If you're one of those who wait until EVERYTHING is covered before you decide to take a quick trip, there's hope!  Of course, if you'd rather save money and stay in town, the City of Tuscaloosa welcomes you to Celebration on the River; but if you'd rather gas up and go, here are a few celebrations that won't take more than a few hours of travel.

Admission is charged for some; but for most, everything is free.... Especially the fireworks.

As suggested by the Alabama Tourism Department:

Alexander City – 4th of July Boat Parade
Decorate your boat and join the patriotic crowd at Kowaliga Marina as boats of all sizes, shapes and decoration “parade” from Kowaliga Marina to Children’s Harbor circling just past the lighthouse. Spectators line the shoreline along the parade route to applaud their favorite patriotically decorated boats and contestants. Free.

Athens – Red, White & Boom
Fireworks will be shot above the Athens High School stadium. Free.

Birmingham – Thunder on the Mountain 
Vulcan Park & Museum. Birmingham’s annual fireworks display with Vulcan as the centerpiece of the program. It will be the biggest show Vulcan has put on to date with a unique score featuring artists such as James Brown and Jimmy Buffett choreographed to the fireworks display.  Free.

Decatur – Spirit of America Festival
Point Mallard Park. Celebrate the nation’s birthday at one of the state’s largest patriotic festivals, featuring children’s activities, live music and a fireworks show. This year is the festival’s 53rd year. Free.

Eclectic – 4th of July Fireworks and Concert
The AMP on Lake Martin. Watch fireworks over the lake from the lawn of the amphitheater after enjoying music concerts. Admission charged.

Florence – Spirit of Freedom Celebration
McFarland Park. The event will include a musical performance by local band Deja Vu for two hours before the fireworks show, which traditionally starts at 9 p.m. Vendors will be at the park all day. Free.

Foley – Downtown OWA
Celebrate with family-friendly activities in the streets of admission-free Downtown OWA, dance to GLOWA at night, then enjoy a fireworks show over Lake OWA.

Gulf Shores – Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration
Fireworks will be shot from Gulf State Park Pier at 9 p.m. Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores Public Beach and surrounding areas will be ideal for viewing. Free.

Guntersville – Fourth of July Fireworks on Lake Guntersville
Free concert featuring Soul Survivor at Civitan Park, sponsored by the Mountain Valley Arts Council from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Then enjoy the fireworks show over Guntersville. Best viewing for the fireworks will be at Civitan Park and along Lurleen B. Wallace Drive. Free

Henagar – Sand Mountain Potato Festival
Celebrate with live music, arts and crafts, entertainment, games and fireworks. Event begins at 10 a.m. and culminates with a firework display at dark. Free

Huntsville – U.S. Space & Rocket Center July 4th Celebration
Enjoy special, family-friendly patriotic activities during regular museum hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Rocket Center will close at 7:30 p.m. The Center will launch its largest fireworks display ever for the city of Huntsville at 9 p.m. Admission charged for the Rocket Center. Fireworks show will be free.

Mobile – Fireworks on the Fantail at USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
Fundraiser for Battleship Memorial Park. Enjoy an evening of music, barbeque, drinks, ice cream buffet, children’s activities and fireworks viewing from the bow of the ship. Event begins at 7:30 p.m. with fireworks at 9 p.m. Admission charged.

Montevallo – Independence Day 1776
The American Village. See the stories of America’s founding with period re-enactors, play Colonial games, patriotic music, fireworks and more. Gates open at 11 a.m. Admission is $5 per person. Veterans, active military, and children 4 and under are free.

Montgomery – Montgomery Biscuits vs. Tennessee Smokies
Enjoy baseball at Biscuits Stadium with a fireworks show following the game. . Admission charged.

Opp – July 4th Celebration
Family fun event held at Frank Jackson State Park in Opp beginning at 10 a.m. with live entertainment during the day and fireworks at dark. Free.

Oxford – Oxford Freedom Festival
Held at McCullars Lane. A patriotic parade, tricycle and bicycle races, pet shows, free carnival games and more. Fireworks display at 9 p.m. Free.

Pennington- 4th of July Celebration
All day BBQ and family games. Large fireworks display that night. Free.

Pike Road – Summer Fest
Family fun, food and live entertainment. Held at The Waters with gates opening at 4:30 p.m. Fireworks spectacular overlooking Lake Cameron. Admission charged.

Prattville – Prattville Independence Day Celebrations
Events kick off with a parade through downtown at 9 a.m., followed by a Lions Club BBQ fundraiser at Pratt Park, Cardboard Boat Races at Pratt Pool and a concert at Stanley Jensen Stadium at 6 p.m. followed by fireworks. Free.

Troy – City of Troy 4th of July Celebration
Veteran’s Memorial Stadium. Fireworks show at the stadium on the Troy University campus at 8:30 p.m. Free.

Tuscaloosa – Independence Day at CHOM!
July 3 from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa. Zeigler Hot Dogs and Lemonade will be served from 11 am – 1 pm. Crafts, Games, and Civil Air Patrol Demos. Admission charged.

Wetumpka – 4th of July Celebration
Gold Star park. Fireworks show at 8:30 p.m. Free.

For a complete calendar of events listing see www.alabama.travel.


This could be a good weekend to discover somewhere new in the state.

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