Great free (or cheap) ways to celebrate the 4th of July in and around Charlotte

Get ready for fireworks and other fun to celebrate the Fourth of July.
Get ready for fireworks and other fun to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Ready to get your party on for the Fourth? Here are more than two dozen suggestions for ways to celebrate your independence, all either free or cheap.


▪ Lowe’s YMCA Summer Celebration: The Mooresville Y (170 Joe Knox Ave.) hosts local entertainment and food, kid-friendly activities andfireworks. Bring a blanket and chairs, and arrive early. The schedule: 4-5:15 p.m. Indefinite Band; 5:30-6:30 p.m. and 7-8:30 p.m. The Matt Stratford Band; 8:45 p.m. Maddie Huecker performing the National Anthem; 9 p.m. Fireworks Spectacular.

▪ Harrisburg 4th of July Celebration: Harrisburg celebrates with a two-day festival at Harrisburg Park, with live music, amusements and lots more. Hours are 4-10:30 p.m. Monday and 4-11:30 p.m. Tuesday. Both days end with fireworks displays. On Tuesday, the festival is preceded by a parade on Hwy. 49, which starts at 9 a.m. and proceeds to the park.

▪ 4th of July Festival at U.S. National Whitewater Center: Festival begins on Monday and continues to Tuesday. Includes live music followed by a fireworks display each night. Live music includes Lucero, Banditos, Coddle Creek, Yonder Mountain String Band, more. Admission is free. Parking is $5.

▪ Kannapolis Intimidators’ ballpark: A fireworks display follows the game. Also, the Intimidators guarantee that they will win. If they lose, you’ll get a ticket to a future game.

▪ Red White and Boom: 5:30-10:30 p.m. in Old Town in Rock Hill, S.C. There’s a kids’ zone (there’s a fee for this), a free concert, and fireworks at 10 p.m.

▪ Fireworks after Charlotte Knights Game: On Monday, there will be fireworks at BB&T Ballpark after the Charlotte Knights game.


▪ 4th of July Celebration at BB&T Ballpark: SkyShow Fireworks Spectacular follows the baseball game between Team USA and Team Cuba. If you’re not attending the game, you should be able to see the fireworks from any place adjacent to the ballpark, like Romare Bearden Park. There will also be a free street festival from 2-10 p.m. in front of the ballpark. Live music, as well as carnival rides, bounce houses and more. There’s a charge for some activities at the festival.

▪ 17th Annual 4th of July Pig Pickin’ in Plaza Midwood: This neighborhood crawl will include BBQ, music and fun at a number of Plaza Midwood businesses, including Soul Gastrolounge, The Diamond, Snug Harbor, twenty-two, Thomas Street Tavern, Whiskey Warehouse, Midwood Smokehouse, Legion Brewing, Moo & Brew, Salon 1226, Midwood Country Club, The Pizza Peel Plaza Midwood, The Workman’s Friend and Elizabeth Billiards. 4-10 p.m.

▪ Kings Mountain: The city of Kings Mountain is celebrating with a history encampment starting at 2 p.m. followed by a concert at 6 p.m. At 9 p.m. there will be a patriotic pre-fireworks show, and the fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m. It all takes place at Kings Mountain Walking Track and Neisler Stage, 211 Cleveland Ave., with music provided by the Chris Marks Band from 6-9 p.m., and a variety of food vendors available at Walking Track Park.

▪ Hickory Grove Parade and Celebration: The 48th Annual Hickory Grove Parade and Celebration is the largest block party in East Charlotte. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. at Hickory Grove Recreation Center, 6709 Pence Road, and proceeds to The Grove Church, 5735 E. W.T. Harris Blvd., where the celebration continues until 2:30 p.m., with live music, games, pie-eating contests, inflatables, food and more.

▪ Independence Day at Carowinds: After a day of roller coasters and other assorted amusement, guests can enjoy the Celebrate America Fireworks Show at 9:30 p.m. Also worth noting: Carowinds will grant free park admission Monday through Wednesday to all active, inactive and retired military personnel with a valid military ID.

▪ Tega Cay 4th of July Celebration: Festival begins with a land parade at 9 a.m., followed by a canoe joust, a boat parade, the Carolina Ski Show Team’s performance, the Splish ‘n’ Splash Summer Bash (at Golf Course Pavilion Area, featuring water inflatables, DJ and face painting) and a fish fry. At 9:30 p.m. there will be fireworks.

▪ 4th of July Festival at Birkdale Village: Activities take place from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Festival includes stage performances, face painting, balloon art, bounce houses, craft tables, bike decorating & patriotic bike ride, music, roaming entertainment and more. Plus, the annual Huntersville Fire Department water fight at 12:15 p.m.

▪ 4th of July Celebration at Charlotte Museum of History: Charlotte Museum of History’s annual 4th of July celebration includes a naturalization ceremony for new citizens, tours, crafts and a scavenger hunt. 3500 Shamrock Drive. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. $5 (free for members.)

▪ Fireworks at Trump National Golf Club Charlotte: Boaters on Lake Norman can head to the Brawley School Road peninsula in Mooresville to catch the club’s fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. Nearby residents can see the show from their yards.

▪ Davidson Independence Day Celebration: There will be a parade for all to participate in, starting at McEver Field on South Street at 5:15 p.m. and proceeding to the town Green, where the band Da Throwback Band will perform at 6 p.m.

▪ Indian Trail 4th of July Parade: 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. 130 Blythe Drive, Indian Trail. At 9:30 a.m. the celebration begins, with flag raising, watermelon eating contest, live music, games and activities. At 11:30 a.m. the parade starts. Free.

▪ Baxter Village 4th of July Parade: The annual 4th of July parade at Baxter Village in Fort Mill, S.C., starts at 9:30 a.m. at 940 Market St. It includes Charlotte sports mascots, clowns, stilt walkers and much more.

▪ Charlotte Motor Speedway 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular: Drivers’ autographs and fireworks follow Bojangles’ Summer Shootout, which starts at 7 p.m. Adult tickets are $8. Kids under 13 get in for free.

▪ Fireworks at The Peninsula: A display at dusk at The Peninsula Club, 19101 Peninsula Club Drive, Cornelius. The public can view the fireworks from special areas on the golf course. Bring chairs and blankets.

▪ Waxhaw 4th of July Celebration: In downtown Waxhaw. Parade at 10 a.m.; beach party 4:30-8:30 p.m.; Fireworks at dusk.

▪ Gastonia July 4 Festival: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Features live music, eating contests, free carnival rides and fireworks.

▪ Lake Wylie Fireworks: Fireworks will be viewable from near the Buster Boyd Bridge around 9:15 p.m.