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4th of July, Downtown Birmingham Style

I’ve grown up watching the July 4th fireworks show

above Vulcan. My mom would throw us in the car and we’d pack a blanket and we’d park ourselves at UAB somewhere and watch the show. For much of my life, that was the only big fireworks show you could find around town. There are plenty of suburban options nowadays, and even a few around town, but I still prefer the original. It’s not as simple as it once was, what with parking being a commodity, and other events pulling in the crowds.

Anywhere with a clear view of Vulcan is a good spot, for starters. Just get wherever you want to be early. I’ve watched from downtown Homewood, atop Shades Mountain in Vestavia, from different spots in downtown, and once on the side of 280 in Mountain Brook. They all had their good points and their bad points. Here are a few I’d recommend.

Downtown activities & places to view Thunder on the Mountain:

  • UAB’s Summer Band puts on a concert on the green in front of Bartow Arena (617 13th Street South). It begins at 7 pm and since the fireworks begin at 9 pm, that works perfectly. More information on thisoption can be found here.

  • 1918 Catering is hosting their 2nd Annual family-friendly BBQ and VIEW party. Situated right below Vulcan, the provide some stellar views of the fireworks, BBQ, and kids activities. Admission is $10 per adult, kids 15 and under are free. Bring your lawn chairs! More info can be found here.

  • The July 4th Festival in Downtown Homewood. The block off streets and do it right with rides, attractions, music, and lots of food. This event is open to the public and begins at 5 pm. There’s no admission to enter the event, but it’s a $10 wristband to play. More information can be found here.

  • Sloss Furnaces Metal Arts Program is hosting a July 4th “Flames of Freedom” event from 6 pm to 10 p

m. For $15 you can design your own cast iron scratch block, see a fire throwing trebuchet performance, and then watch fireworks at 9pm. Find details here.

  • Birmingham Parks all are great options to watch the fireworks from. Railroad, Linn, Kelly Ingram, Valley View, and Marconi (as long as you can see Vulcan).

  • UAB Parks/Campus Green are other great options. If you want to forego the crowds and music by Bartow, you can find a seat in several other options around campus.

  • Five Poin

ts South has some great views of Vulcan.

Other ways to celebrate:

The Birmingham Barons are hosting Independence Day Eve on July the 3rd in their game against the Jackson Generals. Jake the Diamond Dog will make an appearance.

Vestavia Hills is hosting “I Love America Night” at Wald Park on June 28, 2018. It runs from 6 pm to 10 pm. There’s free swimming (6-7:30 pm), a kids’ area with games and inflatables, giveaways, a concert, and a free movie in the park. More info can be found here.

The Birmingham Zoo is open and giving FREE admission to all veterans as well as active and retired military and their dependents. More info is available on their site here.

Our Lady of Sorrows in Homewood is hosting their 4th Annual 4th of July Festival from 10 am to 3 pm. Family friendly event open to all. There will be kid games, bingo, a rummage sale, food plates, and more. ​


Jody Thrash is a Birmingham native. She is a single mom to 3 amazing daughters that are 16, 10, & 7. A hard working multi-tasker, Jody has an M.B.A. and works for a local international non-profit. In her free time, Jody blogs about friendship, adventure, and geeky stuff with her best friend on

#JodyThrash #ConnectedMommies #4thofJuly

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