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by Glenda Wilburn

Magazine | Do

Best Oklahoma Fireworks & 4th of July Events

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Posted 06.27.13

Blackberry pie. Arm wrestling. Watermelon seed-spitting, a boot tossing, a raffle decided by a turkey. In other words, there’s more to Fourth of July in Oklahoma than flag-waving and pyrotechnics. Though there’s certainly plenty of those things, too.

Oklahoma is home to some of the largest fireworks displays in the midwest, and our Independence Day parades—especially the ones in our small towns—are second to none. In this guide you’ll find the roads that lead to both, and so much in between: a regatta and a city-wide picnic in our two largest metros, with watermelon chunkin’s, night swimming, and huckleberry milkshakes where the night stars shine brightest.

Oklahoma Fireworks and Fourth of July Celebrations by City

Bartlesville: Freedom Fest. July 4, 6 p.m. A kids’ parade, a talent show, and an after-festival festival. More about Bartlesville Freedom Fest.

Blackwell: Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration. July 4, starting with a parade at 11 a.m., games and tours at Blackwell Museum after, then a free swim at the public pool from 1-4 p.m. Fireworks begin after dark at the fairgrounds. More about Blackwell’s Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration.

Broken Arrow: Rockets Over Rhema. June 30, 5 p.m. A mechanical bull, an inflatable slide in the shape of the Titanic, a car show, funnel cake, with fireworks at around 10 p.m. More about Rockets Over Rhema.

Coalgate: Coalgate Independence Day Celebration. July 4, starting at 11 a.m. with a patriotic parade, lunch with the Homemakers Club, swimming, a free concert, and fireworks by the local fire department at around 9:45 p.m. At 45th Infantry Park. More about Coalgate’s Independence Day Celebration.

Edmond: LibertyFest. June 22-July 4. A festival of ten events: a car show, kite festival, rodeo, a four-wheel-drive scavenger hunt, food festival, concert, a parade with over 100 entries, ParkFest (home of the Beagle Belly Bounce), a pageant, and the largest fireworks display in the OKC metro. One of the top-10 places to be in America on July 4 by CNN & USA Today. More about Edmond LibertyFest.

Elk City: Elk City Fireworks Display. July 4. Fireworks after dark. Ackley Park. More about Elk City Fireworks.

Eufaula: 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular. July 4. Live music starting at 7 p.m., with fireworks around dark-thirty. Hit Main Street, then take Broadway (a.k.a. Memorial Drive), to the tennis, softball, and soccer fields. More about Eufaula 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular.

Grand Lake: Grand Lake Fireworks. July 5, between the spillways in Disney. The park across the street, a boat ramp, a park before you go across the spillways. More about Grand Lake Fireworks.

Hominy: Patriot Pull Arm Wrestling Tournament and Independence Day Celebration. Professionals and amateurs alike press palms and race biceps in pursuit of the $4,000 purse at this first-ever event, set to commence at 4 p.m. July 6 at Hominy Lake. Fireworks and a fish fry round out the event, complete with fries, hushpuppies, and a side of live music. More about the Patriot Pull Arm Wrestling Tournament and Independence Day Celebration.

Jay: Huckleberry Festival. The huckleberry plant is known to be prolific in these parts where the soil is lake-water sweetened. Some 250 gallons of the berries make their way into town each day on a good year, and the folks with the festival say that the rain we’ve had portends abundance—a good thing for a fruit festival, which the folks there are pretty sure is the 46th. On the schedule so far: a 5K run and turtle races. An outdoor movie screening and a goldfish swim battle. A root-beer chugging contest and an old-fashioned sit-in music jam. A live kangaroo and a pancake breakfast, starring huckleberry syrup. Huckleberries are worth their weight in crust and fruit to the competitors in the pie-baking contest, who are paid to enter—easy, since a local bank is the host. Free huckleberry milkshakes at the courthouse and ice cream with huckleberry syrup on the square, while it lasts—the perfect foils for the fireworks display on the 6th. July 3-7. More about the Huckleberry Festival in Jay.

