Free and cheap family-friendly events to celebrate the Fourth of July

How to grill your steak this July Fourth

LongHorn Steakhouse's Kim Markley, an award-winning cook, shares grilling tricks of the trade. Carrie Rengers/The Wichita Eagle
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LongHorn Steakhouse's Kim Markley, an award-winning cook, shares grilling tricks of the trade. Carrie Rengers/The Wichita Eagle

The Fourth of July is on a Wednesday this year, but people feeling patriotic can celebrate all week long at a long list of events.

Brian MacPherson flew a DJI Phantom 3 Quadcopter drone during the 2015 Wichita River Festival opening night fireworks show. Check out the stunning views of the Arkansas River and downtown Wichita, Kansas. (Courtesy of Brian MacPherson)

They can go back in time with Cowtown's Old Fashioned Independence Day, then watch history unfold with "1776: The Musical" at the Wichita Center for Performing Arts. On the Fourth, people can head downtown for live music, food trucks and a beer garden at the City of Wichita's event Red, White & BOOM before ending a week of festivities with a free outdoor concert and one last fireworks display at Bradley Fair.

Here's a list of what's going on for the Fourth.

Keep it local...

Red, White & BOOM

5-10 p.m. Wednesday, Hyatt lawn, 400 W. Waterman St.

Celebrate with the city at Red, White & BOOM, a free event scheduled for July 4 on the lawn in front of the Hyatt Regency, on the Lewis Street Bridge, and on Water Street. The event is sponsored by the Wichita Parks Foundation. Food trucks will line Water Street starting at 5 p.m., and a beer garden will be open all night on the lawn. The Astronauts, a local '80s dance band, will perform a free concert at 7:30 p.m. The night will end with a fireworks display over the Arkansas river starting at 9:45 p.m.

Old Fashioned Independence Day

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 Museum Blvd.

Kick up your spurs and crack open a sarsaparilla at the Old Cowtown Museum's Old Fashioned Independence Day on Saturday. The celebration will feature a vintage baseball game, a gunfight, saloon girls, carnival games, and the opportunity to watch the king and queen of Cowtown be crowned. Join in games like horseshoes or sack races and enjoy food for purchase including ice cream, hot dogs, hamburgers and a beer garden. Tickets are $9 for adults, $8 for seniors ages 62+, $7 for ages 12-17, $6 for kids ages 5-11. Kids under 4 and Cowtown members get in free.

Celebrate America Concert & Fireworks

7:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, Bradley Fair, 2000 N. Rock Road

Celebrate America at Bradley Fair with the summer concert series finale on Thursday. Sit back and listen to Bradley Fair favorite Joseph Vincelli’s smooth jazz on the saxophone, then stay put for a Celebrate America fireworks display that will light up the sky. The event is free. Wine, cocktails and soft drinks available for purchase. Guests may begin setting up lawn chairs on the plaza at 6 a.m.

Home of the Brave Patriotic Celebration

7 p.m. Sunday, Central Christian Church, 2900 N. Rock Road

Honor local heroes at Central Christian Church’s “Home of the Brave” Patriotic Celebration on Sunday. The Central Christian Church Worship Arts Team will honor military, first responders, fathers and mothers, healthcare professionals, teachers and laborers. The celebration will be followed by a free Dilly Bar reception.

Freedom Festival

3 p.m. Sunday, Whispering Winds Camp, 9601 W. 73rd St. North, Valley Center

Start off the week of the Fourth with First Presbyterian Church’s third annual Freedom Festival at Whispering Winds Camp on Sunday. Free admission to the swimming pools begins at 3 p.m. Kids’ games and activities will be provided. At 5 p.m., head over to the south lawn for a freedom-themed Vesper service. Following the service, there will be a barbecue in the lodge with bratwurst, hamburgers and hot dogs. Guests are requested to bring a potluck side or dessert. End the night with more games and activities or bring-your-own fireworks.

‘1776: The Musical’

7 p.m. Sunday-Tuesday, Wichita Center for Performing Arts, 9112 E. Central

Travel back to the summer of '76 with the Wichita Scottish Rite Signature Theatre and Wichita Center for Performing Arts. The show will run Sunday through Tuesday at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 for reserved and $16 for general admission. Seniors, military and students receive a $2 discount.

Wichita Wingnuts

Doors open at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, 300 S. Sycamore

The Fourth at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium will include a game between the Wichita Wingnuts and the Lincoln Saltdogs. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the first pitch is thrown at 6:05 p.m. After the game, help honor hometown heroes before finishing up with a fireworks display.

