Every Fourth of July since I was 17 has basically included the same exact things: swimming, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, apple pie and blowing shit up. (Beer was added a few years afterward.) Sounds like a pretty standard Independence Day, right?
But since we live in a city that is far more creative than the rest of the country, why succumb to the dreaded “norm” again this year? We've compiled some much-needed Fourth of July remedies to make your day off awesome instead of the usual drunk, sunburned get-together that has become the standard for Fireworks Day.
Fitness doesn't take a day off for many Austinites. Before the cracking of beers commences, you can get your run on at the 6th Annual Freedom 5000 at Camp Mabry. The race begins at 8 a.m., (which is about five hours too early for me), but it will let you get a leg up on the 5k before the rest of the day's festivities start. Then you'll feel as though you earned that bacon cheeseburger and apple pie.
For those who don't take a day off from making change happen, Occupy Austin has an entire day’s worth of civic-minded events planned. An all-day occupation of the Texas State Capitol is planned from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Protest music and rallying speeches will fill the full day, concluding with a dinner at Austin City Hall (8 p.m.). This is likely to be one of the most interesting Fourth of July events of the year.
As with most holidays, there are plenty of events adults and munchkins alike can enjoy. The City of Round Rock is hosting its annual July 4th Frontier Days Celebration at Old Settlers Park (10 a.m. - 11 p.m.). Enjoy watching or participating in the jalapeño eating contest (3 p.m.), just pack the large bottle of Pepto Bismol if you plan on participating. Other events throughout the day include a re-enactment of the Sam Bass shootout (12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.), live music by the Austin Symphonic Band (8:30 p.m.), and a fireworks show at the end of the night (9:30 p.m.).
For a more “adult” celebration of American independence, the Bat City Bombshells are holding their 2nd Annual Pasties for Patriots Burlesque Benefit Show at the Parish (9:30 p.m.). Just like in the old days, this sexy show will benefit the USO and feature the burlesque dancers from Bat City Bombshells along with their special guests.
Austin's community of movie buffs and Jeff Goldblum fans are in luck this holiday, too. The Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In is hosting their first movie of the summer season: Independence Day (9 p.m.). This eternal Fourth of July classic will also be the first movie Blue Starlite shows at the new Austin Studios location.
For everyone who wants to chug some freedom fuel and exercise their right to party, Think Lizzy, the Austin-based Thin Lizzy cover band, is performing at Yellow Jacket Social Club. With an on-site water slide (12 p.m. - 4 p.m.), a wet t-shirt contest (8:30 p.m.), as well as arm-wrestling and bench press competitions (5 p.m. - 7 p.m.), this is sure to be a salute to the true 'merican way to party.
There's a celebration for the digital music fan and nocturnal partier, too: Yo(u)nite’s 4th of July Special (4 p.m.) at Lanai. Hosted by local fan-favorite, DJ Mark Denim, this is a must attend party for all of the bass-heads in Austin. The best part: adult snow cones served all night long.
Say so long to another typical Fourth of July and exercise your right as an Austinite to make this the most memorable (or not) Independence Day yet.