While many of Greater Cincinnati's Fourth of July festivities and fireworks shows were canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Independence Day events have returned for 2021 in neighborhoods across the city.
So if you're looking to celebrate #America with a parade or pyrotechnics, here's where go:
Friday, July 2
Taps, Tastes and Tunes Festival, Voice of America Park, July 2-4 — The Taps, Tastes and Tunes Festival takes over Voice of America park all weekend. Things kick-off Friday from 5-11 p.m. July 2 with food, beverages, craft vendors, live music and family-friendly activities. Events resume noon-11 p.m. July 3 and noon-9 p.m. July 4. Fireworks conclude the festival at 10 p.m. July 4. See a full band lineup at westchesteroh.org. Free. 8070 Tylersville Road, West Chester, westchesteroh.org.
Sparks in the Park, Milford, July 2 — Sparks in the Park begins at 8 p.m. July 2. The celebration goes until 10 p.m., and fireworks go off at 10 p.m. to conclude the festivities. The Billy Rock Band will be providing tunes. Free. Riverside Park Ballfield, 3969 Round Bottom Road, Milford, facebook.com/milfordohio.
Reds vs. Cubs Game, Great American Ball Park, July 2 — Head to Great American Ball Park on July 2 to watch the Chicago Cubs take on the Cincinnati Reds at 7:10 p.m. After the game, stick around for a Rozzi's fireworks show, presented by Mike Castrucci Automotive. Game tickets start at $12. Great American Ball Park, reds.com.
Saturday, July 3
Balloon Glow, Coney Island, July 3 — Balloon Glow is back at Coney Island on July 3, featuring dozens of dazzling and tethered hot air balloons lighting up the landscape from 8-10 p.m. In addition to glowing aircrafts, there will be live music, carnival rides and games — all family-friendly. Rozzi's Famous Fireworks will close out the night with an explosive show over the park's Lake Como at 10:15 p.m. All Coney Island water attractions will be open 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Balloon Glow is free to attend, but parking costs $15 until 2 p.m. and $20 after 2 p.m. 6201 Kellogg Ave., California, Ohio. Read CityBeat's story about the Coney Island Balloon Glow.
Red, White and KaBOOM, Fairfield, July 3 — Fairfield's Harbin Park closes to vehicle traffic at 6 p.m. July 3 in anticipation of the Red, White, and KaBOOM fireworks show from Rozzi's Famous Firework. The Harbin Park Soccer Lot opens to pedestrian viewers at 8 p.m. and fireworks start at 10 p.m. A soundtrack to the show will play at 92.9 JACK FM. Free. 1300 Hunter Road, Fairfield, fairfield-city.org.
43rd Annual Fourth of July, Edgewood, July 3 — Edgewood is hosting its 43rd-annual all-day Fourth of July fest, featuring a slew of activities. A 5k race begins at 7:30 a.m. July 3 at Tri-State Running. A parade at Caywood Elementary follows at 9:30 a.m. with the theme "Brave Heroes and Edgewood Strong." Floats and vehicles had to register online in advance, and awards including Best Original Entry, Best Performing Entry and Best Entry Honoring the Theme are up for grabs. The Derek Alan Band takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. in Freedom Park before fireworks begin at 9:45 p.m. Free. Freedom Park, 550 Freedom Park Drive, Edgewood, edgewoodky.gov.
4th of July Spectacular, Colerain, July 3 — The 4th of July Spectacular, hosted by Rumpke, is back with live music and fireworks. The celebration is described as a "back-to-basics, hometown Americana, family-oriented (no alcohol) event that celebrates our Country and this great place we call home!" The event features live music from the Classic Rock Experience and Bob Dellaposta, food trucks and kids activities. Free parking opens at 6:30 p.m. (until midnight) July 3 at Colerain Middle School and Northgate Mall; a shuttle will take guests to the event. Fireworks start at 10 p.m. Free. Colerain Township Government Complex, 4200 Springdale Road, Colerain, colerain.org.
Mt. Healthy, July 3 — Colour of Rhythm performs on the City Park stage at 6 p.m. July 3. Fireworks begin at dusk after the music concludes. Free. Mt. Healthy City Park, 1541 Hill Ave., Mt. Healthy, facebook.com.
City of Fort Mitchell Independence Day Parade, Fort Mitchell, July 3 — Fort Mitchell is hosting its annual Independence Day Parade. The theme is "America the Beautiful," and the procession will be led by the the Wong family from Oriental Wok. The parade begins at noon July 3 at the DCCH Center and ends at the intersection of Beechwood Road and Pleasant Ridge Avenue. Roads affected close at 11:30 a.m. DCCH Center, 75 Orphanage Road, Fort Mitchell, facebook.com.
Independence Day Parade & Celebration, Madeira, July 3 — Madeira is celebrating the Fourth of July with a family-friendly festival at McDonald Commons. First up, there's a "Madeira Mile" fun run at 5:30 p.m. July 3, starting at Madeira Presbyterian Church. Then, the parade starts at 6 p.m. at Madeira High School and winds down Miami Avenue to St. Gertrude Church. And then from 7-10 p.m. at McDonald Commons, there will be food trucks, beer and live music from Naked Karate Girls, capped off by a fireworks show at 10 p.m. Free. McDonald Commons, 7502 Dawson Road, Madeira, facebook.com.
