Parades and Picnics

Growing up, the 4th of July meant parades and picnics with neighborhood friends and family. Quintessential summer fun. In our younger years, we’d station on the sidewalk to wave flags and watch the floats go by, but the best were the years when my brothers and I were “big kids” actually in the parade, waving and tossing candy to little ones along the route. Whether we participated in the community’s parade line-up or not, we could always count on the traditions of an all-day cookout menu and fireworks shows after sunset!

Lolli still uses this holiday as an opportunity to gather loved ones for #intentionalmemories with family, food and festivities. This year, we’re spending Independence Day at the lake, but for those of you sticking around Dallas, we’ve compiled a list of events in the area. And for friends and followers everywhere else, read until the end, since we’re also sharing some picnic-perfect recipes for last-minute entertaining inspiration wherever you’ll be! We’re looking forward to patriotic plates full of hot dogs, pimento cheesepicnic potato salad, and a few sweet treats along with the good times! God bless America.


Photo via 4th of July Events

Fair Park Fourth 

When: July 4th, 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Where: Fair Park, Dallas, TX

Cost: Free!

Fireworks Show: Starts at 9:45 PM

The State Fair of Texas Midway opens at noon! The Midway has rides, attractions, and concession stands. If you love the State Fair, I can imagine this feels like a prequel of the actual fair in the fall! At 3 p.m., free attractions will open throughout the Fair Park grounds, including water inflatables, games, a zipline on the Esplanade, rides, and face painters!

Starting at 6 p.m. live entertainment begins in the lagoon. The National Anthem will play at approximately 6:45 p.m. and there will be performances from the nation’s premier civilian wind band (The Dallas Winds) at 7 p.m. and from R&B singer Imaj at 8 p.m.

Then, beginning at 9:37 p.m., guests can view the Fair Park Fourth fireworks show! Viewing is available from inside Cotton Bowl Stadium, along the State Fair of Texas Midway, or at various other locations throughout the Fair Park grounds.

Park Cities July 4th Parade and Picnic

When: July 4th, 9:00 AM

Where:  Goar Park in University Park, TX

Cost: Free!

This annual parade is a decades-long tradition in the Park Cities community. The parade begins at Euclid Avenue near Highland Park Town Hall and winds through the Highland Park and University Park neighborhoods, ending in a family festival with food, games, and music at Goar Park. We hear there’s going to be a petting zoo, too!

Lake Highlands Parade and Carnival

When: July 4th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Where: Church Rd and Green Oaks Dr

Cost: Free!

The Lake Highlands 4th of July parade begins at 9 AM and is immediately followed by the carnival at 12 pm at the Lake Highlands North Rec center. There will be music, food, and games!

Photos via Park Cities People

Addison Kaboom Town

When: Tuesday, July 3rd, 4:00 PM – Midnight, activities start at 5 PM

Where: Addison Circle Park

Cost: Free!

Fireworks Show: Starts around 9:30 PM

Kick off Independence day a little early with Addison’s Kaboom Town tonight at 5 PM! The annual mega event features a 30-minute ground-launched fireworks show choreographed to music and a live radio simulcast on 100.3 JACK FM. There will also be food, games, live music, and the Addison Airport Airshow!

McKinney Red, White, and BOOM!

When: July 4th, 10:00 AM

Where: Historic Downtown McKinney (Parade and Car Show) | McKinney Soccer Complex at Craig Ranch (Evening Activities and Fireworks)

Cost: Free!

Fireworks Show: Starts at 9:45 PM at Craig Ranch

Red, White and BOOM! kicks off Independence Day with a hometown parade at 10 a.m., a classic car, truck and cycle show and a block party right after the parade in downtown McKinney.

In the evening, head over to McKinney Soccer Complex at Craig Ranch for music, food, kids’ activities, a concert and a fireworks display. The Trey Allen Band performs at 6:30-7:15 p.m and Blacktop Mojo performs at 7:30. The fireworks show starts at 9:45!

 Photo via 4th of July Events

Plano’s All-American 4th

When: July 4th, 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Where: Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve

Cost: Free!

Fireworks Show: Starts at 9:30 PM

Starting at 5 PM, grab some food from a variety of food trucks on site and find a spot to set up for the pre-fireworks music with live DJ at 7:30. The “Stupendous Fireworks Show” begins at 9:30 PM with live music simulcast on 97.5 KLAK!


Photo by Mom Endeavors

This Patriotic Punch is kid-friendly, and we imagine it tastes like drinking a melted popsicle. A fun sweet treat without the melt! We love anything served in a mason jar. VOILA, Y’ALL!™

Our very own Watermelon and Feta Skewers recipe is a perfect snack or appetizer for a patriotic party! Include your kitchen kids in making these, and note that you can substitute the watermelon for cherry tomatoes if need be.

Photo by Chelsea’s Messy Apron

For a Southern dinner delight, try Honey BBQ Pulled Pork sliders. They’re easy to pack up in foil and take to an evening fireworks show!

Photo by Two Peas and Their Pod

Toss together this easy summer pasta salad loaded with vegetables, and you’re ready for an Independence Day potluck!

Don’t forget to try mixing up a batch of Lolli’s Potato Salad. Lolli’s “secret sauce” differentiates her version of this classic Southern side dish. We’re not saying it’s low-calorie, but it’s high on taste and always a hit, even for those who say they “don’t like potato salad!”

Photo by Sweet as a Cookie

We normally like to keep the sweets contained to Tuesday Treats, but holidays are an exception. Round out your holiday meals with a festive dessert, like these red, white, and blue vanilla cake cookies you can make with the kids! This recipe is like an art project you can eat!

Or, try a healthier treat like these watermelon pops! They’re festive and frozen, which helps beat the summer heat. Adult guests will enjoy this fresh twist on fruit, too!

If you’re looking for patriotic attire and décor inspiration, please visit our SHOP for some festive finds, many which will be on SALE soon! What are some of your family’s 4th of July traditions? Let us know over on Instagram @lolliandme! Happy Independence Day to you and yours!

Featured photo by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion
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