Where to catch fireworks and much more throughout the Twin Cities

Image by Todd Buchanan/Greenspring Media

By Aubrey Schield

Whether you prefer watching a grandiose fireworks display or would rather light sparklers in your backyard in the company of friends and family, we have the ultimate guide to Fourth of July in the Twin Cities. Check out the lineup for a red, white and blue-tastic weekend, along with our top 5 favorite spots for catching fireworks displays.

Where to See Fireworks

1. Stone Arch Bridge
The iconic stone bridge that leads into Downtown Minneapolis gives a great vantage point for seeing fireworks shot as part of the Red, White and Boom celebration. Get there early, as spots to sit fill up quickly, and stick around after the show for post-fireworks libations at the eateries along St. Anthony Main.

2. Lake Minnetonka
The Twin Cities’ largest lake is also home to a spectacular fireworks display shot over the water. Read about the City of Excelsior’s Fourth of July Celebration below.

3. Valleyfair
Shakopee’s outdoor amusement park will host a firework display that is just as thrilling as its rides. The park is open until 11 p.m. on July 4th, with the firework show starting at 10 p.m.

4. Powderhorn Lake Park
If you’re looking for smaller crowds, this is the place to watch fireworks to celebrate Independence Day. The display isn’t quite as massive as that of Red, White and Boom, but will still get you in the spirit of the holiday.

5. Gold Medal Park
Observe beautiful bursts of color over Downtown Minneapolis from the pristine Gold Medal Park.


Monday, July 3

Bloomington Summer Fete
Normandale Lake Park hosts the annual Independence Day extravaganza, featuring carnival rides, live music on two stages, kids’ activities and fireworks at dusk.
5-9 p.m.: Kids’ carnival open
5-7:20 p.m.: Live music on the 84th Street Kids Stage
5-10 p.m.: Live music on the Main Stage
Dusk: Fireworks

Red, White and Boom
Head to the Downtown Minneapolis riverfront for Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board’s annual Fourth of July celebration. Enjoy live music and an outdoor movie on the eve of Independence Day.
7-8:30 p.m. Live music
Dusk: Outdoor movie

Tuesday, July 4

4th In The Park
Check out all the festivities at Langford Park in St. Paul for this year’s 4th in the Park.
8 a.m.: Langford Park races (register at the recreation building)
11 a.m.: Grand Parade
12 p.m.: Live music by the Saint Anthony Park Community Band at the bandstand
1-2:30 p.m.: Live music by Pig’s Eye Jass Band at the bandstand
1-4 p.m.: Kids’ activities and pony rides

Fort Snelling Independence Day Celebration
Hear the blast of the cannon and the fire of musket salutes to celebrate our nation’s independence. Order your tickets ahead of time to ensure admission; adults get in for $12, children ages 5 to 17 for $6, children under 5 for free, and college students and seniors for $10. Discounted tickets are available for Minnesota Historical Society members.
10:15 a.m.: Flag raising ceremony
11 a.m.: Infantry parade and musket salute
11:30 a.m.: Rounders game and egg races
12 p.m.: War of 1812 mock battle presentation
12:30 p.m.: Fife & Drum Corps performance
1 p.m.: Cannon salutes
1:30 p.m.: Rounders game and egg races
2 p.m.: Infantry parade and musket salute
2:30 p.m.: Fife & Drum Corps performance
3 p.m.: War of 1812 mock battle presentation
3:30 p.m. Live music and dancing
4 p.m.: Cannon salutes
4:30 p.m.: Flag lowering ceremony

Lake Minnetonka 4th of July Celebration
It doesn’t get better than watching a spectacular fireworks show on the shores of one of the Twin Cities’ most beautiful lakes. Head to downtown Excelsior for one of the area’s best Fourth of July events.
7:30 a.m.: Firecracker Runs (1 mile, 5K and 10K); register here
9 a.m.: Sand Sculpture Contest at kids’ beach
11 a.m.: Water Street Kids’ Parade and Popsicle Social
11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Petting zoo
4 p.m.: Live music by Becky Rae Dalton
6 p.m.: Live music by Brothers & Others Band
7:30 p.m.: Live music by Leah and The Rattlers
9:55 p.m.: The National Anthem performed by Kate Raddatz
Dusk: Fireworks

Red, White and Boom! TC Half Marathon, Relay & 5K
Minneapolis’ Red, White and Boom festivities continue with the Twin Cities in Motion half marathon, relay and 5K races, along with more live music, family activities and, of course, a slam bang finish of a fireworks display. Register for the race here.
6:30 a.m.: Races begin
6-10 p.m.: Live music and family activities
10 p.m.: Fireworks

Rock and Rockets at Mystic Lake
It’s the ultimate combination: live music, food trucks and fireworks. Chow down on food from nearly a dozen food trucks while you enjoy the sounds of Step Rockets, Pop Rocks, Deejay St. Joel and more. This event is free of charge.
5-8:30 p.m.: Live music by Pop Rocks
8:30-10 p.m.: Live music by Step Rockets
9 p.m.-1 a.m.: Live music by Nightlights at the Indoor After Party
10 p.m.: Fireworks
11 p.m.: Outdoor after party with Deejay St. Joel

Wednesday, July 5

Music in Plymouth
Don’t miss the 45th anniversary of Plymouth’s outdoor concert and fireworks display! The widely renowned Minnesota Orchestra will be back to perform at the Hilde Performance Center. Fire dancers will take the stage after the orchestra and engage the audience until the grand finale of the event—a grandiose fireworks show. Be sure to get to Music in Plymouth early to ensure a viewing spot.

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