July 4th Happenings in Downtown Dallas

The Fourth of July is on its way, bringing with it the freedom to enjoy cookouts, open-air concerts and — of course — fireworks displays. As it does every year, Downtown Dallas and its surrounding environs offer no shortage of sparkle as individuals from all across North Central Texas join forces to celebrate Independence Day.

Bishop T. D. Jakes is bringing his MegaFest back to Dallas the weekend leading up to the holiday — and with it four days of education, empowerment, entertainment and family-friendly activities. Mark your calendars for Friday, June 30 and Saturday, July 1, as those are the dates for the MegaFest Village Expo. This event is free and open to the public and promises both physical and spiritual nourishment to those visiting the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Start your day with a tour of the exhibitor booths featuring both local businesses and ministries, then stay for a picnic-style lunch as professional and amateur performers alike take the Expo stage.

The patriotic festivities really get underway the day of the 4th. From 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. at the Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park, costumed characters will meet and greet visitors at the annual Old Fashioned Fourth. This is the perfect opportunity to dress in your finest reds, whites and blues and embark on a journey into America’s storied past. There will even be opportunities to compete at classic games such as horseshoes and stick pony races. The event is free for children 12 and under, and all attendees are welcome to pull a decorated wagon as part of the All-Join-In-Parade at noon.

Also on the 4th, Dallas Winds presents their Star-Spangled Spectacular at the Meyerson Symphony Center beginning at 1 p.m. Come hear your favorite marches, anthems and songs honoring our great nation. The fireworks will be purely musical in nature (as befits a brass and woodwind ensemble), but confetti will fly as well. And don’t be surprised if a special guest should put in an appearance!

Of course, the 4th of July is about more than hot dogs, flag-waving and rockets’ red glare. The holiday reminds us of the essential liberties that our Founding Fathers fought hard to secure for themselves and succeeding generations of Americans. Those freedoms were first defined and claimed in the Declaration of Independence, published 241 years ago this July 4. Witness that document in action with a live reading at the Saputo Law Firm offices (1320 Griffin Street East).

Still, fireworks are the main event, and Dallas never fails to deliver. Fair Park, just south and east of Downtown Dallas, always draws an impressive crowd for their dazzling display (and Midway rides). But just west of Downtown, area residents can also get their fill of fireworks at Red, White and Boom on the Bridge on July 3. Arrive early to claim your spot on either the Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge — formerly known as the Continental Avenue Bridge — or the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and enjoy the live music, food and kids’ activities leading up to the big show. When the sun goes down, the skyline will light up even more than usual, showcasing Downtown Dallas’ iconic buildings against a backdrop of shimmering, crackling pyrotechnics.

Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy wishes you and yours a safe and happy 4th of July. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter and let us know how you will be enjoying Dallas’ outdoor spaces this holiday weekend.