A full slate of fun is on tap in Texas for the July 4 weekend, including some celebrations we haven’t seen during the pandemic in a couple of years. There’s a little something for everyone across the state: music lovers, food lovers, kids and lots of fireworks presentations! These are Patten Title’s Top 10 favorites. 

Head to the Q2 Stadium in Austin to watch Willie Nelson perform his Fourth of July magic. Nelson has been holding his legendary Fourth of July Picnic since 1973. The action has had various breaks since it started 49 years ago, and this will be the first live Fourth of July Picnic for Nelson since 2019. The lineup doesn’t disappoint in its return, featuring: Willie Nelson & Family, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Tyler Childers, Brother Osborne, Midland, Charlie Crockett, Allison Russell, Particle Kid, Steve Earle and the Dukes, and Asleep at the Wheel. Tickets are $125.

Though you can catch fireworks on South Padre Island every weekend from Memorial Day through Labor Day, there is no better time to head over to Laguna Madre Bay than on the Fourth. Get there early, though. It’s easily the biggest crowd of the year for the show. While you’re there, check out Louie’s Backyard, a steak, seafood and sports restaurant with the best real estate to watch the spectacular show.

The Kemah Boardwalk in Galveston Bay is always a good time with its amusement park atmosphere. But during the Fourth of July weekend, the fun is kicked up a notch. Enjoy live music, plus a patriotic fireworks show over Galveston Bay! If you love the rides and boardwalk, there are ticket specials available that are good for the whole weekend.

If you want to enjoy a more intimate, small-town Fourth of July celebration, take the family to Round Top, population 87 (according to the 2020 Census). Round Top boasts the longest Fourth of July tradition of any place west of the Mississippi, dating back to 1851. At 10:30 a.m., an antebellum cannon booms to start the parade. You can also check out the barbecue and dance at the Round Top Rifle Hall as the festivities continue all day long. 

The North Texas town of Addison becomes “Kaboom Town” every July 3. The fireworks display is clocked at 25 minutes as guests from across the country travel to the town of 16,000 to celebrate Independence Day. This year, the festivities include high-energy music, a splash zone, food, sweets and more. Tickets are free, but advanced registration is required.

For music lovers, the Fort Worth Symphony performs its Concerts in the Garden with a patriotic theme. Concert attendees are invited to plan a picnic on the grass to enjoy the vibrant collection of Independence Day songs (John Philip Sousa, anyone?). The concert runs both July 3 and 4 at the Fort Worth Botanical Garden. Getting in will cost $8 for each session. 

The Mayor’s Big Bang Celebration in Corpus Christi is a weekend-long event that starts on July 1 with an art walk and concludes with fireworks on July 4. While at the art walk, you can pick up material from the Texas State Art Museum of Asian Culture & Education Center to make a kite! The four-day event includes a historic weapons demonstration, several fireworks shows and a food truck festival. Some events are free, while others cost a small fee.

San Antonio celebrates the Fourth in style with a day-long celebration that starts at 11 a.m. at Woodland Lake Park. Local food trucks serve hot dogs, tacos, hot barbecue, snow cones and more. Kids will enjoy carnival games while everyone can hear live music from The United States Air Force Band of the West and DJ Plata. The H-E-B Fireworks Extravaganza ends the day with precision fireworks over Woodlawn Lake.

Freedom Over Texas returns to Houston after its two-year pandemic hiatus. The event regularly attracts up to 50,000 attendees and features live music, including country star Clay Walker headlining this year’s lineup. Cost is $10 per person, and kids under 5 are free. Children will enjoy their own Kids Zone with a concert stage as well as activities that feature Houston-area sports teams and a SpaceExperience. The night ends with a spectacular fireworks show.

Wonder what it’s like to watch a firework show from the Cotton Bowl? Head to Dallas for the Fair Park Fourth celebration. Enjoy live music and food trucks during the day before the fireworks start at 9:45 p.m. Attendees are welcome to sit in the iconic Cotton Bowl Stadium—the site of many legendary college football games—or across Fair Park. This free event makes its return after two years away.