America’s birthday is probably the most anticipated birthday for most people behind your own and Jesus’s. It’s a great excuse to grill meats, drink cold drinks, and blow the snot out of some fireworks on a warm summer night. What more could you want? In Spokane, there’s tons of options on places to go to enjoy yourself. Staff writers Sarah Oliva and Ben Yee have complied some of the best and rated them on a scale of 1-10.
1.) Riverfront Park
Sarah Oliva: 8
The festival downtown kicks off at 11 a.m. with tons of activities including food, arts and crafts, a beer garden, live music, and square dancers. If square dancers (12 p.m. at Clocktower Stage) don’t scream Amurica than I don’t know what does (fun fact: 19 U.S. states have designated it as their official state dance)! After the day-long festival, the firework show is at 10:00 p.m., giving you just enough time to run home and set off your own home explosives if you so choose. The pro is walking downtown requires practically zero effort if you’re really struggling last minute for plans. The con is there’s no lake to jump into.
Ben Yee: 9
Close, free, and familiar, Riverfront Park is going to put on a big ol’ fireworks show at 10 PM. There’s going to be festivities all day leading up to them too, so you could get your face painted, ride a pony and play some bingo all before the fireworks go off. That itself would make for a pretty awesome time, but on top of it, you get to end your night with loving America and watching explosions (two of my personal favorite activities). Plus, there’s live music and square dancing and improv to watch!
2.) Coeur d’Alene
If you haven’t been to Couer d’Alene since freshman year boat cruise, what better time to visit than to watch fireworks on the lake at dusk. There’s a parade at 11am with music, food, pie-eating contest, and children’s activities in case you’re looking to get in touch with your inner child. Catch some rays during the day and then wander on over to fireworks at dusk, where you have the option of watching FREE from the ground as a commoner or paying for a boat cruise around the lake (but no duplicating wristbands this time…). The pro’s are no tax, you’re on a body of water, not too long of a drive, and everything’s free…the con is that you’re stuck driving home unless you can befriend someone who owns a yacht/hot-tub boat on the lake.
The bad part about Cour d’Alene is that it’s far away. And in Idaho. But the good part is that the lake would be absolutely bonkers. I mean the town is bigger and it’s always fun to party with Idahoians, but you’ll be burnt out and not wanting to drive back afterward. Another cool part is a pie-eating contest; something I thought only existed in TV shows where the lovable chubby main character got to finally utilize his God given talents. So I would definitely want to see (and participate. Don’t tell my trainer).
3.) Liberty Lake
This one automatically gets 9 points off the bat; what better place to celebrate our nation’s independence than at a lake named Liberty. The FREE concert starts at 5:30 with headliners, Sammy Eubanks and Bakin’ Phat performing (ok, so this band may scream Amurica more than square dancing). After the show, fireworks will be shot over the lake, sponsored by a local family. Pro’s are, the drive is short, it’s free, and you get a home-town/communal feeling. The con is the low-production fireworks are probably somewhat comparable to all of the children in my neighborhood’s attempts at lighting fireworks combined and they aren’t visible from the park.
Okay let’s just stop for a quick second and acknowledge how cool it would be to celebrate the Fourth at a place called LIBERTY Lake. Sounds like the place where Thomas Jefferson would have a summer home and have cookouts with the Washington and Madison families (although their kids wouldn’t get along, but they’d be on vacation so they’d be okay). Live bluegrass music is super ‘murica, and then fireworks over that patriotic lake. A fine evening indeed.
4.) Silver Mountain (Kellog, ID)
The day kicks off with a pancake breakfast (8:30-11:30 a.m. at Elks Lodge), followed by a parade at 1 p.m. The celebration at Kellogg City Park starting at noon involves food, live entertainment, children’s activities, Silver Hoops Shoot, beer garden, a swimming pool (open from 2-4 p.m.), horseshoe tournament (2-5 p.m.), Idaho history re-enactments, and free rides on the Wallace-Kellogg Trolley (noon-6 p.m.). (Side-note: If you have never seen a live history reenactment, you’re not living as a true American should.) Live music by Generation Gap is played from 7-10 p.m., where after the firework display starts. The city has almost everything you can hope for on the fourth of July, but again, the drive is longer and requires more preparation-in-advance.
Gonna preface this with saying that this is also in Idaho, and like an hour away. Yikes. Past Cour d’Alene. But the good news is that Silver Mountain in Kellogg City Park has tons of stuff to do. You can start with a pancake breakfast, shoot hoops, and see historical re-enactments of Idahoian history. I imagine it’s just a potato parade.
If you want to be a true stereotypical American, here is where you do it. Apparently, the new McDonald’s is throwing a Fourth of July festival where free fries and burgers run like Paul Revere throughout the day, and the fireworks will take you by surprise, but not in the way you would normally expect (as in, they’re shooting the other way).
It’s no Zips, but free burgers? This is literally the American dream. 10.