From a No. 1 country music act in Baldwin City to a war memorial in KC, area communities to host celebrations, fireworks shows

photo by: Shawn Valverde/Journal-World

Fireworks go off over the stage at the 2023 Independence day celebration at the Douglas County Fairgrounds on July 3, 2023.

Fireworks displays have become hard to find in Lawrence. As a reminder, it is against city ordinances to shoot most types of fireworks inside the city limits of Lawrence. The community fireworks show, often held along the Kansas River near downtown, also won’t happen this year.

However, if a boom and a bang are still on your wish list for Independence Day, there are several public fireworks shows planned for communities in the area. Here’s a look at several events:

• Kansas City, Missouri: The Stars & Stripes Picnic is billed as the largest fireworks show in the Kansas City metro, and its backdrop is one of the most unique in the area: the National World War I Museum and Memorial at 2 Memorial Drive in downtown Kansas City. The fireworks show is scheduled to begin at about 9:40 p.m. on July 4. The larger picnic event, however, opens at 3 p.m. and will feature live music, food trucks and local vendors.

• Topeka: The Spirit of Kansas Festival will conclude with a fireworks show at 10 p.m. on July 4 overlooking Lake Shawnee. The festival begins at 11 a.m. at the Lake Shawnee Reynolds Lodge, 3315 SE Tinman Circle. The festival will include lots of live music via the sister event, The Spirit of Kansas Blues Festival. Also on tap is a car show, food and craft booths.

The country music act Parmalee will be performing in Baldwin City on July 4, 2024

• Baldwin City: The community’s golf course will be host to the largest Independence Day celebration in Douglas County, but it won’t be on July 4. It will be on Saturday, July 6. The celebration will conclude with a fireworks show at 10 p.m. Leading up to the show will be several concerts. Opening acts begin at 5 p.m. Headline performer Parmalee — the national country music touring group that has had No. 1 songs ‘Carolina’ in 2013 and ‘Just the Way’ in 2021 — will take the stage at 8:30 p.m.. Parking is available and shuttle buses will run from the Baldwin school district’s Intermediate Center, 100 Bullpup Drive.

• Eudora: Just six miles to the east, this is the closest public fireworks show for Lawrence residents. The City of Eudora hosts a fireworks show at approximately 9 p.m. on July 4. The best viewing areas are at the parking lot of Eudora High School or Eudora Middle School, both of which are just south of the Church Street interchange off Kansas Highway 10.

• Ottawa: In nearby Franklin County, Ottawa will host its Chautauqua Festival Fireworks Show at dusk on July 4 at Forest Park, 400 N. Locust St. From 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Forest Park also will host food trucks.


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