365 Things to Do in Memphis #177: Celebrate Independence Day 15 Ways

Posted by Holly Whitfield | June 25th 2012 521 0

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.

1. Great American Family Picnic and Fireworks, Bellevue Baptist Church, July 1, 12 p.m., 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.

2. Mid-South Navy Band, Levitt Shell, July 1, 6 p.m., free

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.

3. Armed Forces Day, Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art, July 1, all day, free for military

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.

4. Flag City Freedom Celebration, Navy Lake in Millington, July 3, 4:30 p.m., free (parking $5)

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.

5. Bartlett Fireworks Extravaganza, Bobby K. Flaherty Municipal Center Bartlett , July 3, 6:30 p.m., free

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.

6. Collierville Independence Day Celebration, H.W. Cox Park, July 3, 6 p.m., free

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.

7. Stars and Stripes 5K, Tiger Lane, July 3, 7 p.m., $20 advance / $25 on race day

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.

9. Cordova Fourth of July Parade, Cordova Community Center, July 4, 9:30 a.m., free

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”.

10. Mud Island Fourth of July, Mud Island River Park, July 4, all day, free

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.

11. Happy Birthday America, Children’s Museum of Memphis, July 4, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., free with museum admission

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.

12. Germantown Fireworks Extravaganza, Municipal Park, July 4, 5 p.m., free

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.

13. Red, White and Boom, AutoZone Park, July 4, 6:05 p.m., $6 – $26

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.

14. Southaven July 4th Celebration, Snowden Grove Amphitheatre, July 4, 7 p.m., free

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.

15. Olive Branch Independence Day Celebration, Olive Branch City Park, July 4, 7 p.m., free

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.

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

Show Comments


  1. Kip Gordon says:

    Thanks for the list, helps me plan out my calendar of events!

  2. Steve Basar says:

    Midtown holds a 4th of July parade every year on Carr Avenue at 10 a.m

  3. […] Oakland- fireworks tomorrow night at West Junior High – Memphis area- click here for a post from the I Love Memphis blog that includes all the Memphis area 4th activities […]

  4. Grant says:

    Great list! This will make my planning much easier….

  5. Zach says:

    Southaven only has one 'h.'

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