Did you know that the Fourth of July actually isn’t the day America legally gained its independence? While it’s commonly believed that July 4 marked our nation’s independence, it was actually July 2. It was on July 2 that the Second Continental Congress voted to approve the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration, however, wasn’t signed until July 4, though historians often question the accuracy of this date. Even so, the Fourth of July became a celebrated day and eventually, an official American holiday in 1938. To this day, the Fourth is still celebrated by proud Americans. The holiday most notably includes fireworks, parades, picnics, and all things red, white, and blue. Houston is no exception. When it comes to Houston, there is no shortage of Fourth of July celebrations. From concerts to parades, the city has it all. Not to mention the fact that many of the celebrations are actually free and fun for the whole family! The following are two of the biggest and best celebrations in the area.

 

Firework display over downtown Houston
Firework display over downtown Houston

A STAR SPANGLED SALUTE


This event, held at Miller Outdoor Theatre, features music from the Houston symphony, including music from Tchaikovsky. A magnificent fireworks display will conclude this evening of catchy, patriotic music. Free tickets for the covered seating area are available at the Theater box office the day of the performance from 10:30am to 1pm. There will also be free seating on the hill for all those without tickets. All of the festivities begin at 8:30pm. A Star Spangled Salute is one celebration you don’t want to miss!

 

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES FREEDOM OVER TEXAS


Freedom Over Texas has long been one of Houston’s signature Fourth of July celebrations. Over the years it has attracted big name artists such as Billy Currington and Chris Young. This year’s celebration will feature Jennifer Nettles, lead vocalist for Sugarland. In addition to live music, Freedom Over Texas will include various activities for the kids, including arts and crafts, face painting artists, and free rides and games. As a reminder of the patriotic roots of the Fourth, the festival will also feature exhibits from various museums, such as the National United States Armed Forces Museum and the Museum of Military History as well as a vintage aircraft exhibit from the Lone Star Flight Museum. For looking for more adult fun, the festival includes a Bud Light Zone and a Dr. Pepper Zone, offering everything from a tikki bar to an interactive club on wheels. There’s something for everyone! These festivities all begin at 4pm and will take place at Eleanor Tinsley Park. Regardless of what kind of Fourth of July entertainment you’re looking for, Houston has got you covered. However, if the aforementioned celebrations don’t appeal to you, don’t sweat it. There are plenty of smaller events happening in and around the city. With so many to choose from, you might have trouble deciding on just one!