Culture Buzz: Light Up Arlington & Arlington 4th of July Parade
By Office of Communication
Posted on June 27, 2018, June 27, 2018

Celebrate Independence Day in Downtown Arlington with live music, kid-friendly activities and a spectacular firework display on Tuesday, July 3 followed by a red, white and blue, fun-filled parade the next day.

Festivities start at 6 p.m. July 3 at Parks and Recreation Department's 12th annual Light Up Arlington. This year's celebration, which encompasses several blocks north and south of City Hall and the new George W. Hawkes Downtown Library, includes some of the top musical acts in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, vendors, concessions, food trucks and plenty of kid-friendly fun. Bands will perform at multiple stages around Downtown, including the Levitt Pavilion.

Pony rides, train rides, a petting zoo and inflatable games are just some of the activities planned for the little ones.

The fireworks display, which lasts about 20 minutes, starts at 9:45 p.m. and will be set to music from 95.9 The Ranch. Because of construction around City Hall, fireworks will be shot off from the Municipal Office Tower at 101 Mesquite St.


Come Downtown on Tuesday, July 3 for Light Up Arlington.

Street Closures and Parking Tips:

  • Free public parking is available throughout Downtown, but visitors need to be aware of some planned parking lot closures and street closures around City Hall and the Municipal Office Tower. Some streets will close for Light Up Arlington festivities as early as 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
  • All vehicles must be removed from the Municipal Office Tower parking lot by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3. All vehicles left in the lot after 5 p.m. will be towed to the northeast corner of the lot and access to those vehicles will be denied until the firework display is over and the lot has been reopened to the public at approximately 1 a.m. July 4.
  • The southwest corner of the City Hall parking lot at Pecan and Abram streets will be closed on Tuesday, July 3. All vehicles must be removed from the City Hall parking lot by 5 p.m. that day to make way for Light Up Arlington activities.

For the most up-to-date schedule and map, go to


The Arlington 4th of July Parade will start at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 4.

Light Up Arlington isn't the only way to celebrate Independence Day in The American Dream City. Head on back to Downtown on Wednesday morning for the Arlington 4th of July Parade, billed as the oldest, longest running event in the city.

The theme for this year's patriotic parade, which runs from about 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., is "Star Spangled Independence Day " and is dedicated to "the heroes among us, " said Kevin Donovan, 4th of July Association president. This year's Grand Marshals are former Arlington Police Officer Boyce Megason and retired Gen. Willard Latham, both Korean War veterans.

Be sure to arrive early! Each year, tens of thousands of people line the streets to watch the colorful floats, antique cars, marching bands, unicyclists and other parade entries wind through Downtown.

"The one thing that really gets me about the parade is it's the one true community event that everybody in Arlington can participate in," said Donovan, who has been involved in Arlington's popular Independence Day parade since 1997.

"It's an opportunity for the community to come out and show its patriotic spirit," Donovan added.

This year's two-mile parade route, which begins at West and Mitchell streets, has changed slightly from years past because of the transformative Abram Street Rebuild Project. The main judges' reviewing stand and the Arlington Community Band will move from their usual spot in front of Arlington City Hall south to College Park Center on the University of Texas at Arlington campus.

Following the parade, the awards ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. at Knapp Heritage Park, 201 W. Front St.

Click here for more information about this year's parade.


2018 Arlington 4th of July Parade Map

Light Up Arlington

Time: 6 p.m. - 10:30 p.m., Fireworks 9:45 p.m.
Date: Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Location: Downtown Arlington
Cost: Free*
*The event is free but some activities require a fee.
For more information:

4th of July Parade

Time: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Date: Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Location: Downtown Arlington
Cost: Free
For more information:

4th of July Parade, Light Up Arlington
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