Happy 243rd birthday, America.
It’s time to head to your community’s park or lake or wherever it is that citizens choose to gather to celebrate America’s birthday and watch fireworks light up the sky.
Most communities across northeastern Oklahoma are blowing out those birthday candles on Independence Day this year, but depending on where you are or plan to travel, there are opportunities to see fireworks on five different nights, beginning Friday, June 28.
Meanwhile, some cities and towns offer longtime traditions for the holiday that continue this year.
Like a party on the Arkansas River in Tulsa or tortoise races on the Pawnee County courthouse lawn.
There’s a parade in Collinsville, and there’s a full day of shopping in downtown Jenks.
In honor of our nation’s birthday, we’ve compiled the following list of some of the fireworks shows and other Independence Day happenings in our area.
FRIDAY, June 28
BIXBY FREEDOM CELEBRATION
Celebrate the Fourth of July on Friday night with this fifth-annual event sponsored by The Bridge Church of Bixby. Food vendors, live music and a children’s fun zone will open about 5:30 p.m., patriotic events begin about 8:45 p.m. and fireworks shoot off about 9:45 p.m. at the Bentley Sports Complex, 8505 E. 148th St.
Information: 918-394-4330, bixbyfreedomcelebration.com
SATURDAY, June 29
COLLINSVILLE CELEBRATES INDEPENDENCE DAY
Collinsville has a pre-Fourth celebration that kicks off with a float-filled parade at 9 a.m. Saturday on Main Street. A gathering at the city park (parking at the high school, with shuttles to the park) starts at noon with food trucks, a kids zone, turtle races, a horseshoe tournament, free watermelon and a pie-baking contest. Fireworks at sundown are synced to patriotic music.
Information: 918-371-1010, cityofcollinsville.com
WEDNESDAY, July 3
TCC’S ‘4TH ON THE 3RD’
The annual “4th on the 3rd” concert is staged at TCC’s VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education, 10300 E. 81st St., featuring the Signature Symphony and Signature Chorale performing patriotic music honoring U.S. armed forces. The symphony begins at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Admission is $18-$30.
Information: 918-595-7777, signaturesymphony.org
SKIATOOK’S FANTASY IN THE SKY
Skiatook is having its annual fireworks show and community gathering at Skiatook Municipal Airport, with skydivers scheduled during the day Wednesday, food vendors opening about 5 p.m. and live music from 7 p.m. until dark, when the fireworks begin.
Information: 918-396-2797, cityofskiatook.com
THURSDAY, July 4
FOLDS OF HONOR FREEDOMFEST PRESENTED BY QUIKTRIP
This is the big one if you like the idea of sharing the Arkansas River with 80,000 of your closest friends. Grab a lawn chair and picnic basket and head to the Arkansas River for this year’s River Parks blowout in Tulsa.
Families can enjoy an array of activities, including live music, food trucks, a kids zone with inflatables, ax throwing and laser tag.
Activities planned for the 2019 Folds of Honor FreedomFest presented by QuikTrip will begin around 5 p.m. Thursday at two locations — Veterans Park, 1875 S. Boulder Ave., and at River West Festival Park, 2100 S. Jackson Ave., where for the first time the park is allowing some tailgating and on-site parking for $25 for those who arrive between 5-6:30 p.m. for the FreedomFest Tail Gate Bash.
The night will end with a 9:30 p.m. fireworks display, choreographed to patriotic music and radio simulcast on 740 AM and 102.3 FM.
Information: 918-596-2001, freedomfesttulsa.com
TULSA’S FIRECRACKER 5K
Get an early start on the holiday and get the blood pumping: Fleet Feet hosts its annual early-morning run series Thursday, featuring a 5k run, a 5k stroller race and a 1k fun run and walk through the Blue Dome and Tulsa Arts districts. The schedule for the 17th annual event: 5k stroller race at 7:25 a.m.; 5k at 7:30 a.m.; fun run at 8:40 a.m., all starting at Fleet Feet, 418 E. Second St.
Information: 918-492-3338, fleetfeettulsa.com
TULSA DRILLERS FIREWORKS
The Tulsa Drillers play host to Northwest Arkansas on Thursday night, and this year, that means post-game fireworks. Game time is 7:05 p.m. Thursday at ONEOK Field, 201 N. Elgin Ave. Bonus fireworks: The sky will light up following Friday and Saturday night games, too.
BROKEN ARROW PATRIOTS IN THE PARK
The city of Broken Arrow is ensuring that fireworks will continue — following the end of the “Rockets Over Rhema” program last year — with this new event set from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday at the Broken Arrow Events Park just east of Northeastern State University and the Creek Turnpike. The event will include inflatables, interactive games, an obstacle course and a water park; local vendors and food trucks selling concessions on site, as well as beers and local wines; and a large lineup of live music.