Jenks: Jenks America Freedom Fest and Sooner Boomfest. July 4, starting with shopping, live music, and fireworks at 10 a.m. at Los Cabos and Riverwalk, at 11 a.m. downtown, and at Oklahoma Aquarium at 6:30 p.m. (with half-price admission, with fireworks viewing on the back lawn). One of the largest fireworks shows in Oklahoma begins at dusk. More about Jenks America Freedom Fest and Sooner Boomfest.

Kingfisher: Independence Day Celebration. July 4, starting with a parade at 10 a.m. and marching forward with the Little Miss & Mr. Firecracker Pageant, an egg toss, fire-truck and hay rides, a duck race, karaoke, a giant water slide, and fireworks set to music. More about Kingfisher Independence Day Celebration.

OKC: Stars & Stripes River Festival. June 29. Fireworks and water sports pull for the same team, with BOGO admission to RIVERSPORT Adventures, 50 competitive rowing and dragon boat teams, a masters regatta, a rubber-duck race, and the first-ever lighting of the Oklahoma River race course. Fireworks at 10 p.m. More about OKC’s Stars & Stripes River Festival.

Owasso: Red, White & Boom. July 3. Fireworks will be launched from Green’s Golf Course, starting between 8:45 and 9:15 p.m. Park in the high-school lot, or find a space at the WalMart. More about Red, White & Boom.

Marlow: Marlow Independence Day Celebration. July 4. A small-town set-up with a parade, fun in the park for kids, and fireworks after sundown. More about Marlow Independence Day Celebration.

McLoud: Blackberry Festival. Though McLoud might have lost its title as the Blackberry Capital of the World some time back, that doesn’t stop anyone there from taking to the streets of downtown every July for the annual Blackberry Festival. It dates back to the 1940s, when the end of harvest season just happened to coincide with the Fourth. These days the citizens of McLoud—who once famously sent a crate of their berries to President Harry Truman—meet up for live music and a carnival, plus a car show, a poker run, a tractor show, games for kids, and fireworks. You won’t be able to get your hands on a better dish of blackberry cobbler. And you’ll be hard pressed to find another blackberry pageant. July 5-6. More about the McLoud Blackberry Festival.

Miami: 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza. July 4 at Riverview Park, starting at 5 p.m. with the Miss Firecracker Contest, followed by a turtle derby, temporary tattooing, a hot-dog eating contest, water games, and fireworks after dark set to music from a live, local band (read: the local fire department). The pool, which is one of the largest municipal pools in the state, will be open, too. More about the Mimai 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza.

Moore: A Celebration in the Heartland. July 4, starting at 10 a.m. Wine, karaoke, a kids’ tent, sand volleyball, a car show, and fireworks after dark. More about A Celebration in the Heartland.

Nowata: Wild Turkey Festival & Fourth of July Celebration. There’s the whole bit about lawn chairs, the picnic baskets, a watermelon feed, and a fireworks show, and then there’s the Turkey Drop raffle that’s made this festival famous. The winner is determined by how the wild turkey droppings crumble. More about the Wild Turkey Festival & Fourth of July Celebration.

Pauls Valley: World Championship Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest. If you play Trivial Pursuit, you know this already: Pauls Valley is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the home of a record-busting watermelon seed-spitting contest, attended by oral projectile professionals from all over. The competition melon is split after a round of burgers and hot dogs, on the promise of the largest manually-lit fireworks display available between Oklahoma City and Dallas. July 4. More about the World Championship Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest.

Pawnee: July 4th Games. The Pawnee Courthouse square, home of the tallest flagpole in town, is the setting for the annual Fourth of July Games on July 4, a citywide celebration of country (in more ways than one). The tossing of eggs, boots, and water balloons are a celebration of America and its rural ways. Turtles and tricycles are raced across the lawn as kids raise the flag and a parade ambles down Main Street. The bubble-gum chewing contest is open to all ages. More about the July 4th Games in Pawnee.

