4th of July party guide!

Though a burn ban blankets the county, you can still celebrate our country’s birthday by igniting bombs and rockets. You’ll just have to drive outside 1604 to do so, and check in at one of five fireworks-approved zones. Yeah, not a lot of fun. Instead we suggest leaving the explosives to the U.S. military, because, well, that’s kind of their specialty. Lackland AFB (lackland.af.mil) gets the rockets red glare going at 9:45 p.m. for those on the southwest side of town. Fiesta Texas (sixflags.com/fiestatexas) and Seaworld (seaworld.com) put on their own fireworks displays, but they aren’t free. At Sunken Gardens (`210` 735-0663), members of the San Antonio Orchestra are performing Abe Lincoln-inspired classical music. Not sure what that means, but it sounds regal, and they’re promising the largest fireworks display in town. We love the gauntlet they’ve thrown down.

Who said freedom isn’t free? For those centrally located but more budget-conscious, nothing beats the Woodlawn Lake fireworks (saparksfoundation.org), which are the climax of a patriotic full-day party for families and the wee ones. Bring plenty of drinking water, and not just because the lake water isn’t potable; it’s going to be hot.

San Antonians who need to party with their car nearby take over the top floors of parking garages to catch the aerial displays across town, tailgate-style. Worst-case scenario if all else fails: head to high ground and look up.

Those who don’t care for fireworks might consider the disco-ball lights at Limelight’s hip-hop night with Cerebral Vortex (`210` 735-7775), and for those seeking something less illuminated altogether there is the Black Light Art Party downtown on Broadway at the Calcasieu Gallery (myspace.com/blapsa), which promises to go until the dawn’s early light.

Feel free to mix and match these events as desired.

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