365 Things to Do in Memphis #177: Celebrate Independence Day 15 Ways
Grab your family, pack up a picnic and celebrate Independence Day in Memphis.
Here’s a comprehensive list of all of the Independence Day celebrations around town. And bonus – all but two of the events are completely free.
The annual Bellevue Baptist Church Fouth of July picnic starts conveniently right after church and lasts until dark, when there will be a fireworks display. Before that, bring your picnics, blankets and lawn chairs (or your grill – that’s allowed) and claim a spot on the church lawn.
Start celebrating the Fourth of July a few days early. The Mid-South Navy Band (based in Millington) is playing a free show to close out the Levitt Shell’s concert series. It’s free and family friendly and picnics are welcome.
The Belz Museum is holding their second annual armed forces day on Sunday. Everyone with a military ID (active, inactive – it doesn’t matter) gets in free and everyone else gets $1 off admission. There will be gallery tours, activities, raffles and donations will be collected for AmVets of Tennessee.
Millington knows how to throw down for Independence Day. This year, the city and the Millington naval base are teaming up for the Flag City Freedom Celebration. Bring a picnic, cooler and lawn chair to Navy Lake for an impressive fireworks display after dark.
Bartlett’s annual celebration is more than a fireworks bonanza. Starting at 6:30 p.m., there will be live music from the Bartlett Community Concert Band and 240 Loop, a car show, face painting and games with fireworks after dark.
Colliverville’s celebration might have the most fun party band – Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster will play in Cox Park before the fireworks start (at 9:30 p.m.). There’s a free shuttle service from Collierville High School to the park and veterans and their families are invited to a special hospitality tent for free food and drinks.
The first annual Stars and Stripes 5K is a rare thing – a race that starts at 7 p.m. instead of 7 a.m. The race will start and finish at Tiger Lane, and they’ll have live music, free barbecue and free beer for participants.
8. High Point Neighborhood Parade, starting at the northeast corner of Aurora Circle, July 4, 9 a.m., free
Dress yourself (or your kids or your pet) up for the 63rd annual High Point neighborhood Fourth of July parade. How you participate in one of the city’s oldest neighborhood parades is up to you, but floats, bikes, four wheelers, motorcycles and rollerskates are welcome.
As a several-year participant in the annual Cordova Community Center 4th of July Parade (ask my mom for the pictures), I can vouch for it’s particular kind of small town good times. Fun fact: it’s the only Independence Day parade in Memphis with a judging category for “Best Decorated Float, Wagon or Horse”.
If you’re spending Independence Day downtown, check out the day-long party on Mud Island. All of the park’s usual features will be open, but they’ll also have rides, games and food available. Picnics are welcome, and the fireworks will start at nightfall.
CMOM’s entirely indoor Independence day will include indoor fireworks, patriotic karaoke, a flag making station, a balloon relay race and a special visit from the Statue of Liberty at 1 p.m.
Make a whole day of your Germantown Fouth of July experience. The festivities in Municipal Park start with a fishing rodeo at 9 a.m. Starting at 5 p.m., there will be moon bounces, games, crafts and food with the fireworks starting at 9:10 p.m.
There are few things more American than baseball and hotdogs, especially when said baseball is the Memphis Redbirds putting the hurt on Nashville at AutoZone Park. Stick around after the game for fireworks.
Head just across the border to Southaven, Mississippi for the suburb’s 11th annual Independence Day celebration. Doors at Snowden Grove Amphitheatre open at 7 p.m. and the fireworks start at 9 p.m. Admission is free and picnics are welcome.
Here’s another from across the border. The 13th annual Olive Branch Independence Day Celebration is a picnic-friendly celebration with fireworks, food, games and live music.
Where are you planning to celebrate the Fourth? If I left your favorite event off of the list, submit it here and I’ll add it to the list.