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Celebrating Independence Day Throughout the South



Destinations large and small throughout the South celebrate Independence Day in grand style with fireworks, parades, live music, and much more.


In addition to Fair St. Louis (Missouri) and the 4th of July Jacinto Festival (Mississippi), here are 17 other celebrations where you can honor the Red, White and Blue.


🎆 While technically not a Fourth of July celebration, the 69th Annual National Tom Sawyer Days is a slice of Americana. From June 29 to July 7, festivities include everything from a carnival to fence painting to a frog jump competition. On July 4, there's a parade at 10 am, with fireworks in the evening.


🎆 Listen as the Declaration of Independence is read aloud at the Historic Washington State Park's 1874 Courthouse Visitor Center on July 6 (10:30 am, 1:30 and 3:30 pm) Afterward, sign your own "John Hancock" to a copy of the Declaration to take home.


🎆 Named among the top fireworks shows in the country by organizations including USA TODAY's 10Best,  People.com, the American Pyrotechnics Association, Yahoo, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Travel + Leisure Magazine, Kaboom Town!® in Addison, Texas, features a 25-minute ground-launched fireworks show on July 3. Before the show, all ages can enjoy a carnival, midway games, live entertainment and more, including an airshow. 


🎆 Fourth of July at Round Top, Texas, is regarded as the longest-running celebration of its kind west of the Mississippi. In its 174th year, festivities begin with a patriotic concert on June 30, followed by a 4th of July festival, and ending with fireworks and even more fun at The Compound on July 6.


🎆 July 5 is a big day for twin cities Monroe and West Monroe, Louisiana. That date is the day of downtown West Monroe's Independence Day Celebration, with food trucks, live entertainment, a kids' play area and more. Enjoy a pet parade in Monroe from 1 to 3 p.m., with fireworks at 9 p.m.


🎆 Destinations throughout Coastal Mississippi kick off Independence Day celebrations early with the Long Beach 4th of July Jubilee and Diamondhead's Annual 4th of July Fireworks Celebration on June 29. The Annual Independence Celebration Fireworks Show in Ocean Spring's Fort Maurepas Park follows those events on July 3.


The skies light up on July 4 with Pascagoula's 4th of July Fireworks Show at Pascagoula Beach Park, beginning at 8:45 p.m. The display, performed in sync with patriotic music broadcast live on the radio, can be watched at the beach or by boat.


Over in Biloxi, at the Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza hosted by Biloxi Shuckers on July 3, all military personnel receive discounted admission to the game. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and fireworks begin right after the game. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino hosts Red, White & Beau with holiday-themed menus, pool-side music with DJ Hyphee, and a great view of the fireworks.


In Bay St. Louis,  Lighting Up Da Bay features fireworks that begin at 8:45 p.m.


🎆 Independence Day Street Party at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama, on July 3, features something for all ages. The event includes kid-friendly activities, live music and much more, like camel rides ($.)


🎆 With its midnight parade stepping off at 12:01 a.m., Gatlinburg, Tennessee, holds the title of having the "First Independence Day Celebration in the Nation."


The parade begins downtown at the Baskins Creek Bypass located on East Parkway. Plan to arrive early on July 3 for a good viewing spot, and the grand marshal meet and greet.


Later on July 4, head to nearby Pigeon Forge for the annual Patriot Festival, which includes food, fun, entertainment and fireworks.


🎆 Nothing is better than a hometown celebration like the one in St. Marys, Georiga, for the Fourth of July. The Kiwanis Club of St. Marys Independence Day Festival includes 5K and 10K runs, arts and crafts vendors and more. There's something for all to enjoy. Of course, the evening ends with fireworks over the St. Marys River.


🎆 Why limit an Independence Day celebration to one day when you can enjoy four days of All-American fun in Panama City Beach, Florida. Kicking it all off on July 3 is Freedom Rocks! taking place at Grand Lagoon, with fireworks at 8:45 p.m. The Star Spangled Spectacular, on July 4, is the largest fireworks display on the Gulf Coast. At 9 p.m., watch dueling fireworks from the City (Russell-Fields) and County (M.B. Miller) Piers. Be sure to arrive to secure a good viewing spot.


🎆 On July 5, Panama City Beach's largest private fireworks show, "Light Up the Gulf," is held behind the Boardwalk Beach Resort Condominium. The event includes free entertainment, contests, and kids activities with the 12th Annual Beach Bash at Boardwalk Beach Resort. The fireworks show starts at 8:30 p.m. The "Light Up the Bay" fireworks show at Papa Joe's Bayside on July 6 includes a variety of food trucks, live music and fireworks.


🎆 Fireworks at the Fountain at Lake Eola Park celebrates its 47th year in Orlando and features live entertainment, family-friendly activities and more from 4 to 10 p.m. At 9:10 p.m., the sky sparkles with a fireworks finale, set to a live patriotic performance by the Orlando Concert Band.


🎆 Red, White & Boom in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on July 4, includes food and fireworks. Gates open at 5 p.m., with fireworks around 9:30 p.m.


🎆 Southport, North Carolina, traces its Independence Day celebration back to 1792 as the "Festival of Free Men." In 1972, the festival was incorporated as the N.C. 4th of July to remember the sacrifices, celebrate freedom, and promote family fun.


This year's festival runs from June 28 to July 4 and features a little bit of everything: tours, live entertainment, reading of the Declaration and more.


🎆 On July 4, Louisville Waterfront Fourth at the Harbor Lawn at Waterfront Park features musical entertainment, family activities, festival eats, and more from 5 to 10 p.m. The fireworks display starts at 10 p.m.


🎆 Salute the 242nd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence with the 

Liberty Celebration at The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. On July 4, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., enjoy interpretive programs, military drills, artillery demonstrations and more. 


Learn how clothing was dyed during the 18th century in "Dyeing for the Cause," a program at the Revolution-era farm. Participate in a marching drill or with The Great American 4th of July sing-along.


🎆 Celebrating the nation's independence at Mount Vernon (Virginia), Washington's home, on July 4, features a naturalization ceremony and special daytime fireworks. Other festivities include reading the Declaration of Independence, live entertainment, and more.


🎆 Ripley, West Virginia, is home to the state's oldest parade and oldest Independence Day Celebration. Referred to as the "USA's Largest Small Town Independence Day Celebration," the town's 4th of July Celebration, July 2 to July 6, offers everything from live entertainment to fireworks to an apple pie eating contest and more.

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