1. Northside Fourth of July Parade and Rock n’ Roll Carnival
An Independence Day celebration in Northside is everything you’d expect—quirky, off-beat, and a little edgy. July 1–4, the Northside Rock n’ Roll Carnival in Hoffner Park boasts sideshow-style attractions like fire-breathers, sword swallowers, and a bed of nails. On July 4, the famous mile-long parade begins at noon and travels down Hamilton Avenue, Northside’s main drag. Visit northsidejuly4.com for more information.
2. Red, White & Blue Ash
Prepare to be dazzled at one of the best fireworks displays in the tri-state region, choreographed to music and filled with creative explosions. Live music performances start at 2:30 pm with Exile on the stage, followed by Blue Sky Riders at 5 pm and Kenny Loggins at 8:15 pm. The whole day’s events are free and open to the public. Visit blueashevents.com for parking and shuttle information.
3. Tribute to the Armed Forces at Kings Island
Over the Fourth of July weekend, Kings Island is offering all active and retired military personnel free admission to the park, as well as discounted tickets for members of their immediate families. Park hours vary, see website for times. July 1–4. Kings Island Dr., Mason, visitkingsisland.com
4. Red, White & Boom!
Patriotic anthems fill the summer air as incoming Cincinnati Pops Orchestra Conductor John Morris Russell leads a program that includes the inspiring 1812 Overture and an Armed Forces Salute. The evening caps off with a fireworks display. July 4. Tickets: $15–$20; $5 veterans and active military. Riverbend Music Center, 6295 Kellogg Ave., Anderson Twp., (513) 381-3000
5. Independence Day at the Creation Museum.
All veterans receive free admission to this one-of-a-kind museum of larger-than-life dinosaurs, Noah’s Ark, and multimedia exhibits of theories on how the Earth came to be. July 4. Mon 10 am–6 pm. Creation Museum, 2800 Bullittsburg Church Rd., Petersburg, KY, creationmuseum.org