Once again, we've reached our country's most patriotic time of the year, and this year, Milwaukee is open to celebrate! There's nothing better than grabbing a blanket and loved ones and heading down to the nearest park for some festivities, firework-gazing and appreciation of the good ol' U.S. of A.
Here is your ultimate Milwaukee guide of where to picnic, see the parades and "ooh" and "ahh" at the big, bright booms.
Alcott Park: July 5 – No daytime activities. Fireworks begin at dusk.
Enderis Playfield: July 5 – Parades depart from the Enderis Park Field House bright and early at 9 a.m., followed by a decorated bike, wagon and scooter contest judging at 9:30 a.m. American History Trivia and a flag raising ceremony follow at 9:45 a.m. Contests and games continue throughout the day, including a fire department water cannon display and watermelon eating contest.
Gordon Park: July 5 – No daytime activities. Fireworks begin at dusk.
Humboldt Park: July 5 – No daytime activities. But you can catch the fireworks at 9:15 p.m.!
Jackson Park: July 5 – No daytime activities. Fireworks begin at dusk.
Dr. M.L. King, Jr. Park: July 5 – Daytime activities begin at 11:30 a.m. with games and prizes taking place. The park also hosts a picnic at noon, followed by a neighborhood talent contest at 1 p.m. The event will be capped off by fireworks at dusk.
Lake Park: July 5 – No daytime activities. Fireworks begin at dusk.
Lincoln Park: July 5 – You'll have to check out another park for daytime festivities, but you can make your way to Lincoln Park for fireworks at dusk.
Mitchell Park: July 5 – No daytime activities. Fireworks begin at dusk.
Noyes Park: July 5 – No daytime activities. Fireworks begin at dusk.
Sherman Park: July 5 – No daytime activities. Fireworks begin at dusk.
Washington Park: July 5 – No daytime activities. Fireworks begin at dusk.
Wilson Park: July 5 – No daytime activities. Fireworks begin at dusk.
U.S. Bank Fireworks: Unfortunately, due to worker and resource shortages, the July 3 event has once again been canceled. On the bright side, the event is looking to be back in 2022!
Suburbs and beyond
Brookfield: July 3 – A parade for the city begins at 10 a.m. on July 3. The flag raising ceremony immediately follows the parade in the Civic Plaza. Mitchell Park hosts Family Fest from 6 to 9 p.m. with family-oriented activities. The city’s fireworks start at 9:17 p.m. in Mitchell Park.
Brown Deer: July 4 – This year’s Fourth of July celebration, The Brown Deer Blast, will be held at Village Park and features live entertainment, a cornhole tournament, a beer tent, food trucks and a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.
Cedarburg: July 4 – A community parade starts at 11 a.m. at Firemen's Park and runs south to Wurthmann Avenue, then ending at the intersection of Hilbert and Wurthmann. It's followed by an all day picnic at Cedar Creek Park, with food and beverages served by the Cedarburg Lions Club. Fireworks light up the sky at dusk at Adlai Horn Park.Cudahy: July 4 – Cudahy's parade kicks off at noon on Packard Ave. heading north to Layton Ave. then east to Lake Drive. After the parade, enjoy an afternoon of live music and performances at Library Square. A fireworks display, launched from the Water Department pump station on the lake, will start at 9:15 p.m.
Delafield: July 3 – Live in Lake Country, fireworks will go off over Lake Nagawicka beginning at dusk.
Elm Grove: July 4 – Beginning early at 8:30 a.m. Village Park, catch fun activities including a fun run/walk, bike decorating, DJ in the park and more. Brand new to the annual event will be the Third Space Beer Garden from 3-9 p.m. Additionally, food trucks from Catrina Tacos and Wilma's Smokehouse will be there. Fireworks will follow the National Anthem at 9:30 p.m.
Franklin: July 2-4 – The city of Franklin 2021 Civic Celebration features three days of celebration centered at Lions Legend Park. A children’s parade, carnival rides, kids activities, live entertainment and tasty treats are packed into this fun weekend. Fireworks are set for July 4 at 9:30 p.m.
Germantown: July 4 – Celebrate the day with a parade at 3 p.m. at the Germantown Post Office. As the parade ends in Firemen's Park, food and entertainment follows from 4:30-9:30 p.m. Stick around the park for the fireworks show occurring shortly after.
Glendale: July 4 – A parade, beginning at 3 p.m., will follow the Milwaukee River Parkway to Kletzsch Park. After the parade, enjoy the Food Truck Festival held in the park. Live music will also be provided by TheLoveMonkeys. At dusk, a grand fireworks display will take place.
Grafton: July 3 – Kicking off at 11 a.m., the parade will travel from Ninth Avenue to Paramount Plaza. Head to Lime Kiln Park at 5 p.m. for various activities including a cornhole tournament. "The Best Fireworks North of Milwaukee" will then take place at dusk.
