So you want to celebrate our nation's birthday with a crowd? Here are some of the major events in the Metroplex. Note: Not all feature fireworks, and be sure to check the individual events to see if certain items (glass bottles, pets, chairs, etc.) are allowed.
Arlington Community Band and Celebration Chorale Concerts
First United Methodist Church, 313 N. Center St.
7 p.m. Sunday; free
Levitt Pavilion, 100 W. Abram St.
7:30 p.m. Tuesday; free
On the steps of Arlington City Hall, 101 W. Abram St.
9 a.m. Wednesday; free
All concerts: 817-467-0158; arlingtoncommunityband.org
Three days of marches and patriotic music at different locations. Includes singers from First Baptist Church, First Christian Church, First Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church, New World United Methodist Church and Rush Creek Christian Church.
Light Up Arlington
6 p.m. Tuesday; free
Music from Pure Prairie League, the Spazmatics, the Heather Roberts Band and Arlington Community Band at Levitt Pavilion; fireworks at 9:45 p.m. There will also be a children's area and vendors.
47th annual Arlington 4th of July Parade
Downtown/University of Texas at Arlington area (route map online); after-picnic at Knapp Heritage Park, 201 W. Front St.
9 a.m. Wednesday, free; after-picnic and awards at 1 p.m.
If you'd rather skip the night crowds, try this long-running parade, one of the state's biggest.
4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza
7 p.m. Wednesday; free
Go for the free snow cones (first 3,000 folks between 7 and 9 p.m.), stay for the music by Chant and the fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
4thFest Independence Day Celebration
Bedford Boys Ranch Park, 2801 Forest Ridge Drive
Noon Wednesday; free
Admission to the adjacent Splash Aquatic Center is $6.50, $5.50 for children under 18 and free ages 2 and under; parking/shuttle $4 at Pennington Field, 1501 Central Drive. Limited on-site parking $15; at the Bedford Public Library, $10
The daylong event includes music, bounce houses, food and fireworks.
Red, White and Sousa
The Village at Colleyville
Main Street and Colleyville Boulevard
8 p.m. Friday; free
The Vocal Majority Chorus will perform the works of John Philip Sousa as well as patriotic songs. There will also be a gourmet food park.
Concerts in the Garden: Old-Fashioned Family Fireworks Picnic
Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
8:15 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; tickets start at $16
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (with Andrés Franco conducting) plays patriotic music culminating with a fireworks show. Gates open at 6:30 p.m.
Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic
Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza
Noon Wednesday; $35 in advance, $45 at gate
Nelson brings his annual all-day indoor/outdoor concert back to the Stockyards. Acts include Johnny Bush, Asleep at the Wheel and Billy Joe Shaver.
Fort Worth's Fourth
Panther Island Pavilion, 1098 W. Peach St.
4:30 p.m. Wednesday; free
Back in Black (an AC/DC cover band), food trucks, bounce houses, tubing, kayaking, horseback rides, jet ski shows and a levee slide; fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Stockyards Fourth of July Celebration
Fort Worth Stockyards
11 a.m. July 7; free
A daytime, family-themed Independence Day event.
Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Competition
Curly's, 4017 Camp Bowie
11 a.m. Wednesday; free
This is the second annual event with the high school division kicking off at 11 a.m. and the grand masters open division starting at 11:30 a.m.
4th of July Fireworks and Food
Fellowship Church, 2450 N. Texas 121, Grapevine
6 p.m. Saturday; free
Games, a volleyball tournament, bounce houses and more, followed by fireworks. Food available from food trucks and vendors.
9:30 p.m. Wednesday; free (some parks along the lake may charge admission)
Viewing from most spots around the lake. Fairway Drive, between Texas 26 East and Silveron Boulevard, will be closed starting at 9 p.m.
Rockin' 4th of July
Big League Dreams Sports Park, 500 Heritage Parkway S.
7 p.m. Tuesday; free
Family activities, military appreciation, carnival games and music from Poo Live Crew; fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
North Richland Hills/Haltom City
Family 4th Fireworks Show
ATI Career Training Center, 6351 Boulevard 26, North Richland Hills
Wiley G. Thomas Coliseum, 6108 Broadway Ave., Haltom City
9:30 p.m. Wednesday; free
Stars & Stripes
Southlake Town Square
6 p.m. Tuesday; free
Frank Cornish Park, McPherson Park and Rustin Pavilion will be the site for music and jugglers; fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Addison Circle Park, 4970 Addison Circle Drive
5 p.m.-midnight Tuesday; free
The Cavanaugh Flight Museum Warbird Flyover and music from Emerald City Band complement this nationally recognized fireworks event.
Dallas Heritage Village, Old City Park, 1515 S. Harwood St.
11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday; $9, $7 seniors 65+, $5 children 4-12, free for children under 4 and Heritage Village members
Attendees will see how Dallasites celebrated the holiday between 1840 and 1910. The Prairie House food truck will be on site, along with traditional carnival games and such vintage games as horseshoes and croquet.
Fair Park Fourth
4:30-10 p.m. Wednesday; free, parking $10
The Dallas Wind Symphony performs at 8 p.m. in front of the Hall of State. All the museums on the grounds will have reduced admission 4:30-7:30 p.m. "Dancing water" shows at the Esplanade Fountain and carnival games and festivities for all ages. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m., best seen from seats in the Cotton Bowl. Live simulcast on KLUV/ 98.7 FM. Concessions available for purchase, or guests can bring picnics.
Lone Stars & Stripes Celebration
Lone Star Park, 1000 Lone Star Parkway
Grandstand gates open at 3 p.m. Wednesday; $5, $3 children 4-12, free for military with ID
Family Fun Park with bounce houses, a petting zoo, pony rides and games. Fireworks display choreographed to music after the last race.
Grand Prairie AirHogs
QuikTrip Park, 1600 Lone Star Parkway
Wednesday; $8-$15, parking free
The game against the Wichita Wingnuts begins at 6:05 p.m. Postgame fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Inside the Wide World of Parks will be bounce houses, face painting, basketball, mini golf, climbing and games on the concourse, and photos with mascot Ace Bacon and the championship trophy.
40th Annual Kiwanis Fireworks Show
University of North Texas' Fouts Field, 2300 N. Interstate 35E
5:30 p.m. Wednesday; free (donations accepted)
The band Holler Time will perform, followed by fireworks.
Independence Fest 2012
LISD School Administration Building, 1800 Timber Creek Road
11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday; free
Children's parade, bounce houses and vendors.
Evening Entertainment and Fireworks
Bakersfield Park, 1201 Duncan Lane
5 p.m. Wednesday; free
Smash Mouth headlines a concert culminating in fireworks at 9:45 p.m.
Independence Day Celebration
Chisenhall Fields, 500 W. Hidden Creek Parkway
5 p.m. Wednesday; free
Asleep at the Wheel plays its Western swing at 7:30 p.m.; fireworks around 9:20 p.m.
Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration
Friday-Wednesday; $30 for the musical
Activities include a car show at 7 p.m. Friday at Jerry Durant Hyundai, a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday starting at Granbury High School, fireworks over Lake Granbury at 9:45 p.m. Sunday, July 4 on the Square on Wednesday with a laser-light show at 9:30 p.m., and special showings of the musical 1776 at 3:30 and 7 p.m. Wednesday.