Fourth of July Neighborhood Doggie Parade

9-10 a.m. Wednesday, Celebration Baptist Church, 7202 E. Ninth St. North

Partake in a collective round of appaws for the patriotic participants in Celebration Baptist Church’s Fourth of July Neighborhood Doggie Parade on Wednesday. The parade is free and open to all ages of people and canines. Prizes will be awarded to the most patriotic dog, the most unique dog, the oldest dog, the biggest dog and the smallest dog. Dogs must be leashed at all times. The parade begins in the north parking lot of the church.

Red, White & You blood drive

8 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Sedgwick County Zoo, 5555 W. Zoo Blvd.

Head over to the Sedgwick County Zoo for the Red, White & You Blood Drive on Thursday. Participants can make an appointment at redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS. All donors receive a Red Cross T-shirt and free admission to the zoo. The blood drive goes until July 7.

Fun and Fellowship for the Fourth

6:30-10 p.m. Wednesday, Reformation Lutheran Church ELCA, 7601 E. 13th St. North

Enjoy a dinner of hot dogs and hamburgers with potluck sides brought by guests, followed by lawn games and a bouncy house at Reformation Lutheran Church ELCA on July 4. End the night with a great view of nearby fireworks.

Independence Day BBQ

3-8 p.m. Wednesday, The Triangle Club, 2003 S. Washington

Bring a dish if you wish for an Independence Day BBQ at The Triangle Club on July 4. Free burgers, brats and more will be provided, but guests are asked to bring a potluck side or dessert. Wash it all down with an ice cold beer or a drink special.

Kansas acuity Royals Salvador Perez. Fought his family onto the field to watch the Friday night fireworks with teammates, after their 8-1 win over the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium.

...Or celebrate statewide

Kansas City: Fourth of July at the K

7:15 p.m. Wednesday, Kauffman Stadium, 1 Royal Way, Kansas City, Mo.

Celebrate Independence Day with a road trip to see the Royals. The KC Royals take on the Cleveland Indians on July 4 at Kauffman Stadium. Hang around after the game for a special fireworks show to celebrate the Fourth. Students get in for $5 with Student Night promotion with the MLB Ballpark App or by texting "STUDENT" to 42682. Tickets can be found on the KC Royals website.

Kansas City: BBQ & Boom

10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Tuesday & Wednesday, Worlds of Fun, Kansas City, Mo.

Celebrate the Fourth of July with smoked barbecue located in the Americana section of the park near Timber Wolf from 5 to 9 p.m. In partnership with Boulevard Brewing Company, Worlds of Fun will feature a selection of locally crafted beers. Finish off a day of family fun with a fireworks display at 10 p.m. Veterans or active military members get in free, with the option to purchase up to six discounted tickets for immediate family members. Single daily ticket prices for the 2018 Weekday Saver are $41 online and $62 at the gate. After 4 p.m., single daily tickets are $37 online and $40 at the gate. Single 2018 Good Any Day Admission is $47 online and $62 at the gate.

Derby’s Independence Day Parade will start at 10 a.m. on July 4. The parade begins at Panther Stadium and ends at Derby Middle School. After the parade, head over to Madison Avenue Central Park at 512 E. Madison Ave. for food trucks and kids’ activities, which last from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. End the day with an Independence Day Celebration & Fireworks at 7 p.m. at High Park at 2801 James St., which will include food trucks, games and fireworks.

Head to Goddard on Sunday, to celebrate Independence Day with the Goddard Lion’s Club and enjoy live music, free hot dogs, watermelon and ice cream starting at 7 p.m. at Discovery Intermediate School at 301 S. Main St. Bring blankets and lawn chairs to get comfy for the fireworks show, starting around 10 p.m.

Haysville’s Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring an Independence Day Parade at 8:30 a.m. at Haysville Middle School. The parade ends at Haysville United Methodist Church. After the parade, head over to Riggs Park for a coed sand volleyball tournament. Kids ages 3 to 13 can participate in the OK Kids fishing derby at 9 a.m., frog races at 11:15 a.m. and the stars and stripes obstacle course at 11:45 a.m. Kids ages 6 to 13 can participate in rafting races at the pool. From 1-6 p.m., enjoy a water carnival at the pool, free with donation of a non-perishable food item. End the day at the food court and beer garden from 6-10 p.m., the citizen of the year announcement at 7:15 p.m., a free concert by Wichita-based band Linnaberry Wine and a fireworks display at 9:45 p.m. It all happens on July 4.

