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Independence Day Celebrations Omaha Knows How To Party

Omaha Knows How To Party
By Shout Omaha Staff

Independence Day is upon us once again. The United States Federal holiday commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the United Kingdom. Sound boring? Well, it kind of is, however, Congress decided it was important enough to make it a paid Federal holiday in 1938. People have been celebrating ever since.
Most commonly, massive arsenals of fireworks are purchased at whatever “legal” stand is selling them and the entire evening revolves around blowing things up. Decorations (e.g., streamers, balloons, and clothing) are generally colored red, white, and blue, the colors of the American Flag. It generally includes a hot dog, hamburger, BBQ, and that weird Jello mold your aunt makes. Then again, family is the centralized theme of the day so most likely you’ll be eating things you don’t necessarily want to eat.

Parades are often in the morning, while fireworks displays occur in the evening at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares. The night before the Fourth was once the focal point of celebrations, marked by raucous gatherings often incorporating bonfires as the centerpiece. Fireworks are literally the most important element of Independence Day. Without them, it’s just another excuse to sit around and be lazy while Uncle Joe flips hamburgers in his undershirt—not a pretty sight. Fireworks, on the other hand, are beautiful and become quite elaborate depending on your budget. Firework shows are held in many states, and many fireworks are sold for personal use or as an alternative to a public show. Safety concerns have led some states to ban fireworks or limit the sizes and types allowed. In 2009, New York City had the largest fireworks display in the country, with over 22 tons of pyrotechnics exploded. Other major displays are in Chicago on Lake Michigan; in San Diego over Mission Bay; in Boston on the Charles River; in St. Louis on the Mississippi River; in San Francisco over the San Francisco Bay; and on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. During the annual Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival, Detroit, Michigan hosts one of the world’s largest fireworks displays, over the Detroit River, to celebrate Independence Day in conjunction with Windsor, Ontario’s celebration of Canada Day. Omaha has its own traditions and for those who grew up in the area, the fireworks displays are incredible—not too shabby for a city under 1 million in population.

The Fourth of July holiday kicks off this weekend and with so many options for celebration in the Omaha area, it’s hard to pick just one. Perhaps one of the biggest and most popular over recent years is the College Home Run Derby and Omaha World-Herald’s Fireworks at T.D. Ameritrade Park on Thursday, July 3. It’s the World-Herald’s 30th annual Independence Day fireworks display. There are countless others so rather than make it impossible to find them, we’ve put them all in one place.
The following guide covers most of the bigger celebrations in the area:

Thursday, July 3

• Playing with Fire Concert followed by Fireworks at Midtown Crossing – 5:30 p.m.
• College Home Run Derby and Omaha World-Herald’s Fireworks at T.D. Ameritrade – 7:30 p.m., $8-$12
• Ralston Independence Day Celebration – July 3 -4

Friday, July 4

• Ralston Independence Day Celebration – Parade at 1 p.m., Fireworks 9:30 p.m., 72nd & Q
• Independence Fireworks at Werner Park
• Blair’s Annual Fireworks Display
• Armbrust Acres
• Champions Club
• Boys Town
• Star Spangled Special at Omaha Pools – $1.00 admission
• Independence Day Bash at Camelot – 7/4, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Summer Games (rain or shine), 1 – 5 p.m. Pool Games, Free Admission
• Red, White and Zoo! – 7/4 – 7/6, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
• Nebraska Wind Symphony Concert – 6/29 (6 p.m. at Stinson Park) and 7/4 (6 p.m. at Chalco Hills), FREE
• Salute to Military at the Strategic Air & Space Museum – 7/4-7/6, FREE admission to active Military, Guard and Reserve personnel and their family. Military ID required.

Saturday, July 5

• Fireworks at Werner Park
• Patriots Weekend at the Omaha Children’s Museum – 7/5 (9-5) & 7/6 (1-5). Fireworks Science Show, milk fireworks, and explore fireworks blow painting
• Red, White and Zoo! – 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
• Salute to Military at the Strategic Air & Space Museum – 7/4-7/6, FREE admission to active Military, Guard and Reserve personnel and their family. Military ID required.

Sunday, July 6

• Patriots Weekend at the Omaha Children’s Museum – 7/5 (9-5) & 7/6 (1-5). Fireworks Science Show, milk fireworks, and explore fireworks blow painting
• Red, White and Zoo! – 7/4 – 7/6, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
• Salute to Military at the Strategic Air & Space Museum – 7/4-7/6, FREE admission to active Military, Guard and Reserve personnel and their family. Military ID required.

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