The I Love Memphis Guide to Independence Day 2014
Grab your family, pack up a picnic and celebrate Independence Day in Memphis.
Here’s a list of all of the Independence Day celebrations around town. The events with fireworks are marked with (*).
*Starlight Spectacular, Bellevue Baptist, June 29, 6 p.m., free, all ages
Bellevue Baptist Church’s annual 4th of July picnic is going to the next level this year, with musical guest Michael W. Smith and the Bellevue Pops Orchestra playing patriotic tunes. Bring your families, picnics, blankets, and lawn chairs and enjoy a huge fireworks display.
Star Spangled Banner Dinner, Chez Philippe at The Peabody Hotel, July 1, 7 p.m., $85+ per person
Celebrate the 200th anniversary of the national anthem with a dinner and champagne toast around the Peabody’s antique mahogany piano (owned by Francis Scott Key himself). Call (901) 529-4188 for reservations.
Peabody Rooftop Party, July 3, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m., $15, 21 and up
Kick off the July 4th weekend on the rooftop of the Peabody with high-energy band 17th Floor and a classic American menu: fried chicken, burgers, potato salad, deviled eggs.
*Flag City Freedom Celebration, Navy Lake in Millington, July 3, 5 p.m., free (parking $5)
Millington knows how to throw down for Independence Day. 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 at 8:55 p.m.
*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, a car show, face painting and games with fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
*Collierville Independence Day Celebration, H.W. Cox Park, July 3, 6 p.m., free
Colliverville’s celebration might have the most fun party band – Party Planet will play in Cox Park before the fireworks start (at 9:45 p.m.). There will be a fair-like midway of food vendors, and veterans and their families are invited to a special hospitality tent for free food and drinks.
*Stars and Stripes 5K, Tiger Lane, July 3, 7 p.m., $25 advance / $30 on race day
The 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, and fireworks after the race.
Patriotic Pops, Levitt Shell, July 3, 7:30 p.m., free, all ages
The usual Levitt Shell free concert series takes a patriotic turn this holiday with an American music sing-along from the Second Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir, the Memphis Symphony Orchestar, and a guest appearance by the Memphis Dawls.
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 65th 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.
Cordova Fourth of July Parade, Cordova Community Center, July 4, 9:30 a.m., free
The annual Cordova Community Center 4th of July Parade has a particular kind of small town charm. Fun fact: it’s the only Independence Day parade in Memphis with a judging category for “Best Decorated Float, Wagon or Horse”.
Red, White and Blue Art/Bubble Wrap Firecrackers, Children’s Museum of Memphis, July 4, 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., free with museum admission
At 10:30 a.m., take the kids to CMOM for a craft session where they can make an American flag. At 3 p.m., the little ones can pop a ton of bubble wrap while patriotic music plays.
*Mud Island 4th of July Celebration/Downtown Fireworks, Mud Island River Park, July 4, all day, free
Spend the whole day celebrating at Mud Island River Park. All of the park’s usual features will be open, and they’ll have rides, games and fireworks (starting at nightfall). You’re welcome to bring blankets, chairs, and picnics, but leave your grills, pets and booze at home.
Twilight Sky Terrace Fireworks Watch Party, Twilight Sky Terrace at the Madison Hotel, July 4, 4 p.m. – 1 a.m., $10 cover, 21 and up
Watch the downtown fireworks while sipping red, white, and blue cocktails with one of the best views in town. After the show, enjoy snacks and a DJ. (Food and drink costs extra.)
*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.
*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 the NOLA Zephers at AutoZone Park. Stick around after the game for fireworks.
*Southaven July 4th Celebration, Snowden Grove Amphitheatre, July 4, 6:30 p.m., free
Head just across the border to Southaven, Mississippi for the suburb’s annual Independence Day celebration. Doors at Snowden Grove Amphitheatre open at 6:30 p.m., with music and a comedy performance, and the fireworks start at 9 p.m. Admission is free and picnics are welcome.
*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 at 9 p.m, food, games and live music from Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster.
Where are you planning to celebrate the Fourth? If I left your favorite event off of the list, leave it in the comments, and I’ll add it to the list.