If you’re celebrating Independence Day, there’s not a better place to be in these parts than Arlington, TX.

Not only is Arlington home to one of the largest 4th of July parades in the state, we also offer a huge festival-and-fireworks show in Downtown Arlington, fireworks and Texas Rangers baseball at Globe Life Park, roller coasters and water slides, and free concerts under the stars. With so much going on, there’s no excuse not to have a blast as you celebrate our nation’s independence, especially when you’re armed with these smart tips for 4th of July fun in Arlington:

Monday, July 3, 2017
Downtown Arlington
Festival begins at 6 p.m. / Fireworks begin at 9:45 p.m.    View the entertainment schedule

NOTE: Due to construction, the fireworks will be shot off from 101 Mesquite Street this year.

ONE: Pack and dress smart.

Wear comfy, sturdy shoes, attire that’s suitable for the heat, and an initial layer of sunscreen and insect repellent. Items you’ll want to bring or pack include:

  • A lawn chair or blanket.
  • A picnic basket or cooler with snacks and bottled water (no glass containers). You can also purchase food and beverage on site or grab a bite before the festival at a Downtown Arlington eatery.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Extra sunscreen and bug spray.

TWO: Know where to park.

There is free parking at UTA, in any public lot in Downtown Arlington, and curbside on some of the side streets near the event venue. Look for Downtown Arlington street signs directing you to legal parking spots.

THREE: Leave your four-legged children behind.

While well-behaved pets on leashes are permitted at Light Up Arlington, event organizers say it’s probably best to leave Fluffy at home. The event’s loud noises and large crowds tend to make pets frightened, miserable, and likely to bolt.

FOUR: Arrive early.

Folks in Arlington are pretty big on this 4th of July stuff, which means that Light Up Arlington tends to attract sizeable crowds.  That’s why we suggest that you arrive earlier, rather than later, so that you have time to visit all of the festival attractions before staking out a place to watch the fireworks.

Tuesday, July 5, 2017
Downtown Arlington View the route
The parade kicks off with the national anthem at 9 a.m.

FIVE: Pick your perch ahead of time.

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

SIX: Get a parking plan.

If you can’t drive the route before the big day, check out the Downtown Arlington parking map  for an overview of free spaces available.  One of your best options is the free parking garage at UTA’s College Park District. 

SEVEN: Arrive before 8 a.m. if you can.

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’s 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).

EIGHT: Bring the right gear.  

Smart parade watchers are encouraged to bring the following”

  • Blankets.
  • Fully-charged smart phone or digital camera (and backup batteries or chargers).  
  • A cooler with snacks and beverages (be sure and include Gatorade or bottled water)—or cash or plastic to purchase food and beverage downtown.
  • Folding or lawn chairs.
  • Hand sanitizer, lotion, wet naps.  
  • Handheld fans.
  • A small table (for large-ish groups).  
  • Umbrella, parasol, or canopy.
  • Insect repellant and sunscreen.

NINE: Dress for success.

Comfy and supportive shoes are a must for parade goers, as are hats and sunglasses. Red, white, and blue ensembles are also highly encouraged! Buy your official Arlington 4th of July Parade t-shirt

Can’t come to the parade?

No problem! You can still join the fun remotely, since the entire event is broadcast in Arlington on ATT U-Verse Channel 99, Time Warner Channel 16 or 15.1, or via MyArlingtonTV.