The Grackle

Observations, Reflections and Miscellany from the Wacoan

Freedom & Fun

WACOAN's Guide to the Fourth of July

1 year ago

By Skylla Mumana

Happy Fourth of July Waco! The Fourth of July — also referred to as Independence Day — is a federal holiday commemorating the Declaration of Independence and the beginning of America’s separation from England. While at its root, it’s a day to remember the founding of our country, it is also a day to gather with friends, family and loved ones for activities and fun. Whether you go all out or stay in, here are some fun activities to help make your Independence Day in Waco memorable.

Hold a Backyard BBQ

Name a better way to gather friends and family! For many Americans, holding a backyard BBQ is a Fourth of July staple. While burgers and hotdogs are a must, don’t shy away from grilling up other meats, such as chicken wings and leg quarters, or vegetables, such as bell peppers, jalapenos or squash. Sides are also important to have at any good red, white and blue cookout, such as pasta salad, potato salad, fruits or corn. Stock up on all the essentials this weekend at the Downtown Famers Market or at a specialty grocery store, such as Waco Custom Marketplace. Good food has the power to bring people together, so don’t skimp out on your BBQ this year.

Barbecue and Bluegrass

Or leave the barbecuing to someone else this year and join Greater Waco Baptist Church for their annual BBQ and Bluegrass Blowout. Grab your lawn chairs for the outdoor concert and enjoy the annual pie, cake and dessert competition and potluck-style food.

Watch a Fireworks Display

No Fourth of July celebration is complete without fireworks. They’re the perfect end to any Independence Day. However, it is important to note that popping fireworks within Waco city limits is illegal, and any property damage resulting from popping them could result in a fine of up to $2000 dollars, and/or jail time. With that said, the city of Waco is holding its annual Fourth on the Brazos celebration, which includes the H-E-B Fireworks Extravaganza that is open to the public for viewing.

Watch a Parade

Don your best red, white and blue for the City of Woodway’s Fourth of July Parade. It starts at 9 a.m. at Crossroads Fellowship Church parking lot. Bring out the whole family, including your furry friends, to celebrate Independence Day.

Go to the Lake

Another great way to celebrate the Fourth of July is to head down to Lake Waco and have a relaxing picnic day with your loved ones. Feel free to lay out a blanket and soak up some vitamin D in the grass, go fishing or go for a light swim in the water. Take a light nature walk at one of Lake Waco’s many trails or feed the ducks. The possibilities are endless.

Get Crafty

Camp Fimfo is hosting special Fourth of July crafts so be sure to get your day pass and don’t miss out on the fun. Create your own patriotic flag or paint a firework masterpiece to get into the red, white and blue spirit. The day pass allows visitors to enjoy all the fun amenities, including the water park, mini golf, wiffleball and more.

Write to a deployed soldier

It’s important to remember that while the Fourth of July is a historical day of freedom and fun, we should also take time and reflect on the sacrifices made by countless American soldiers who have fought for this country. Whether you personally have a loved one deployed, or would like to show support, sending a card to a deployed soldier this Fourth of July can be a fun and thoughtful activity to do with your family.

Challenge Yourself

Take the short 30-minute drive to our neighbor, Crawford, TX., and join The Bear Mountain and Slow Rise Pizza for the 9th annual Spokes & Sparklers Independence Day Ride at the beautiful Tonkawa Falls. The 52-mile ride starts at 7 a.m. and the 13- & 26-mile at 8 a.m. Pizza and hot dogs will be waiting for cyclists.

Have a patriotic movie marathon

Or take the day to relax and marathon on your couch. With the countless amount of streaming services offered today, there are plenty of patriotic movies that would be perfect for a fun night this Fourth of July. Some movies to binge-watch this holiday can include, “Top Gun,” “Live Free or Die Hard,” “Independence Day,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “1776,” “Air Force One,” “Hidden Figures,” “Hamilton” and much more.

All-in-all, whether you’re picnicking, grilling or popping fireworks, we at the Wacoan wish you a safe and happy Fourth of July. Happy birthday America!