Make Plans to Spend July 3 and 4 in Downtown Arlington
We might be partial, but we think the American Dream City really knows how to put on a star-spangled party! Two of Arlington’s most popular and long-standing traditions – Light Up Arlington and the Arlington 4th of July Parade – take place right here in Downtown Arlington.
July 3: Light Up Arlington
Since it began a dozen years ago, Light Up Arlington has grown in popularity as fast as a Texas sunflower in summertime. When the show first lit up the sky with fireworks over Lake Arlington, there were 5,000 people in attendance. Now, with its home in Downtown Arlington, over 50,000 are expected to attend on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 for an evening of entertainment, music, food, fireworks and plenty of kid-friendly fun.
From 6:00 p.m. until the fireworks begin, explore two fun-filled Kids Zones. Anchored by the 92.1 Hank FM live music stage, Boomtown (southeast corner of Center St. and South St.) boasts a trackless train and inflatable games for the kids, glow-in-the-dark items for sale, vendors, food trucks and more.
Along Firecracker Alley (northwest corner of Abram St. and Pecan St.), you can take part in the Texas Health Resources health fair tent, pony rides, petting zoo, vendors, glow product sales, carnival foods and food trucks.
In addition to food trucks and vendors, check out the dozens of Downtown restaurants that provide an impressive array of dining options.
Meanwhile, three entertainment stages at the Levitt Pavilion, Grease Monkey and Municipal Office Tower will keep the party going until after dark.
Ready for the oooh and ahhh? Be sure you’re in your favorite viewing spot no later than 9:45 p.m. for the main event. Fireworks will be launched from the Municipal Office Tower (101 S. Mesquite). Be sure to set your radio to 95.9 The Ranch to hear music that perfectly complements the pageantry.
For more information and a map, visit lightuparlington.com.
July 4: Arlington 4th of July Parade
Ask anyone from Arlington and they’ll tell you: their hometown’s Independence Day parade is the biggest and best in Texas. Over 50 years strong, this tradition continues to uphold its place as the longest-standing annual event in the city.
Today’s Arlington 4th of July Parade is a festive combination of nearly 150 volunteer- and professionally-built floats and entries sponsored by local organizations, institutions, businesses and youth. Be sure to give a special cheer for the Knights of Columbus, the only entry that has participated in every Arlington 4th of July Parade since its inception.
The Arlington 4th of July Parade starts at 9:00 a.m. on July 4, locals will tell you to arrive early to claim your favorite viewing location. Fortunately, the two-mile parade route offers plenty of options for the estimated 60,000 attendees, including shady stretches within the College Park District on the UT Arlington campus, curbside to a Downtown restaurant, or in front of Arlington City Hall where the judges’ reviewing stand is located and the Arlington Community Band performs during the parade.
Following the parade at 1:00 p.m., you’re invited to attend the Awards Ceremony at Knapp Heritage Park, located at 201 W. Front Street in Downtown.
For information and a map, visit arlington4th.org.
What to Bring
To make the most of both events, bring a lawn chair or blanket for relaxing, snacks or a picnic, and a cooler with beverages (no glass containers, please). You might also want to bring along hats, sunscreen, and bug spray. Red, white and blue apparel encouraged! Strollers are permitted.
Parking and Getting Around Downtown
By March 2020, the transformation of Abram Street will be complete. In the meantime, Abram St. is open for business! Track #myAbram and visit myAbram.com for the latest information about traffic routing, temporary parking and construction milestones.
Download Waze for free and see real-time traffic, find optimal routes and avoid road closures, or leave your car at home and hail Via Arlington Ride Share for only $3.
On July 3 and 4, you can park for free at UT Arlington or in any public lot in Downtown. Parking is also available on side streets. UTA will offer free shuttles to and from remote parade parking at Maverick Stadium.
Subscribe, Post, Tweet and Tag
Subscribe to Downtown Arlington’s weekly e-newsletter, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and tag us with @dtArlington.
About Downtown Arlington
Designated by the State of Texas as the Arlington Cultural District, Downtown Arlington blends a unique mix of activities, sights, tastes and sounds that attract visitors and locals alike. Within its less than a two-mile radius, Downtown is home to a top tier public research university, prolific fine and performing artists and arts institutions, live entertainment, exciting NCAA and professional athletics, one-of-a-kind dining and retail, and a supportive business climate.