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Independence Day, the South Texas Way

Updated: Jul 4

(This article was written by Lisa Campos and appeared in the July 2024 issue of Explore Harlingen Magazine.)

If you’re looking for ways to observe the 4th of July national holiday, here’s a list of local celebrations.

2023 Freedom Fest, courtesy of Mayor Norma Sepulveda.

In Harlingen

This year’s Freedom Fest in Harlingen will be held on July 4, from 5 pm to 10 pm, at Lon C. Hill Destination Park. Ram Herrera and Gary Hobbs will provide live entertainment. Other activities include a free kids carnival, free balloon and face painting, car show, beer garden, food, local vendors, and fireworks.

Besides Freedom Fest, children can take part in 4th of July festivities by participating in events at the Harlingen Public Library located at 410 76 Drive. These activities include Patriotic Story Time with HEB on July 2nd at 10:30 am; Patriotic Craft with Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas on July 2nd at 2 pm; Patriotic PJ Story Time on July 3rd at 6:30 pm; and Friday Crafternoon – Patriotic Wind Spinners on July 5th at 3 pm.


UPDATE: The ResacaFest has been postponed!

For our neighbors in San Benito, they will be having ResacaFest on July 6 from 5 pm to 11 pm at Heavin Memorial Park. This free community event features live music, cold drinks, family fun, vendors, and fireworks.

In nearby La Feria, their Independence Day Celebration will also occur on July 6. Time of the event is 3:30 pm to 9:30 pm, which will be held at Veterans Memorial Park. Live entertainment starts with La Zuertte at 5:30 pm followed by Rustic Rose at 7:15 pm. Fireworks will begin at approximately 9 pm.

South Padre Island

Locals and visitors alike travel to South Padre Island (SPI) on 4th of July weekend, making it a very popular destination. Throughout the summer, SPI hosts fireworks on Tuesdays and Fridays at Louie’s Backyard; Thursdays at Isla Grand Beach Resort; and Fridays and Saturdays at Clayton’s Beach Bar and Grill. Additionally, there will be fireworks on July 4 at the entertainment district, at 9:15 pm.

Pet Safety

Although fireworks are enjoyable for some, they can have an adverse effect on our pets. Please be sure to keep your pets indoors with windows and doors secured. While indoors, try to soothe them with calming sprays or chews, anxiety jackets, and white noise machines.

It’s good pet ownership practice to have your pets microchipped. This way, if they get lost running away from the fireworks, they can be returned to you when found. Be sure to visit the City of Harlingen Animal Shelter at 1106 Markowsky Ave. when looking for a lost pet.

However you decide to celebrate Independence Day, please stay safe while having fun.


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