Party with Park City at Salute to Freedom from 8 to 10 p.m. on July 4 at Hap McLean Park, 6801 N. Hydraulic. Start the day at a car show from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the community building’s Hydraulic Street entrance. The parade starts at 9 a.m. from Spangles east to Hydraulic, and then heads north to the park. There will be activities in the park from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., including Troubles the Clown from 9 a.m.-noon., an obstacle course, inflatables, food vendors, a face painter, kids train, kids games with prizes, and stage events. Parade awards are announced at 10 a.m. and pet show registration begins at 10:30 a.m. At 10:45 a.m., enjoy a free ice cream social by Leeker’s and Chisholm Trail State Bank before watching the pet show at 11 a.m. At 1 p.m., there will be a free watermelon feed. Later in the night, watch the Bryson Michael Band perform at 8 p.m. before the night is capped off with a fireworks display at 10 p.m.

Rosehill’s Shorty Cox Park on East School Street is hosting a fireworks display starting at dusk on Wednesday.

El Dorado’s Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a free Fourth of July celebration with games, activities and food from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 4 at East Park on East Central Ave. and Woodlawn. Events include a bike parade at 9 a.m., a cornhole tournament at 10 a.m., turtle races at 10 a.m., a home run derby from 10 a.m. to noon and a water balloon toss at 11 a.m. Lunch will be provided for the public. To cool off, head over to El Dorado Municipal Pool from 1:30-3:30 p.m. for a free swim.

North Newton's Kidron Bethel Village is hosting the annual Fireworks Extravaganza on July 4 beginning at 7 p.m. at 3001 Ivy Dr. Festivities include a live music, games, concessions and fireworks starting around dusk. Admission to the event is free.

Head east to Augusta City Lake for a day of fishing, picnicking or relaxing before a free fireworks display beginning at dusk on July 4 at Lakeview Pkwy. Dr.

Hutchinson's annual Fourth of July parade will be from 10-11:30 a.m. in Downtown Hutchinson. The parade route begins at Ave. B and Main St. and will proceed north on Main St. to 12th Ave. Later Wednesday night, Hutchinson is partnering with Showalter Fireworks for the Fourth of July celebration at the Kansas State Fairgrounds from 9:45-10:15 p.m. at the parking lot at 23rd and Plum. Admission is free.

Wichita Eagle photographers Jaime Green and Travis Heying discuss and demonstrate how to successfully shoot good fireworks photos for the Fourth of July.

Start out the day strong

A summer holiday means potlucks, patriotic pastries and pints of ice cream. Start out Independence Day with a workout to get the day going and make room for those Fourth of July-themed sweets.

Stars and Stripes 5K & Lil’ Firecracker Fun Run

7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Cessna Stadium, 1845 E. 21st St. North

Run into the holiday with the Stars and Stripes 5K on July 4. Kids under 10 can keep up the patriotic spirit with the Lil’ Firecracker Fun Run, beginning one hour after the 5K starts. Registration fees are $36 until July 2, then $40. Teams of four or more runners are $32 until July 2, then $36. Kids Fun Run registration is $12 until July 2, then $15. The 5K features chip timing, free photos, an event shirt and finisher medals for all participants.

Group Exercise Classes at the South Y

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, South YMCA, 3405 S. Meridian Ave.

“Sweat, Shake, Sparkle” at the South Y on July 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Choose from water tabata with Alexa at the Outdoor Waterpark from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., water walk with Alexa at the Outdoor Waterpark from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Zumba Fitness with Melissa in Studio C from noon to 1 p.m., or do all three. Day passes to the YMCA are $10 per individual or $18 per family.

Aqua Zumba at the North Y

11 a.m. - noon Wednesday, North YMCA, 3330 N. Woodlawn

Dance into Independence Day with a Fourth of July Aqua Zumba Fiesta at the North YMCA on July 4. The workout will be a nonstop 45-minute dance fest. Day passes to the YMCA are $10 per individual or $18 per family.

Headin’ For Home 5K

7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Centennial Park, North Kansas Avenue. and East 14th Street, Newton

Run off those holiday calories at a 5K race that begins and ends in Centennial Park on July 4, with runners crossing home plate at Kenny Williams Field. Cost of entry is $35 until the day of the race. Children and families are encouraged to participate in the 1-mile Fun Run, which uses the same start and finish line as the Headin’ For Home 5K. Cost of entry is $20 until the day of the race. Late registrations from July 1 to the day of the race are not guaranteed a T-shirt for either race. One dollar of each entry will benefit research at the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

Fourth of July Workout

10-11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Elite Training Solutions, 2007 S. West St.

Elite Training Solutions is offering a Fourth of July workout from 10 to 11:15 a.m. at 2007 S. West St. Cost is $15 per person. The class will be held both inside and outside and will feature strength and endurance activities.

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