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


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 at around 10 p.m.

Roads To Nowhere

The show is expected to draw tens of thousands of people for what’s being billed as the largest fireworks display in the state, so driving may not be the best idea. Cesar Chavez west of First Street will be closed from 7 p.m. to midnight, and Riverside Drive between First and Lamar is closed all day.

Credit City of Austin
City of Austin

If you’re looking for alternative transportation to Auditorium Shores, Capital Metro’s buses are operating on a regular Saturday schedule today. MetroRail service starts at 4 p.m., and the last train leaves the downtown station at midnight. MetroRapid will run until 12:30 a.m. in part to accommodate crowds going down to Auditorium Shores to catch the fireworks. 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.

Cap Metro is offering its pickup service in Northeast Austin, as well.

The Austin Police Department is enforcing a no-refusal policy for suspected drunken drivers tonight. From 10 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.

The Heat Is On

Keep in mind, the National Weather Service forecasts potential heat indices of 105 today. 

City of Austin administrative offices and municipal facilities are closed today. However, trash and recycling collection for Austin Resource Recovery customers will stay on 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. Austin Animal Center is also open, but closing two hours early.

City of Austin pool facilities, golf courses and tennis centers are open regular hours today.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.