Seminole: 4th of July Festival. July 4, 4 p.m., at Municipal Park with free watermelon and peanuts, inflatable toys for the kids, music, and fireworks at around 9:30 or 9:45 p.m. Free to attend. More about the 4th of July Festival in Seminole.

Shawnee: Grand Casino Independence Day Celebration. July 4. All are welcome to take down their tailgates and set up lawn chairs in the field north of the casino for a fireworks show, starting at about 10 p.m. More about Grand Casino Independence Day Celebration.

Tonkawa: Tonkawa Fourth of July Celebration. July 4. The party begins bright and early, at 7 a.m. with a pancake feed at the masonic lodge; from 10 a.m.-noon, take a walk through Heart in the Park, the only heart-shaped labyrinth in the world (at least, so the folks think); at 11:45 a.m. is the bike and ATV contest at the Methodist church; noon brings the parade down Main Street; at 12:30 is a free lunch of hot dogs at Ray See Park; at 1 p.m. is the duck derby at the canal; the Tonkawa city pool is open from 1-4 p.m.; games begin in Blinn Park starting at 5 p.m.; at 5:30 p.m. is the Tiny Tot and Mr. Muscle Contest. Fireworks begin at dusk. All free to attend.

Tulsa: ONEOK Freedom Fest. Nearly 100,000 people flood the banks of the Arkansas River for one of the largest fireworks displays in the state all year—it lasts over 20 minutes and reaches heights of over 800 feet. The festivities are spread across a total of four locations, complete with a rock-climbing wall, a hot-air balloon, an old-fashioned family picnic, a kids’ bicycle parade, and a street dance party at 31st and Riverside. More about ONEOK Freedom Fest.

Yukon: Freedom Fest. July 4 at City and Chisholm Trail Parks, with free watermelon and ice cream, a parade, the OKC Philharmonic, the Cherry Bomb Triathlon, sand volleyball, and fireworks at dark. More about Yukon Freedom Fest.

Woodward: Celebration at the Park. July 4 at Crystal Beach Park, starting at 7 a.m. Some highlights: a watermelon chunkin’, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament with a $1,200 prize, three 30-minute lumberjack shows with a 30-minute interactive camp, a Wild West trick roper, a free hamburger feed, night swimming, and a paddle-boat race. Fireworks start at about 9:45 p.m. More about Woodward’s Celebration in the Park.

Oklahoma Fireworks and Independence Day Celebrations By Date

Saturday, June 22
Edmond: LibertyFest

Saturday, June 29
OKC: Stars & Stripes River Festival

Sunday, June 30
Broken Arrow: Rockets Over Rhema

Wednesday, July 3
Owasso: Red, White & Boom

Thursday, July 4
Bartlesville: Freedom Fest
Blackwell: Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration
Coalgate: Coalgate Independence Day Celebration
Elk City: Elk City Fireworks Display
Eufaula: 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular
Jenks: Sooner Boomfest
Kingfisher: Independence Day Celebration
Luther: Star Spangled Celebration
Marlow: Old-Fashioned Independence Day Celebration
McAlester: Stars & Stripes Celebration
Miami: 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza
Moore: Celebration in the Heartland
Nowata: Wild Turkey Festival & Fourth of July Celebration
Pauls Valley: World Championship Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest
Pawnee: 4th of July Games
Seminole: 4th of July Festival
Shawnee: Grand Casino Independence Day Celebration at Firelake Grand Casino
Tonkawa: Tonkawa Fourth of July Celebration
Tulsa: ONEOK Freedom Fest
Weatherford: Weatherford Fourth of July Celebration
Woodward: Woodward 4th of July Celebration
Yukon: Freedom Fest

Friday, July 5
Grand Lake: Grand Lake Fireworks
McLoud: Blackberry Festival

Saturday, July 6
Jay: Huckleberry Festival
Hominy: Patriot Pull Arm Wrestling Tournament and Independence Day Celebration