Saturday, September 30, 2023


Not-to-miss small-town Midwest (and more) 4th of July celebrations

Small town, America. You’ve gotta love their celebrations! Midwest small towns proudly show the world their patriotic spirit. If you haven’t already, put one of the following small-town Midwest 4th of July celebrations on your RV summer camping list.

As you’ll soon discover, I stretched the boundaries of the Midwest a bit here and there. I couldn’t seem to help myself! It’s just that so many small communities are huge when it comes to patriotism! I wish that I was able to defy the constraints of time and place so that I could experience all of the small Midwest 4th of July celebrations.

Midwest 4th of July celebrations by town

Washington, Georgia

Nestled in the stretch between Athens and Augusta, this little town with a great big heart for patriotism. Washington, Georgia, is a wonderful place to enjoy your Fourth of July celebration. This annual family event has free fireworks (July 3rd), live music, games, rides, and other small-town entertainment. Check out their website here.

Mountain Home, Arkansas

Celebrate the Fourth early this year in Mountain Home, Arkansas. June 23 and 24 are the dates for 2023’s Red, White, and Blue Festival and this family-friendly celebration has something for everyone! This small town offers festival attendees a parade, live music, car shows, and even a rodeo! There will be activities for the kids, great food vendors, and a fantastic fireworks display. Find out more here.

Hannibal, Missouri

National Tom Sawyer Days would love to welcome you to their celebration of freedom! Join in the small-town fun from June 30–July 4 this year. Highlights will include mud volleyball, frog jumping contests, an all-American parade, a craft fair, fence painting, concerts, and, of course, food and fireworks! Check it out.

Clinton, Tennessee

The Museum of Appalachia in Clinton offers visitors the opportunity to celebrate the Fourth in a unique, old-fashioned way with its annual anvil shoot. (Yes, you read that correctly!) In addition to the flying anvils, you can see demonstrations by dulcimer makers, beekeepers, rail splitters, blacksmiths, wool spinners, and lots more! What fun! Get tickets here.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Join visitors from across the nation as they gather for 2023’s Freedom Festival in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This patriotic community hosts an extended celebration that begins on June 24 and continues all the way through the culminating fireworks on July 4th. Come for the food, family-friendly activities, dog performance show, movies, bike ride challenge, hot air balloons, and so much more! See dates and details here.

Rock Island, Illinois

On July 3rd, the Midwest town of Rock Island joins Moline, Illinois, and the Iowa towns of Davenport and Bettendorf to present their annual Red, White, and Boom Festival! You can view the awesome fireworks from several different locations along with enjoying food trucks, live music, a NASCAR simulator, beer gardens, and activities for the kids, too. Here’s their website.

Liberty, Indiana

Where else but Liberty for a Midwest 4th of July celebration? June 30–July 2 are the dates for this year’s Fourth of July Festival. Come for the food, fun, and family entertainment. Enjoy the midway rides, live bands, arts and crafts booths, and, of course, the spectacular fireworks! Get additional information here.

Fairborn, Ohio

Located just six miles from the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Fairborn celebrates its huge military presence on July 3 with a block party. Plan to enjoy a variety of foods, crafts, and games for the entire family. On July 4, things begin with a patriotic parade at 10 a.m. and a day filled with music and celebration. Fireworks end the celebration, and you can learn more here.

Boyne City, Michigan

Enjoy this little Midwest town that has earned a reputation for hosting what Reader’s Digest calls “#1 Best small-town July Fourth fireworks.” Boyne City celebrates freedom, family, fireworks, and fun for all this July 3-4. Along with its arts and crafts fair, you’ll enjoy the patriotic boat parade, live music, a pie-eating contest, and so much more. Don’t miss the kids’ decorated bicycle parade—it’s a genuine throwback to the good ol’ days. Here’s the schedule of events.

Phelps, Wisconsin

The community of Phelps plans to celebrate their Fourth on the Lake on July 4, 2023. A day filled with activities kicks off at 3 p.m. with a parade through Main Street. Kids will enjoy old-time games and activities while adults try their luck with numerous raffles held throughout the celebration. Because Phelps is located along North Twin Lakes, you can enjoy the fireworks on your beach blanket or from your boat. Find out more on their website.

Delano, Minnesota

Just west of Minneapolis is the small town of Delano. It claims to be the oldest and largest Fourth of July celebration in the state. You can expect to find a carnival, kiddie parade and pedal pull, along with baseball and softball tournaments, a 5-K run, Bingo, and Fireman Waterball. Join the fun June 23–July 4. Check out additional activities planned.

