July Fourth Festivities

Fireworks, fests and family fun to fill your Fourth of July weekend

click to enlarge Red, White and Blue Ash - Photo: Sarah Chaney
Photo: Sarah Chaney
Red, White and Blue Ash
For four days, Cincinnati will fill backyards with smoke, streets with sparklers and skies with crackling colors in honor of American independence. Nearly every neighborhood has its own festivities, so leave the research to us and get out there this Fourth of July weekend for some freedom and flag waving.


Kings Island Fourth of July Spectacular — Kings Island’s nightly fireworks will pale in comparison to the red, white and blue spectacle of the fourth. The shows Saturday, Sunday and Monday will be three times the typical size, and Tuesday’s will be 10. Active and retired military members with a valid military ID get in free all weekend. Park hours: 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday and Monday; 10 a.m.-midnight. Tuesday. Fireworks begin 10 p.m. daily. Free with park admission: $67 at the gate. 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason, visitkingsisland.com.

Newport Motorcycle Rally — Don your roughest leather and your baddest bike for this four-day celebration of motorcycles and America. There will be beer and bites all weekend long, with a fireworks display Monday after dark. Motorcycle registration is Saturday at 11 a.m. Noon-11 p.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday; noon-11 p.m. Monday; noon-9 p.m. Tuesday. Free admission. Festival Park, Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., newportmotorcyclerally.com.

Fourth of July Jam — This Fourth of July celebration is an all-American picnic in the park complete with cornhole, carnival games, face painting and fireworks. The Chili Hut, Chicken Mac Truck and more have food covered. Lean back with a craft brew from some of your favorite local breweries, including Rhinegeist and MadTree. Plus, there will be live entertainment up until 9:50 p.m., when the fireworks take center stage. 3-10 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.

Firecracker Festival — This annual festival includes rides, food, fireworks and more. It’s rain or shine for the family-friendly event at Symmes Township Park. 3-11 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. Symmes Township Park, 11600 N. Lebanon Road, Loveland, lovelandchamber.org.

Crossroads West Side Fireworks Extravaganza — You don’t have to worship to be a part of this West Side celebration (if you do, there’s a service at 5:30 p.m.). All are welcome to bring their coolers, blankets and loved ones to claim a spot on the church’s West Side lawn. There will be food trucks onsite and fireworks after dark. No pets. Sorry fido! 7 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. Crossroads West Side, 8575 Bridgetown Road, Cleves, facebook.com/crdschurch.


Northside Rock N’ Roll Carnival — This show is a playground for the residents of this eccentric neighborhood, complete with fire breathers, burlesque dancers and sword swallowers. Festivities feature two days of local music for all ages, along with family art activities. You’ll catch Diane Coffee, Tweens, Stef Chura, Kate Wakefield, Lung, The Yugos and many more on stage. Beer will be tapped at 3 p.m. and served at 4 p.m. Monday; on Tuesday, join in ‘kegs and eggs’ at 10 a.m. followed by a parade and live music. 3 p.m. Monday. 10 a.m. Tuesday. Free admission. 4101 Hamilton Avenue, Northside, northsiderocks.com.

LaRosa’s Balloon Glow at Coney Island — A shimmering display of Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks will follow an evening filled with glowing balloons. There is no charge to view the spectacular sky, but make a day of it and arrive early for Coney’s normal rides and attractions. 6-10 p.m. Monday. Free admission; $9 parking until 2 p.m.; $12 parking after 2 p.m.; normal rates apply for Sunlite Pool and rides. Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave., California, coneyislandpark.com.

City of Madeira Independence Day Parade — Fireworks will close out this family-friendly event, but there’s fun to be had all day. Flags will wave and floats will flow from Miami Avenue to Gertrude Street in the city’s annual parade. More Fourth of July fun will follow at Sellman Park, where there will be live music, food and drinks. 6:30-10 p.m. Monday. Free admission. Sellman Park, 6700 Marvin Ave., Madeira, madeiracity.com.

Independence Day Fireworks on Fountain Square — This event will light up the square and the sky. Fountain Square will feature its usual festivities — live bands, food and concessions — along with glow toys and fireworks brought especially for the Fourth. 6-11 p.m. Monday. Free admission. Fountain Square, 5th & Vine streets, downtown, myfountainsquare.com.

Blue Ash Montgomery Symphony Concert — You’ll place hand on heart as the symphony orchestra opens with the national anthem, but you can sit down for the rest. Bring a blanket or lawn chair for a night of patriotic tunes and Broadway favorites in Montgomery Park. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Monday. Free admission. Montgomery Park, 10105 Montgomery Road, Montgomery, montgomeryohio.org.


Independence Day Celebration Spectacular — Montgomery’s celebration begins with a parade along Cooper Road and ends with a kid-friendly festival at Montgomery Park. You’ll eat some America’s best: corn-on-the-cob, hot dogs, barbeque, beer and ice cream. The event is complete with live music, kids’ games, pony rides and an All-Star baseball game. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday. Free admission. Festival takes place at Montgomery Park, 10105 Montgomery Road, Montgomery, montgomeryohio.org.

Ault Park Independence Day Fireworks — The 52nd-annual Ault Park Independence Day celebration will begin with a children’s parade and end with a fireworks display worthy of the Founding Fathers. Live music and concessions fill the time in between. Enjoy mac and cheese, barbeque, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, lemonade and more. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Tuesday. Free admission. Ault Park Pavilion, 5090 Observatory Circle, Hyde Park, aultparkac.org.

Northside Fourth of July Parade — As the second half of Northside’s festivities, this parade is an artistic spectacle. It promises plenty of puppets, floats and costumed characters. Bring your camera to capture Northside’s kooky qualities, and you just might win the parade photo contest. But only if your submission includes the following criteria: patriotism, beauty, creativity and Northside-ness. Noon Tuesday. Free admission. Hamilton Ave., Northside, northsidejuly4.com.

Stricker’s Grove Fourth of July Fireworks — Every kid’s dream, this privately-owned amusement park is open only four days a year — and Independence Day is one of them. Guests can spend the whole day on coasters and rides. Fireworks will follow. 3-11 p.m. July 4. Free admission; $15 unlimited rides; $5 parking. Stricker’s Grove, 11490 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton, strickersgrove.com.

Red, White and Blue Ash — Celebrate at an annual event that attracts thousands. There will be enough food and entertainment to fill the evening. The Steel Woods will kick off live music at 5:30 p.m., and REO Speedwagon will take the stage at 8 p.m. Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks will bring the festivities to a close at 10 p.m. 4-10:35 p.m. July 4. Free. Summit Park, 4335 Glendale Milford Road, Blue Ash, blueashevents.com. 

Patriotic Pops — Fanfare will he heard and fun will be had. Cincinnati Pops Orchestra will bring patriotic music and sparkling fireworks to this performance at Riverbend. Picnics on the lawn are encouraged. Patriotic Pops ticket holders will also receive free admission to Coney Island for classic rides all day. 8 p.m. Tuesday. $15 lawn ticket; $5 for active military members; free for 17 and under. Riverbend Music Center, 6295 Kellogg Ave., California, cincinnatisymphony.org.