Join in on summer fun at these free, family-friendly Independence Day festivals and parties
1 of 6Photograph courtesy of City of Mesa
It might be hot outside, but you don’t want to miss the Arizona Celebration of Freedom. The all-day event draws 40,000 people and has something for everyone. If the Revolutionary War reenactment isn’t your thing, check out the live concerts by local country and rock bands at the Mesa Amphitheatre. Be sure to visit the splash zone that features water slides, bouncy houses, and fire trucks spraying water throughout the day for revelers to stay cool.
2 of 6Photograph courtesy of Rory B. Clow Photography
Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat throws a community party unlike any other. Hit the slopes on Howelsen Hill to watch the nation’s best ski jumpers take flight at the Jumpin’ & Jammin’ Fest, which uses water-slicked porcelain marbles and plastic shingles to launch athletes high into the air. Enjoy the beer garden, food, and live music while you watch the competition. With 3,000 people in attendance, the event has great energy, and you're almost guaranteed stellar views.
3 of 6Jim Schwabel / Getty Images
For a town of only 2,500 people, Independence Day is a huge deal in Seward. Things kick off at 12:01am with a waterfront fireworks show, and the revelry goes all day long. Around 30,000 people show up for a multi-block party. Vendors line the streets selling everything from souvenirs to burritos to traditional fair foods like cotton candy.
4 of 6Creative Commons photo by ArtBrom is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Big Sky, MT
Around 5,000 locals and visitors gather in Big Sky Community Park for the town's July 4 celebration, which includes a free concert, hot dog and hamburger booths, face painting, and field games for kids. Throughout the day there’s also a disc golf tournament, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, homerun derby, and a skate park jam all within the park.
5 of 6Photograph courtesy of City of Napa
Indulge in beautiful summer weather at Oxbow Commons in downtown Napa, located near popular attractions Napa Valley Wine Train and Oxbow Market . Live music, bouncy houses, and carnival games will keep you entertained until the fireworks take center stage. Bring a picnic, but don’t skip out on the more than 30 tasting rooms within walking distance. Cycle there and take advantage of the free bike valet to make getting around a breeze.
6 of 6Photograph courtesy of Bend Parks and Recreation
Bend certainly isn’t the smallest town, but the friendly locals and old-fashioned celebration certainly make it feel like one. Head to Drake Park for an all-day party put on by Bend Parks and Recreation featuring gunny sack races, a playful (and historic) pet parade, and live music. Local artisans serve up delicious food. Plus, you can’t beat the location alongside the scenic Deschutes River.