With so many fabulous things to do in Arlington, TX during the Fourth of July weekend, you’ll need a few tips to help you rock your red, white, and blue good times in comfort and style:

Sunday, July 3
Downtown Arlington/Founders Plaza View a map
Festival begins at 6 p.m. /Fireworks begin at 9:45 p.m. View the entertainment schedule

ONE: Pack for success.

We highly recommend that you bring bottled water, hand sanitizer and insect repellent in your purse or tote. Lawn chairs, blankets and coolers (no glass containers allowed) are all welcome so when you get there, be ready to claim your space for the fireworks show. Or, come up with a plan to store those items in your car during the earlier part of the evening. 

TWO: Here’s the lowdown on dining and drinking options…

Light Up Arlington guests can either bring their own food and drink (no glass containers are allowed); OR, enjoy food and beverages from one of the event’s food trucks or carnival concession vendors; OR visit one of Downtown Arlington’s eateries or watering holes. Make sure you bring cash, as some of the vendors are cash only!

THREE: Think before you invite your favorite furry friend.  

While well-behaved pets on leashes are permitted at Light Up Arlington, it may be best to leave Fido at home. The loud noises and large crowds may frighten your furball.

FOUR: And speaking of crowds…

Folks in Arlington are pretty big on this Fourth of July stuff, so Light Up Arlington tends to draw sizable crowds. So as much as we hate to discourage anyone from coming to this super-fun event, extra-cranky kids or people who get anxious in crowded spaces are better off staying away. As for the rest of you Fourth of July fanatics, you should have no problem navigating the crowds and having a blast, especially if you:

  • Arrive earlier rather than later
  • Wear comfy clothes and even comfier shoes (that are suitable for walking)
  • Stay hydrated and nourished
  • Arrive ready to have fun!

It might also be helpful to have a “meet up” plan (like “meet up on the steps of City Hall”) if your group gets separated or if you travel to the event in separate vehicles.

FIVE: Study your parking options.

Free parking for Light Up Arlington is available at UTA, on Downtown side streets, and on public surface lots in Downtown Arlington. Once you roll up to Downtown, look for signage pointing you in the right direction. 

More about Light Up Arlington

Monday, July 4, 2016
Downtown Arlington View the route
The parade kicks off with the national anthem at 9 a.m.

ONE: If possible, scope out your spot before the big day.

Sometime before the Fourth, drive the parade route and decide where you want to sit and where you need to park to get to your A-list spot. We recommend that you also designate a Plan B spot in case your first choice doesn’t work out for some reason.

TWO: Investigate parking options before you leave the house that morning.  

If you can’t drive the route before the big day, check out the Downtown Arlington parking map or the City of Arlington’s list of tips on where to park. One of your best options is the free parking garage at UTA’s College Park District, located at UTA Boulevard (Border Street), South Center Street and Spaniolo Drive (South Pecan Street).  

THREE: Sunscreen is your friend.  

Sunscreen and hats are an absolute must for anyone going to the parade. Pack a sunscreen stick and re-apply as the morning goes on. Insect repellent is also a good thing to apply before you leave (and bring). Be sure and watch for ant colonies when you’re settling into your preferred watching spot.

FOUR: Be an early bird. (8 a.m. or earlier).

The earlier you arrive, the better the chances that you’ll be able to snag that premium watch spot with little to no trouble. Some of Downtown Arlington eateries and convenience stores will be open early, so bring a little cash or plastic in case you want to stock up on caffeine or snacks. You’re also welcome to BYO food and beverages (see below).

FIVE: Pack the right gear.

Here’s a sample Arlington 4th of July pack list:

  • Blankets
  • Charged smartphones or digital cameras (and backup batteries or chargers)
  • Cooler with snacks and non-glass beverages (be sure and include Gatorade or bottled water).
  • Folding or lawn chairs
  • Hand sanitizer, lotion, wet naps
  • Handheld paddle or battery powered fans
  • A small table (if you have a large-ish hungry group)
  • Umbrella, parasol, or canopy
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen

Whatever you bring, please remember to refrain from occupying more space than you need and to be a respectful (and fun!) neighbor to the spectators around you.

SIX: Dress for success.

Comfy and supportive shoes are a must for parade goers. Red, white, and blue ensembles are also highly encouraged!

Need a few supplies or some patriotic clothes or swag? Check out Lincoln Square, The Parks, or the Arlington Highlands.

SEVEN: Plan to hang for a while.

While you’re waiting for the post-parade traffic to clear, head to a Downtown Arlington restaurant or bar for a yummy lunch or an ice cold draft beer.

EIGHT: Join the 4th of July fun wherever you are.

Can’t make the parade this year? No worries at all, since you can watch the entire event on ATT U-Verse Channel 99, Time Warner Channel 16 or 15.1, or via live streaming online through MyArlingtonTV.

More about the Arlington 4th of July Parade

Headed to Six Flags for the Fourth? Try these tips

Headed to Hurricane Harbor for the Fourth? Try these tips