Greendale: July 1-4 – The Lions Club will be hosting four days of entertainment across from the Gazebo in Downtown Greendale. Food and beer will be available, and musical acts include Doghouse Charlie, Cherry Pie, Addiction, Rebel Grace, Lunch Money, Mt. Olive and Bobby Way & The Wayouts. Events will take place from 3 to 11 p.m. daily. Fireworks take place at dusk on the Fourth.
Greenfield: July 4 – Just next door, Greenfield rings in the Fourth with a parade at 11 a.m. Konkel Park will be the site of Festival Foods fireworks filled with family entertainment, competitions and a parade at 12:15 p.m. The event ends with fireworks at 9:45 p.m.
Hales Corners: July 4 – The festivities begin at 8 a.m. with the Firecracker Four Run at Hales Corners Park. There is sure to be fun for everyone as the day continues with an antique car show, parade, bed races, baking contest and more. Fireworks begin at dusk, also in Hales Corners Park.
Kenosha: July 4 – Make your way to Harbor Park for Kenosha's Fourth of July Celebration. A selection of fresh food from vendors will be available in addition to the firework display launching over Kenosha's lakefront beginning at 9:30 p.m.
Menomonee Falls: July 3 – The Independence Day parade will not be held this year; however, fireworks at the football field will be taking place at 9:30 p.m
Mequon/Thiensville: July 4 – Freistadt Fourth at Trinity Lutheran Church will feature picnic food, entertainment and children's activities beginning at 11 a.m. Stick around for the 1 p.m. parade followed by a flag raising ceremony. The celebration continues after until 4 p.m.
New Berlin: July 2-4 – New Berlin's annual family festival take place in Malone Park. The mini parade begins at 9 a.m., while the main parade starts at 1 p.m. on July 4. Fireworks start at 10 p.m. A carnival, live entertainment, bake-off competition and games will be around daily.
Oak Creek: July 4 – Celebrate America's birthday with a parade at 9 a.m., which kicks off on Verdev Drive, near Edgewood Elementary School, and ends at the American Legion. Fireworks begin at dusk at Lake Vista Park.
Port Washington: July 3 – Celebrations kick off with an 11 a.m. bike decorating contest, picnic and other activities at Veteran's Memorial Park. Fireworks will be launched along the lakefront at dusk.
Racine: July 5 – Racine's 4th Fest features one of the largest parades in the Midwest. The parade starts at 8:30 a.m., but get there early to stake out a spot to watch it along its 2.6-mile route down Main Street. Fireworks finish off the day along the lakefront (North Pier) at dusk.
Saukville: July 4 – The 1 p.m. parade starts at South Main Street and Rebel Road, followed by activities at Grady Park. Stake out a spot for the fireworks at dusk at Peninsula Park.
Shorewood: July 4 – Fun begins at 3 p.m. with a parade down Oakland. Activities follow at Atwater Park and continues until the fireworks show at dusk or 9:30 p.m.
South Milwaukee: July 4 – Grant Park is the site of South Milwaukee's festivities. Fireworks begin at dusk along the shores of Lake Michigan.
St. Francis: July 4 – The Independence Day celebration will be held at Milton Vretenar Memorial Park. The patriotic festivies include a 2 p.m. parade, plenty of great food options and live entertainment. The night will be completed with a fireworks display at dusk.
Sussex: July 4 – Bring a blanket and your favorite picnic food for a fantastic display at Sussex Village Park. Fireworks will launch at 9:20 p.m. and can be viewed from the hill in front of the Lions Den Building in Village Park.
Waukesha: July 4 – Celebrating both Independence Day and the city's 125th anniversary, an 11 a.m. parade starts at Cutler Park and travels to Frame Park. The Waukesha County Exposition Center will host the city's fireworks, which begin at 9:30 p.m.
Wauwatosa: July 4-5 – Catch the fireworks display at 9:15 p.m. on July 4 from Hart Park. Then on July 5, the North Avenue parade begins at 9 a.m. Featuring over 95 units, the parade is one of the largest in the state!
West Allis: July 2 and 4 – A 7 p.m. parade on July 2 marks the start of West Allis' Fourth of July festivities. The parade will take place in Downtown West Allis. Then on July 4, a grandstand show featuring live music and a flag ceremony starts at 8:30 p.m. at Wisconsin State Fair Park. Fireworks will immediately follow the show.
West Bend: July 4 – The parade lines up at 9:30 a.m. on Main Street and ends at Regner Park. Enjoy live entertainment and more activities in Regner Park, including a sand castle building contest, until 3 p.m. Move to Riverside Park at 7 p.m. for food and a DJ before catching the fireworks at 9:45 p.m.
Whitefish Bay: July 4 – Watch the parade headed from Kent Ave. and Silver Spring, to Cahill Park starting at 11:30 a.m. Klode Park will be the place to be after the parade for kids games, live music and food vendors. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m.