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Editor’s Note: We’ve noticed a lot of traffic to this article today (July 4, 2017), but it was published in 2013. Please take a look at our preview of events for 2017 here

For the second year in a row, there will not be a fireworks show at the iconic Tower of the Americas due to heavy construction in Hemisfair Park.


The days of firework shows on area military bases might never return, but there are at least two firework shows to choose from and plenty of other holiday events downtown this Fourth of July.

One show’s free, the other will cost families $2 a head, although adults with military ID and kids 12 and under get in free.

“Stars and Stripes over San Antonio” at Hemisfair Park

Photo courtesy
Photo courtesy

Admission is $2 a person for Hemisfair Park, which will be closed of Thursday as the Greater Chamber of Commerce sponsors “Stars and Stripes over San Antonio” for the second year in a row. Last year, an estimated crowd of 275,000 came to the park, causing massive gridlock from north of downtown to Southtown. The park opens at 6:30 p.m and the fireworks show featuring patriotic music starts at 9:30 p.m. (tune into 101.9 FM to catch the music if you’re out of earshot).

Walk, bike or bus if you want to avoid spending a long time in your car getting to and from the show. S. Alamo Street will be closed to vehicle traffic. There will be plenty of food trucks on hand for the evening. Or kick back in your yard if you live within view of the Tower of Americas and watch the fireworks from home. Places like the patio at Bliss, or seats at the Friendly Spot, Alamo Eat-Bar and other casual hangouts ought to offer fireworks views.

July Fourth Celebration and H-E-B Fireworks

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Photo courtesy of

The City of San Antonio’s official celebration at Woodlawn Lake Park, sponsored by the San Antonio Parks Foundation and the City’s Parks and Recreation Department since 2000, a few miles northwest of downtown. It’s an all-day, popular tradition in San Antonio, so plan on increased vehicle traffic and a crowded park. Temperatures will be in the 90s, so pack that water and sunscreen.

Live music, food booths, and arts and crafts will be happening all day. The H-E-B Military Appreciation Zone is new this year, and will be located near the carnival. Active and retire military and their families will be welcome to visit the zone from 12-6 p.m., and enjoy lunch from 12-2 p.m.

The U.S. Air Force Band of the West will strike up its program of patriotic songs at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks blast off at 9 p.m. We suppose someone on a bike could catch both shows if you pedaled hard enough.

  • 8:30 a.m. – H-E-B 4K Firecracker Fun Run
  • 11 a.m. – Salute to the Red, White, and Blue Children’s Parade (and patriotic costume contest, register at 10:30 a.m. in the Woodlawn Gym)
  • Noon – Opening Ceremony
  • 1-2 p.m. – Rio San Antonio Cruises All American Kids Zone (safe rides for kids)
  • 7:30 – Air Force Band of the West
  • 9:00 – H-E-B Fireworks Extravaganza
  • Website:
  • Google Map

More events downtown:

King William Yacht Club Regatta: A motley crew of paddlers with kayaks and canoes in tow assemble every Fourth of July morning at the Nueva Street floodgates downtown. Competitors in canoes launch first at 10 a.m., with kayakers and “leisure-class canoers,” departing afterwards. Read more here.

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.
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.

July 4th Arts & Crafts Show River Walk Extension: Vendors set up from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. through July 7, see for more information.

Freedom Fest 2013 at Market Square: July 4 through July 7, El Mercado will be filled with “local entertainment, arts and crafts, children’s activities, food and more.” Website:

[First Friday] Fourth of July-Themed Pub-Run: “Drinkers with running problems” gather at 6:30 p.m. at Beethoven Maennerchor (beer garden). For more information:

[Ongoing] Patriotism and Pageantry: Fiesta Honors the Military at the Witte Museum: “Don’t miss the Witte’s annual Fiesta exhibition! This year’s exhibit pays homage to the military, who has played a vital role in Fiesta since the first Battle of Flowers Parade in 1891.” Exhibit on display until Sunday, August 18. Event website:

Iris Dimmick is managing editor of the Rivard Report. Follow her on Twitter @viviris or contact her at

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Iris Dimmick

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and workforce development. Contact her at