Here's Everything You Need To Know To Celebrate The Fourth Of July In Austin

Jul 4, 2018

This post has been updated.

It’s the Fourth of July. Here’s everything you need to know.

The Big Show

First things first: fireworks. The city’s annual pyrotechnic revelry at Auditorium Shores kicks off at 8:30 p.m. Conductor Peter Bay and the Austin Symphony will provide the musical accompaniment to the show, which should culminate in an explosive crescendo around 10 p.m.

At 6:15 p.m., the Austin Symphony tweeted that the event was still on, despite storms that moved through the area earlier.

Roads To Nowhere

The show is expected to draw tens of thousands of people, so driving may not be the best idea. Check the map below for road closures.

If you’re looking for alternative transportation to Auditorium Shores, Capital Metro is operating on a Saturday schedule. The last MetroRail train leaves the downtown station at midnight. MetroRapid will run until 2:30 a.m. It's free for kids all day and free for everyone after 6 p.m.

If you’re trying to catch a bus north after the fireworks, CapMetro recommends you cross Lady Bird Lake on the South First Street bridge, which will be closed to traffic, and walk to the bus stops at Fourth and Lavaca.

The Austin Police Department is enforcing a no-refusal policy for suspected drunken drivers. From 3 p.m. to 5 a.m., APD will have detectives on hand to obtain a warrant quickly to draw blood from anyone who refuses to provide a breath sample.

AAA Texas' Tipsy Tow program offers door-to-door towing for those who are looking for a safe way home. Rides are available from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. tomorrow, if you call Tipsy Tow at 1-800-AAA-HELP. Tows are free for up to 10 miles, and AAA suggests working out a charge with a tow driver in advance for rides exceeding 10 miles.

For anyone planning to spend the day on Lake Austin, only non-motorized devices such as kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are allowed today. Jet skis, wet bikes and other motorized watercrafts are prohibited until sunrise tomorrow morning. This is due to safety concerns for the large number of people who will be on the lake.

City Closures

City of Austin administrative offices and municipal facilities are closed today. However, Austin Resource Recovery will collect trash, recycling and compost on its regular schedule.

Public library branches, Recycled Reads and the Austin History Center are also taking the day off. That’s in addition to most historical facilities and museums in Austin, with the exception of the LBJ Presidential Library, which is offering free admission.

Golf courses and tennis centers are open regular hours, while pools are operating on a weekend schedule (with the exception of Shipe and Govalle, which are closed).

Outside Austin

Note: Clink on the links to find out the latest about each event, as some have been scaled back and could be canceled due to the weather.   

The Lago Vista 4th of July event features train rides, face painting and slip-and-slide sports. Fireworks are expected to begin after dark.

The City of Cedar Park Fourth of July Parade and Celebration features live music, bingo and a fireworks show beginning at 9:15 p.m.

The Bee Cave Independence Day Celebration starts at 4 p.m. and will include a three-legged race, tug of war, live music and a fireworks show, beginning at 9 p.m.

The Round Rock July Fourth Frontier Days Celebration 2018 includes pig races and cowboy sing-a-longs. Fireworks will begin after dark.

The City of Georgetown is hosting its July 4th Celebration at Gabriel Park. Fireworks will begin around 9:30 p.m.

The Red White and Buda July 4th Celebration will have live music, food and activities from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Sportsplex. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m.

The City of Kyle will celebrate Independence Day with live performances beginning at 6 p.m. and a fireworks show around 9:30 p.m.

San Marcos is hosting Summerfest, starting at 6 p.m. Food and activities will be provided and a fireworks display is slated to begin at 9:30 p.m.

This is an update of a post that originally ran July 4, 2017.