JENKS CELEBRATES ALL DAY
Jenks hosts multiple events in honor of Independence Day, beginning with Jenks America Freedom Fest, which finds downtown stores open, live music playing, free watermelon being consumed and family-friendly activities available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday on Main Street. The Oklahoma Aquarium offers Fish and Fireworks: When regular 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. hours conclude, the aquarium reopens at 6:30 p.m., and those attending can bring a blanket to sit out back for one of the best views of that night’s light show. Boomfest: Fireworks will shoot off at Riverwalk Crossing, which is pairing up with Los Cabos to host music and other events beginning at 2 p.m. leading up to that 9:45 p.m. display.
Information: 918-299-5005, jenkschamber.com
PIONEER WOMAN’S PATRIOTIC PARTY ON THE PRAIRIE
The Pioneer Woman and Pawhuska are not taking time off for the holiday — they’re staging this third annual street party downtown from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday around the retail destination The Mercantile, complete with live music, food booths, games and fireworks at dark. Of course, the Mercantile is open, too.
Information: The Pioneer Woman Mercantile Facebook page
RED, WHITE AND BOOM IN OWASSO
The annual Red, White and Boom fireworks show fires off Thursday night at the Owasso Golf and Athletic Club, 13604 E. 84th St. North, Owasso, which makes parking lots of nearby schools and shopping centers the best viewing sites in the areas of 86th Street North and 129th East Avenue.
Information: 918-376-1500, cityofowasso.com
AMERICAN CELEBRATES AMERICA IN SAPULPA
American Heritage Bank is the sponsor of Sapulpa’s fireworks display, shooting off about 9:45 p.m. Thursday across from the Sapulpa Municipal Golf Course, 1200 W. Dewey Ave. Parking can be found in the Walmart lot, and the 23rd annual show is choreographed to music that can be heard within a 2-mile radius on FM 88.5.
Information: American Heritage Bank Facebook page, 918-224-3210
CLAREMORE’S FISHING AND FIREWORKS
Claremore Lake Park plays host to the city’s traditional kids’ morning fishing derby Thursday, with the park opening at 7 a.m. and closing at 11 a.m. The park reopens at 6 p.m. Thursday for more events. Those who park at Will Rogers Round Up Club, 13653 E. 480 Road, can catch a shuttle to the park, where events include a DJ providing music, family fun and concessions ahead of fireworks at dusk.
PAWNEE’S JULY 4TH GAMES
Held on the Pawnee County Courthouse square’s lawn, this annual event provides ample opportunities for all ages to take part in old-fashioned games like the turtle race, boot toss and sack races beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday and running until about noon. Then it’s fireworks later that night, shooting off from Pawnee Lake.
BARTLESVILLE 4TH OF JULY FREEDOM FEST
Head to Second Street for the downtown party that runs from 7-10 p.m. Thursday. There’s live music, inflatables for kids, activities for families, a children’s music contest, a hot dog-eating contest, an F-16 flyover and fireworks to wrap up the holiday at this street party.
Information: 918-977-3400, Kiwanis Club of Bartlesville’s Freedom Fest Facebook page
LAKE EUFAULA FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR
Enjoy this Thursday fireworks display, along with events planned from 3-10 p.m. at Eufaula High School, including food trucks, games and arts and crafts, as well as live music. That night’s fireworks can be viewed from the bleachers at the football stadium, or guests can park along Lakeshore Drive to view fireworks launched from the South Point Boat Ramp Area.
DUCK CREEK/GRAND LAKE FIREWORKS
Join thousands of spectators from across the state as they gather around Grand Lake for a tradition that began more than 70 years ago. Events include the Warbirds vintage military aircraft on display starting about 4 p.m. Thursday at South Grand Lake Regional Airport, an Oklahoma Air National Guard flyover and airshow about 7 p.m. and fireworks at dark.
Information: 918-782-3292, Duck Creek Fireworks Facebook page, duckcreekfireworksok.com
DRUMRIGHT 4TH OF JULY COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Whitlock Park, 601 S. James Corner, is the place to be starting at 6 p.m. Thursday in Drumright, with food for sale, games to play and fireworks at dark.
Information: 918-352-2204, city of Drumright Facebook page
FRIDAY, July 5
GRAND LAKE FIREWORKS SHOW IN DISNEY
This Grand Lake fireworks show Friday is made possible by donations from area businesses and individuals. It takes place on the night after the holiday in Disney when darkness approaches, with plenty of public access in the parks by the spillways east of town.
Blue Coast Juicy Seafood takes over the space that housed Mimi's Cafe on 71st Street.