Dickerson, North Dakota

North Dakota celebrates its cowboy legacy along with national pride in the Roughriders’ Days. At this Midwest 4th of July celebration you can enjoy three rodeo performances, a headliner concert, and a demolition derby. Cap the celebration with a parade and, of course, fireworks. Buckaroos of all ages will have fun! Learn more here.

Lead, South Dakota

The 2023 Gold Camp Jubilee will extend over three days, July 2–4. Contests and tournaments include pie eating, water balloons, volleyball, horseshoes, and golf chipping. Youngsters will enjoy inflatables, splash pads, skatepark, and more. A pancake feed, 5-K run, live music, and a beer garden will keep adults happy, too. If weather conditions and fire cautions permit, the Jubilee will wrap up with wonderful fireworks. Get more information here.

Seward, Nebraska

The small town of Seward hosts one of the largest Fourth of July celebrations in Nebraska. Seward takes great pride in its title, “Nebraska’s 4th of July City,” and has celebrated Independence Day nearly every year since 1868. This year’s three-day event spans July 2–4 and includes a parade, art exhibits, a bubble gum contest, carnival rides, car show, craft vendors, a military vehicle show, and much, much more. Plan to enjoy the fabulous fireworks display, too! See the town’s website for details.

Abilene, Kansas

Abilene plans to celebrate Independence Day with an Old Fashioned Fourth of July celebration. From baby beauty contests to mud volleyball, there will be entertainment for all. Watch or participate in the corn hole and pickleball tournaments. View frog, turtle, and Hot Wheel races while you enjoy food from the numerous vendors. Plan to stay and watch the fireworks, too. Find out more here.

Moore, Oklahoma

Come and see Moore, Oklahoma’s, Celebration in the Heartland on July 4. Get your favorite foods from the many participating food trucks and perhaps find new favorite beverages from local breweries and wineries that plan to attend. Try to ride the mechanical bull, climb the rock wall, or see how quickly you can make it through the obstacle course. It’s downhome fun from morning until the evening’s fireworks. Check out the schedule here.

Addison, Texas

“Kaboom Town” (Addison) plans another great holiday celebration this Fourth of July. Known for its amazing air show, USA Today also named Addison as having one of the best fireworks displays in the country! You can watch snippets from last year’s celebration here.

Small, Midwest towns are some of my favorite places! I hope if you’re near any of these towns come July 4th, you’ll plan to join in their freedom celebrations.

Do you have a small town, Midwest July 4th celebration you’d like others to know about? Please tell us about it in the comments below.

Also in the Midwest:


Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


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Bill Byerly
3 months ago

Thanks, Gail. This may help me decide which way to head home from Canada at the end of the month.

3 months ago
Reply to  Bill Byerly

Enjoy your travels, Bill.

3 months ago

Supposedly, Nashville has the best fireworks display. We saw it…OK for a big metro. But every bit as good, and viewed while not jammed in with thousands of other people, was the fireworks in little Ely, Minnesota. If you are in the area on the 4th, go see it.

Larry s Campbell
3 months ago

LaPorte ,In pop. 23000 has been declared capitol of the state on the 4 th of july. BIG parade and fireworks . When I say big parade crowd is est. at 50000. so bring a chair or a blanket and join us.

3 months ago

This isn’t the midwest rather Downieville CA population 290. We were there for a 4th of July parade. It’s unique in there’s only one through street in town. The parade starts at one end of town and when it gets to the edge of town, it turns around and comes back to the starting point. Everyone stays to watch the second pass.
Being a small town, everyone is invited to join the parade: Forest Service vehicles, kids on decorated bikes, families pulling a wagon with a dog or child, lawnmowers etc. One of the most fun parades I’ve ever been to.
“Downieville is the county seat of Sierra County, California. It is on the North Fork of the Yuba River, at an elevation of 2,966 feet.”–

Oliver L
3 months ago

One of the best 4th of July’s we experienced was in Beulah, WY. in 2007. A a very small town West of Spearfish, SD. They had a parade with more units than the population of Beulah. That evening there was a very nice fireworks display held at the Beulah Campground. We watched from inside our motorhome to avoid misquotes. But once again many more people than the population of Beulah. (33)

3 months ago

Elmwood, Wisconsin UFO Days. Not July 4th, but a great time anyway! (Last weekend in July). Visit their Facebook page.

Sparta Wisconsin Butterfest. (June). June is dairy month in America s dairyland.

Its not just the 4th of July that makes Midwest celebrations heartwarming. Try some others!

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