The fact that this year’s 4th of July celebrations are bound to see new ways of bringing in the holiday is no surprise. With the ongoing pandemic, a large number of events that are regular additions on travelers itineraries stand canceled. This doesn’t mean that you can’t step out and have fun either – we’ve rounded up the top places you can visit to make the most of the three-day July 4th weekend. What’s more, we’ve also thrown in some virtual events you can attend just in case you feel like wishing America a happy birthday while you stay in at home!
Head to Sin City
Las Vegas, a town that usually sees over 300,000 people flood the Sin City strip every year for the July 4th weekend, will undoubtedly see reduced footfall this year. The rising number of Covid-19 cases in Nevada may be of concern to some, but travel experts feel people are more than ready to take advantage of the extended Independence Day weekend. Amanda Belarmino, who is an assistant professor of management strategy at UNLV, says, “It’ll be one of the busiest weekends of the summer, but not a pre-COVID level of business. If we have a successful 4th of July, both in terms of safety and in terms of business, it will help promote continued success.”
Some of the big-name hotels and casinos in Vegas have already begun opening up their doors – Bellagio, MGM Grand, and New-York New-York restarted operations as early as June 4th. Other top hotels on the strip soon followed suit, with Harrah’s and Paris started operations by mid-June. Caesar’s Entertainment Corp., the firm that runs Caesars Palace, is set to open its doors in time for the fourth of July weekend. Room rates in the Las Vegas area have also been rising, another indicator that hotels and casinos are matching the demand that’s soon to follow.
Some of the other events in and around the Las Vegas Valley area include fireworks at The Plaza, Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa, Lake Las Vegas, The Legacy Golf Club, and Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa & Casino. If it’s a party you’re looking for, head on over to the Red, White, and Blue Party that’s hosted by Las Vegas Harley Davidson and includes free cocktails with a limited 50-person max capacity (talk about exclusive!). In case you’re up for some daytime fun, there’s also the 4th of July Drag Brunch to be held at Senor Frog’s at Treasure Island.
Head to Phoenix
The latest updates coming in from the Phoenix area has seen several events and fireworks displays canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Not all of these scheduled events are off, though! Organizers in the Phoenix area have embraced new ways to celebrate Independence Day, which include live streaming options and making the fireworks show a drive-in experience. Friends and families, who would have been taking in the sights and sounds of the festivities, will now have to enjoy them from behind their steering wheels. Here are some of the events where you can catch firework displays that adhere to Covid-19 distancing rules:
July 4th Fireworks Drive-In at Chandler’s – Although the City of Chandler is not featuring any activities, food stalls, or entertainment this year, attendees can head to Tumbleweed Park on S. McQueen Road to watch the firework shows that are scheduled to start at 9:00 pm. The event features parking attendants who will ensure you’re parked within 30 feet of each other, where you can take in the fireworks from within the safety of your vehicles.
Goodyear’s Star Spangled 4th Drive-In – A 20-minute fireworks display is scheduled to start at 8:30 pm, with parking spaces at the Goodyear Ballpark lot opening at 7 pm. Parking here will be free of cost, and the fireworks show will feature shells that shoot up higher in the sky to avoid any viewing obstructions. 102.5 KNIX, the area’s local radio station, will also host a few entertainment events before the display.
Head to Los Angeles
Although a majority of events in the SoCal area have been canceled, we’ve compiled a list of outdoor and virtual activities that you can be a part of to bring in the 4th of July holiday.
4th of July Parade and Celebration at Avalon – Catalina Island is hosting a celebration and parade that will weave through the town, instead of taking the usual waterfront route. Activities in the area begin at 10 am, while the parade is scheduled to start at around 1 pm.
Drive-In Movies at the Rose Bowl – Movie buffs can get their fill at the Rose Bowl, where movies are going to be screened starting July 2nd. Parking here will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and charges for the screenings will be per vehicle. You can check out the various titles that are being screened here.
DJ Illanoise’s Feels Like Summer – The famous L.A. based DJ and podcast producer DJ Illanoise is set to host an audiovisual live stream with a “Summer in Los Angeles” theme. The event will stream all day long, and tickets are charged at a flat rate of $10 – all the proceeds from the event will aid various L.A. food banks. Find all the details here.
What’s more, dining rooms in restaurants in the Los Angeles area are back as well. Authorities have issued safety directives to establishments that offer dining in options for their patrons and their employees, and here’s a detailed list of all the restaurants that are in operation at this time.
Head to Liberty Fest
Social distancing measures will be in place at the Leander Fourth of July celebrations this year (formerly titled Liberty Fest). This drive-in event will take place at the Capital Metro Leander Station that can host up to 300 cars. Tickets are available for $10 and $20, with the more expensive tickets gaining you access to distance-enforced greenbelt seating for up to five people. The fireworks display that takes place at the Northline site will also be live-streamed for those who cannot attend the physical event. What’s more, live music performances from The Bodarks and LC Rocks are scheduled to start at 5 pm, while the fireworks display begins at 9:30 pm. Get all the details here.
Head to D.C.
Washington, DC is gearing up for a massive show-and-tell type celebration, thanks to President Donald Trump’s enthusiasm for the holiday. The event, titled 2020 Salute to America, will feature military demonstrations, aircraft flyovers, and music – what’s more, President Trump will be giving a speech before the scheduled fireworks display over the National Mall. Expect to see helicopters, tanks, troops, and fighter jets take to the streets in celebration of the holiday, much like last year’s 4th of July weekend.