Texas: Where the Stars (and Stripes!) Are Big and Bright

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Houston Fireworks Display

Just in time for the Fourth of July, MyLife.com released its list of the 10 Most Patriotic Cities. The state of Texas had the most cities on the list, with San Antonio ranking second, Austin as the third most patriotic city, Fort Worth as fourth, El Paso as eighth, and Houston rounded out the list at number 10. Apparently, things aren’t just bigger in Texas – they are also decorated in red, white, and blue.

San Antonio may have been edged out by number-one-ranked San Diego, but this terrific city will light up the sky this weekend with a wide range of events. If you are in the San Antonio area (or, if you’d like to be, check out San Antonio apartments and you’ll be ready for next year’s celebrations), be sure to check out the Red, White, & Brew Bash at Howl at the Moon, where you can enjoy dueling pianos and drink specials; the 4th of July Arts & Crafts Show, a terrific event held along River Walk; the 4th of July Celebration at SeaWorld; the Chamber’s Stars & Stripes Over San Antonio; the 4th of July Salute to America’s Heroes at Morgan’s Wonderland; a variety of July 4th marathons and fun runs; the Woodlawn Park July 4th Celebration and Fireworks; and several other events, parades, and festivals.

The residents of Austin don’t really need an excuse to throw a big party – this city is always brimming with excitement. But this weekend, things will get a little wilder – and maybe even a little weirder. You’ll find a two-day beer and music festival at The Backyard, the Circuit of the Americas 4th of July celebration featuring the Austin Symphony Orchestra, 4th of July on Lake Travis, a parade in Elizabeth Milburn Park, and a variety of picnics and concerts held all over the city. The Live Music Capital of the World will be hopping, and truth be told, they have been for a while. Austin even holds a Pre-4th of July Parade in June. In fact, if you enjoy music, fun, and food, you might want to make Austin your hometown – it was ranked one of the best cities for foodies, one of the best places to live and work in the US, and one of the top cities for shopping.

Fort Worth has the largest 4th of July fireworks show in North Texas. This is a huge event, involving water slides, zip lines, bounce houses, pony rides, miniature golf, tubing, live music, tons of food, live entertainment, and (of course) fireworks. Fort Worth even encourages residents to use the Trinity Trails to bicycle to the event, and offers free bike parking. Trinity Trails is the fastest route to the celebration, which is held at Panther Island Pavilion. This event is huge – Texas-sized huge. Fort Worth expects 100,000 visitors to attend. If this festival isn’t enough for you, be sure to check out Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s Concerts in the Garden, an outdoor event with special guests and – yes – a fireworks finale.

Not to be outdone, El Paso is also celebrating big this weekend. If you rent an apartment near El Paso, be sure to check out Downtown El Paso’s street festival, with fireworks held at the end of the night. The El Paso Wind Symphony will host Music Under the Stars, a free concert with fireworks, and Biggs Park at Fort Bliss will be hosting an event that includes activities, fireworks, and the El Paso Symphony Orchestra. The West Side of El Paso and the East Side of El Paso will both host parades, and the Diablos baseball team will host their very own fireworks celebration – followed by a game at Cohen Stadium.

And finally, Houston! They may have been edged out by four other Texas cities, but Houston knows how to put on a show. Be sure to check out the four-night celebration at City Centre, which includes live music and fireworks – and free admission. The 4th Fest at the Pasadena Convention Center is also free, and it includes live music, a kid zone, games, a barbecue cook-off, water balloon fights, and a car/truck show – ending with a spectacular 20-minute fireworks display. Other events include Summer Symphony Nights at Miller Outdoor Theater, Southwest Airlines Freedom Over Texas at Eleanor Tinsley Park, and the Houston Symphony’s Star Spangled Salute at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.