Independence Day Parade & Festival, Montgomery, July 3 — This year, Montgomery will kick off its Independence Day bash at 10 a.m. July 3 with the parade, which is scheduled to have 61 units marching and rolling through the streets of Downtown Montgomery. Immediately following the parade will be a festival, scheduled for 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Montgomery Park. The celebration will host food booths that include Donatos pizza, Graeter’s ice cream, hamburgers, hot dogs and a beer vendor, Frederick says. Visitors can enjoy live music from Eden, a historical scavenger hunt throughout the park and children’s crafts like decorating a patriotic owl or kite. The Little League All-Star Game will also take place during the jamboree. Free. Downtown Montgomery, montgomeryohio.gov. Read CityBeat's story about Montgomery's festivities.
Sunday, July 4
Red, White & Blue Ash, Blue Ash, July 4 — Blue Ash Fourth of July extravaganza Red, White & Blue Ash is at Summit Park this year. With a focus on fireworks and a special choreographed drone show, there will be no food or drink vendors this year or live music; attendees are encouraged to bring their own. Red, White & Blue Ash's fireworks show from Arthur Rozzi Pyrotechnics takes place at 10 p.m. Radio station WARM 98.5 will simulcast the show and soundtrack. The drone display will include 200 drones moving "in a bright, coordinated, colorful display, all expertly synchronized to a soundtrack," says a release from the city. The fest took last year off due to COVID. Free. 4335 Glendale Milford Road, Blue Ash, blueashevents.com. Read CityBeat's story about Blue Ash's festivities.
Northside Fourth of July Porch Parade and Block Party, Northside, July 4 — While last year's Northside Fourth of July Parade and Rock & Roll carnival was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year, the fest is shifting to a safer approach: Neighbors will transform their homes into stationary floats — sort of like the ScareCoronas art show from this past spring — and folks will meander the streets on walking routes to view them. There will be passport stickers for children and small block parties throughout Northside. A jury will decide who's house float is the most spirited. The Parade Committee is offering decor kits at northsideparade.com. Events last all day July 4. Free. Find a map of participating "floats" and more details at facebook.com/Northside4thOfJulyParade. Read CityBeat's story about Northside's festivities.
Red, White & BOOM with the Cincinnati Pops, Riverbend Music Center, July 4 — The Cincinnati Pops are back at Riverbend Music Center for their patriotic salute to America 8 p.m. July 4. John Morris Russell conducts with the Annie Moses Band and baritone Chris Kenney. Expect American favorites "inspired by the beauty of this land and its peoples," sys the Pops. A fireworks show happens after the concert. Adult tickets start at $15; military and veteran tickets are $5. Riverbend Music Center, 6295 Kellogg Ave., California, Ohio, cincinnatisymphony.org.
55th-Annual Independence Day Fireworks, Ault Park, July 4 — This all-day festival takes over Ault Park from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. July 4. A children's parade and contests begin at 11 a.m. (walk-up registration starts at 10:30 a.m.), with food trucks, fun and live music throughout the day. The evening events begin at 6 p.m. with GenX taking the stage at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. Free. Ault Park Pavilion, 5090 Observatory Circle, Hyde Park, aultparkac.org.
Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks, Harrison, July 4 — A Fourth of July parade starts at 4 p.m. July 4 in Harrison. There will also be a cornhole tournament (with two-person teams and a bracket) from 6-9 p.m. Miss Jacque Band performs at 7 p.m. before fireworks at dusk. In between, enjoy face painters, a caricature artist, a magician, food, drinks and adult beverages. Free. Harrison Community Center, 300 George St., Harrison, harrisonohio.gov.
July 4th Parade, Wyoming, July 4 — Wyoming is hosting a Fourth of July parade with the theme "Step Up Your Parade Game." The parade begins on Oak Avenue at noon July 4. Day-of registration will be available at the Village Green gazebo or in advance online. Following the parade is a block party featuring live music and local food at the Village Green 1-4 p.m. Fireworks by Rozzi' Famous Fireworks will begin at 9:45 p.m at Oak Park. Social distancing will be observed. Free. Village Green, Wyoming, facebook.com/wyomingoh.
Stricker's Grove Fourth of July Celebration, Stricker’s Grove, July 4 — Although this private family-owned amusement park is closed to the public most days of the year, Stricker's Grove opens its nostalgic grounds to all on the Fourth of July. Admission to Stricker’s Grove is free, but tickets are required to ride attractions like the tilt-a-whirl, scrambler and Tornado wooden roller coaster. Food and alcohol will be available to purchase; you can also bring your own food (but not booze). Rides are open 3-11 p.m. July 4. Fireworks cap off the night at 10 p.m. Free admission; $5 parking before 6 p.m.; $8 parking after 8 p.m. Stricker's Grove, 11490 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton, strickersgrove.com. Read CityBeat's story about Stricker's Grove festivities.