There are only three times when star-spangled attire is acceptable: Memorial Day, the midnight showing of a Captain America movie, and the Fourth of July. Luckily, Cincinnati is hosting Independence Day celebrations throughout the week, so grab some friends, family, and lawn chairs and party like it’s 1776.
1.Fourth of July Bash at Fountain SquareFountain Square claims the top spot on the list because it’s fun for the kids (music and fireworks!) and the parents (free admission!). The firecrackers go off at 10 p.m., after a performance by American Roots, as part of the PNC Summer Concert Series. July 3, 10 p.m., 5th and Vine Streets, myfountainsquare.com/events-on-the-square/2012-07-03/
2. LaRosa’s Balloon Glow at Coney IslandLaRosa’s celebrate’s the Fourth of July a day early with music, hot air balloons, and all the classic Coney Island rides you can stand. The family-friendly fireworks show is free, but parking and some park activities aren’t, so check out their website for more details, July 3, 5-11 p.m., Coney Island, coneyislandpark.com/larosas_ballon_glow.php
3. 15th Annual Northgate Mall/Colerain Township Fourth of July SpectacularBudget constraints almost cancelled the annual fireworks show, but Northgate Mall swooped in to save the day. Get a second helping of patriotic pride when you check out the fireworks show on the Saturday after the Fourth of July at the Government Complex on Springdale Road. More information, including shuttle bus times and parking areas, can be found on their website, July 7, fireworks start at 10 p.m., Springdale Rd., coleraintwp.org/4th_of_july.cfm
4. Northside Rock N’ Roll CarnivalIf you’re looking for a non-traditional take on the traditional holiday, head over to eclectic Northside. There’s a Beer Garden at Hoffner Park with carnival attractions (Fire Breathers! Sword Swallowers!) and a parade down Hamilton Avenue the likes of which you’ve never seen. And it’s all free. July 3, northsiderocks.com
5. Fourth of July Dinner CruiseBB Riverboats is offering a special dinner and fireworks show for those of you who are feeling too fancy to watch the annual red, white, and boom from somebody’s lawn. Pricing and booking information can be found on their website, July 4, 8-10 p.m., 101 Riverboat Row, bbriverboats.com/fireworks_dinner_cruise.html
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