The smell of hotdogs on the grill, children running through a sprinkler, watermelon being served as dessert are all images conjured up in one’s head when thinking of summer. Personally, when I think of summer, the first thing that comes to mind is the Fourth of July. Oh, the great American holiday that swells our hearts with pride and patriotism! Don’t have plans for the Fourth? No worries, I am about to offer you some suggestions on how to give you a what to do to celebrate red white, and blue within the Forts Trail Region.
Eager to get your 4th of July on? Celebrating a few days early, Clyde’s Festival by the Lake will be happening the weekend before the Fourth (Friday and Saturday, June 29th and 30th). Going from 11am-11pm with fireworks starting at 10pm. I have personally been to this festival the last two years, and it has always been an excellent time – with food vendors, shopping, kiddie rides, and live music topped by a fireworks show over the lake! Best of all Clyde’s Festival by the Lake is free!
Enjoy another water setting in San Angelo with the Spirit of America – 31st Annual July 3rd Pops Concert on the Concho River. This event is actually one of the state’s oldest continued 4th of July celebrations and is the fourth largest patriotic celebration of its kind in Texas! The event features a military march-in, Fort Concho cannons and, of course, spectacular fireworks. The Community Band performs at 7pm and the San Angelo Symphony is on at 8:30pm. The performance is free to the public, but reserved seating is available. Head for the Riverstage area downtown; gates open at noon.
If you have never been to Stephenville, now is the time! The community offers an all-day, all-out, whole-town-involved Independence Day Celebration! Festivities begin with a downtown parade at 9am, followed by children’s events, food vendors, BBQ competition, and live music (including Larry Joe Taylor & The Tejas Brothers), and concluding with a fireworks show at 10pm. Also, they are going to have lawn mower races! Now who wouldn’t want to see that? There is free admission to the general events; Bottle Rockets Bracelets ($10 each) are required for children to play and/or receive any items inside the Bottle Rockets Kids Area. The Independence Day Celebration takes place in the City Park on the Bosque River.
Abilene is set to pull out all the stops for a fantastic 4th of July celebration. The Abilene Freedom Festival will begin on July 3rd at 6:30 pm in downtown Abilene with a grand parade and children’s activities; the Paramount Theatre will show “Captain America: The First Avenger.” On the Fourth, festivities will begin at 10am at the Taylor County Expo Center to include a car and bike show, live bands, a variety of vendors, and a specific area for children. Fireworks begin at 10pm. Admission to the Expo Center will be $7 for adults and $3 for children ages 3 to 15. All parking on the grounds will be $5 per car, with a $20 fee for tailgating.
Lastly, keep your Fourth of July party going on with Fireworks at Hell’s Gate at Lake Possum Kingdom on Saturday, July 7th! The show will be focused directly over the Hell’s Gate area on the lake. You can either watch from the comfort of your own boat or make your way to their YMCA campground which is across from the Hell’s Gate landmark. The campground area will be offering entertainment and kid activities. Bring your lawn chairs and/or blanket and you can also bring your own picnic. The YMCA gate will open at 6:30pm; gates close at 8:45pm. Entry fee is $5 per person; age 3 and under are free.
There are so many options for how to to celebrate this year’s 4th of July in the Forts Trail Region. There really is no right or wrong place to spend the holiday. I think as long as fireworks and watermelon are involved, you should be good. Whatever you choose to do or wherever you choose to go, be safe, have fun, and don’t forget – God Bless America!