*UPDATED: A more complete list of fireworks displays has been included at the bottom, courtesy KENS5-TV.

Bursts of red, white and blue will light up the San Antonio skies on Independence Day, the Fourth of July. Plan ahead to make sure you are in a good spot with a spectacular view.

This year marks the third annual Stars & Stripes Over San Antonio, the city’s premier downtown fireworks display and salute to U.S. military hosted by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.  The event is staged at the Alamodome from 6-10 p.m. with the outdoor fireworks extravaganza starting at 9:30 p.m.

“Last year’s huge positive response reinforced the knowledge that Military City, USA is the best place to show our appreciation for our military with a one-of-a kind spectacular downtown fireworks event on our national holiday,” said Richard Perez, President and CEO of the Chamber.

The event draws tens of thousands of people to the Alamodome, Hemisfair Park, and downtown streets. Most come by car, which means epic traffic jams and parking challenges.  The people who come by bus, on foot, or bicycle will find it a lot easier to move freely, but the truth is near-downtown backyards, restaurants, food trucks and bar patios also make ideal viewing locations. Southtown offers a variety of choices, from the patio at Bliss to the backyard ambience of the Friendly Spot and the Alamo Eat-Bar. Hint: If you can see the Tower of the Americas you can see the fireworks.

2013 Tower of Americas' Fireworks. Photo by Iris Dimmick.
2013 Tower of Americas’ Fireworks. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

If you are driving down to the Alamodome, get there early. Parking is available in lot B of the Alamodome. Admission is $2 per person. Children under 12 and active duty military personnel get in free. The Alamodome event will feature food trucks, beverages, kids activities, and music by The Klocks.

Woodlawn Lake Park is another will popular destination for the City’s free official Fourth of July Celebration, with the San Antonio Parks Foundation and the City of San Antonio hosting fireworks, all sponsored by H-E-B.

The patriotic celebration at Woodlawn Lake kicks off early at 8 a.m. with a 4k Firecracker Family Fun Run/ Walk, followed by an 11 a.m. parade. The rest of the day is filled with children’s activities, parades, and live music by various artists. The H-E-B Firework Extravaganza begins at 9:30 p.m. Music, food, drinks and activities will be available until 11p.m.

View of some King William Yacht Club Regatta paddlers from the Johnson Street bridge during last year's Fourth of July event. Photo by Miriam Sitz.
King William Yacht Club Regatta paddlers seen from the Johnson Street bridge during 2012’s Fourth of July event. Photo by Miriam Sitz.

If fireworks are not your thing, one of the city’s longest-running July 4 traditions is the King William Yacht Regatta, which starts at 10 a.m. on the King William Reach of the San Antonio River. Records are sketchy, but the event dates back to the early 1970s. Some of the original participants still show up. Kayakers, canoeists, and paddle boaters will ply the placid waters in a race to the finish that starts at the Nueva Street Dam and concludes at the Johnson Street Bridge. Last year’s event began with two colliding canoes capsizing into the shallow waters, the only known losses being iPhones. The river fanfare ends with a family picnic, the potluck King William Summer Social, under the shade of mature hardwoods at Upper Mill Park.

If you’re interested in a more suburban stop, the City of Leon Valley is also hosting their July Fun and Fireworks Spectacular Celebration at Raymond Rimkus Park. An inaugural 5k run will kick the day off at 8 a.m., followed the city’s Independence Day Parade celebrating its 20th anniversary at 10 a.m., with County Judge Nelson Wolff serving as Grand Marshal. The day will continue will a number of performances, finishing with a fireworks show at 9:15.

Other venues to check out:

  • Windcrest Fourth of July Parade & Celebration, Windcrest City Hall, 10 a.m.
  • Annual Schertz Parade “Let Freedom Run” 5K, Schertz Civic Center and Baseball Fields, 9:15 a.m.
  • Star Spangled Festival, Maverick Plaza at La Villita, 12 p.m.
  • Fourth of July Fabulous Family Fun Festival, Northwood Presbyterian Church, 9 a.m.
  • Landa Park Fourth of July Fireworks, Landa Park in New Braunfels, 6:30 p.m.
  • Boerne Fireworks Show, City Park in Boerne, 8 p.m.

Happy Independence Day!

*Top/featured photo: Fireworks light the skyline during a celebration at Hemisfair Park. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

*Originally published Wednesday June 2, 2014.

Related stories:

Colliding Canoes, a Paddling Congressman, and July 4th Fun

Gallery: Fourth of July, 2013 Edition, in San Antonio

Fourth of July: Firework Shows at Hemisfair Park and Woodlawn Lake

A Fireworks Finale in Hemisfair Park

Kayaking in King William and Along the Mission Reach

Brooke Ramos is a summer intern at the Rivard Report and attends Arizona State University with a major in journalism. She was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas.