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Fourth of July Celebrations 

When: Wed., July 4 2018
Price: Free unless otherwise noted
Even if you’re feeling less than pumped about dragging out the ole red, white and blue to toast ‘Murica on her 242nd birthday, chances are you’ve got the day off and there are plenty of snarky ways to observe the holiday. Wear all black to a barbecue. Quiz people with Debbie Downer-style Independence Day trivia (here’s a good one: three of the first five U.S. presidents died on the Fourth of July). Get stoned and tune into the nauseating spectacle that is Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest. But, as the Los Angeles Times pointed out last year (story title: “How should an angry liberal celebrate the Fourth of July? Fly the flag even higher.”), “we can’t afford to be downers on the Fourth.” Instead, the Times suggested we “talk about why we care so much about the Constitution” and remind ourselves and others that “America is far bigger than Donald Trump.” While the backyard might be the best damn place to celebrate with an endless supply of cold ones, San Antonio’s got a few solid community-style options. Traditionalists won’t want to miss Independence Day at the Alamo, a free event combining living history demonstrations, photo ops with reenactors, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, live music by Fort Sam’s Own 323d Army Band and free paletas (free, 9am-4:30pm, The Alamo, 300 Alamo Plaza). Inviting guests to arrive with picnics, blankets and lawn chairs, the San Antonio Botanical Garden opens its gates after hours for bird’s-eye views of the fireworks at the neighboring San Antonio Country Club ($9-$12, 5:30-10pm, San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston Pl.). Guaranteeing the biggest show of public fanfare, the San Antonio Parks Foundation’s Fourth of July Celebration packs in a “Firecracker Fit” half-mile walk/run, free zumba sessions, “All American” carnival rides and games, face-painting, food vendors, free snow cones, live music by the U.S. Air Force Band of the West and the Selena tribute Bidi Bidi Banda, and a fireworks extravaganza courtesy of H-E-B (free, 8am-9:30pm, Woodlawn Lake Park, 1103 Cincinnati Ave.).

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