednesday, July 4, 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
1103 Cincinnati Ave.

The City of San Antonio will hold its official Fourth of July celebration at Woodlawn Lake. The day-long party will feature games for guests of all ages, food of all sorts, zumba classes, carnival games and rides, painters, and musical entertainment. Musical acts include the South Texas Symphonic Orchestra, the U.S. Air Force Band of The West, and Bidi Bidi Banda, a local Selena tribute act. Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man are among the selections scheduled to be performed by the orchestra, along with patriotic selections.

“Boston, New York, and Los Angeles have massive musical tributes on Independence day,” said Ronnie Sanders, the orchestra’s founder and artistic director. “It is an honor for the orchestra to be a part of this wonderful musical celebration right here in San Antonio.”

There will also be a Firecracker Fit-Family Walk/Run around the lake, and a fireworks display will round out the day’s festivities at 9 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

Oak Park-Northwood Fourth of July Neighborhood Parade
Wednesday, July 4, 9 a.m.
518 Pike Road

This Northside neighborhood event, in its 20th year, bills itself as San Antonio’s largest residential parade. The festivities begin with a reading of the Declaration of Independence and feature bagpipe music, families pulling wagons decorated with patriotic trappings, and numerous kids on bikes.

The parade begins and ends in the parking lot of the Northwood Presbyterian Church parking lot and winds through neighborhood streets. The event is free and open to the public.

Michael Cirlos for the Rivard Report

People gather around the pier at Woodlawn Lake in preparation for the Fourth of July fireworks.

Old-Fashioned 4th of July Parade
Wednesday, July 4, 9 a.m.
Castroville, Texas

In the historic town 25 miles west of downtown San Antonio, hundreds will line up folding chairs and blankets along the one-mile parade route that circles the downtown business district. The event includes various floats, antique cars, horses, and the high school band.

The event is free and open to the public.

Fourth of July Fireworks at the San Antonio Botanical Garden
Wednesday, July 4, 5:30-9 p.m.
555 Funston Pl.

The San Antonio Botanical Garden will host guests for a viewing of the fireworks show at the San Antonio Country Club. Attendees may bring picnics, blankets, and lawn chairs. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and fireworks begin at dusk.

This event is free to members of the Botanical Garden. Tickets for nonmembers run $9-12 and are available at the door. Due to limited on-site parking, Botanical Garden officials recommend using rideshare to and from the event.

Independence Day at the Alamo
Wednesday, July 4, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
300 Alamo Plaza

Locals and tourists alike may celebrate Fourth of July at the Alamo with living history, photo opportunities with re-enactors, firing demonstrations, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and free paletas. This event – a must for history buffs – will also feature a musical performance by Fort Sam’s Own 323rd Army Band.

The event is free and open to the public.

Fourth of July Parade & Picnic 2018
Wednesday, July 4, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Corner of West Lynwood Avenue and Howard Street

The Monte Vista Historical Association is partnering with the Landa Library for a Fourth of July parade. Attendees may dress up children, dogs, wagons, or bikes and join the parade starting at 9:30 a.m. Alternately, paradegoers can sit back and enjoy the entertainment from the sidelines. Prizes for the best adult, child, and dog costumes, as well as non-motorized float will be awarded at the library following the parade.

After the parade, festivities continue at the Landa Library, where patriotic music, hot dogs, pie, lemonade, and the singing of the national anthem will be part of the programming.

The event is free and open to the public.

Fourth of July Celebrations at Morgan’s Wonderland
Wednesday, July 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
5223 David Edwards Dr.

The seventh annual Morgan’s Wonderland festivities will feature complimentary face painting, an interactive puppet show, a dance party with the Wonder Squad and Inclusion Fusion Dance Team, and a dog show featuring Andrea’s Flying Canines. Free hot dogs and apple pie will be served until  1 p.m. or until supplies last. Children of all ages and abilities can enjoy Independence Day at the first waterpark designed with special needs children in mind, but built for everyone.

The park is offering special $9 tickets for military service members, first responders, and their families. Standard ticket rates apply for non-military or first responder families, and may be viewed here.

Fourth of July Reading of the Declaration of Independence
Wednesday, July 4, 9 a.m.
The Schley Veterans Memorial Triangle at the intersection of Schley Avenue and Candler Street

Highland Park resident Tom Wetzler, wearing Revolutionary War attire, will read the Declaration of Independent in observance of the Fourth of July. The event, sponsored by the Highland Park Neighborhood Association, will have seating and shade available.

The event is free and open to the public.

Bravo!
Wednesday, July 4, and Thursday, July 5, 8 p.m.
Arneson River Theater

San Antonio’s cultural heritage is celebrated in song and dance in a series of performances Wednesday and Thursday evenings through July 19 at the Arneson River Theater. The City’s Parks and Recreation Department’s Fandango and Alamotion dance troupes will perform folkloric dances and contemporary dance routines accompanied by the City’s youth band, Take Note.

Admission is free, although organizers said they welcome donations, which benefit youth participating in the Parks and Recreation Department’s cultural programs. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Market Square Freedom Fest
Saturday, June 30 – Sunday, July 8
514 W. Commerce St.

The annual Market Square Freedom Fest will be more than one week long this year. Attendees may celebrate Independence Day at Historic Market Square with food, crafts, live music, and dancing throughout the day. Food trucks and live music will be staples throughout the weeklong celebration.

Admission to the market is free. For a full list of events, click here.

Have an event you think we should include? Email us at hello@rivardreport.com.

 

This story was originally published on June 27.

13 thoughts on “A Guide to Celebrating the Fourth of July in San Antonio

  1. There is no mention of the fact that it is against the law to possess and/or set off fireworks of any kind in the city of San Antonio, except by licensed professionals in permitted venues. Not that such a mention will deter the mass display of ignorance and lack of responsibility from our neighbors that we witness every holiday…

      • I’ve had live fireworks landing on the roof of my house. That will make you a party pooper rather quickly. (Not that I needed much help)

        • That’s why you launch them down the street at your friends. Kids these days don’t know the task s San Antonio way. /s

    • Sparklers are not illegal in san antonio, but do have some restrictions on use. A few small fire works are allowed, but have size restrictions and locations permitted and prohibited to light. Bexar county is different, and smaller citues might have different laws. Know the law if you are going to use them.

  2. Let’s give much credit by including The San Antonio Parks Foundation, (not a City entity) for planning and implementing the Woodlawn Lake celebration. They engage sponsors and their staff to make this a terrific family celebration.

  3. Thank you Rivard Report for the shout out of Sunday in the Park with the US Air Force Band-Dimensions in Blue. The concert begins at 7-pm. Come enjoy the historic theater and the premier musicians from all over the country who make up the ensemble. And, they live here in SA.

    The concert is free and dog friendly.

  4. The fireworks manufacturing industry worldwide is heavily reliant upon child slave labor; it has one of the highest worker fatality rates of any industry in the world.
    We all want to stop human trafficking and stop the exploitation of children. Refusing to support industries that use children as slaves is a major step toward that.
    Research shows the noise of fireworks kill birds and traumatized dogs and other animals.
    Can we observe Independence without killing children and animals? Yes, by skipping pyrotechnics.

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