There are plenty of things to do during the Big Day itself (or even on July 4th Eve: Also Known As July 3rd). Here are some worthy options if you’ve got no cookout to attend and have your fireworks plans on lock already
Think outside the exploding rocket and load up America’s Birthday with a bunch of other stuff, too. (But then, think back inside the exploding rocket and figure out where you’re going to see fireworks.)
A band of Americans–the 29th Infantry Division Band from Virginia Infantry Division National Guard–will play for us all at Genworth’s corporate headquarters. Then, you may view the RVA on the James fireworks…all before Independence Day even dawns! You are ahead of the game, my friend! Like a good American should be!
- Friday, July 3rd • 6:30 PM
- Genworth Financial’s World Headquarters, 6620 W. Broad Street
2nd Annual Frozen Drink and Yacht Rock Night at Pasture
Hang on Pasture’s breezy patio with a daquiri, a strawberry Riesling frozen drink, and whatever else Pasture can think to make out of ice and alcohol. Once you’ve got enough in you, get those boat shoes moving with a smooth selection of easy rock. Pasture will be closed on July 4th, so this’ll be your last pimento cheese opportunity for a couple of days. Use it wisely.
- Friday, July 3rd
- Pasture, 416 E. Grace Street
- Pay for what you consume, dude!
Oh yeah, it’s about to get patriotic up in this piece. Get on a bus and go check out some crucial sites in American Revolutionary War history! And…also some other historic Richmond things, but it’s time to focus on that other, less polarizing war for ONCE in our LIVES.
- Saturday, July 4th • 1:00 – 4:00 PM
- The Valentine, 1015 E. Clay Street
- $25, $20 for Valentine members–purchase tickets online or call 804.649.0711 x301
King George, you’re about to be toast! We’re going beyond Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or if that’s not available, then I guess I’ll have death” speech, and moving into “Oh hell no, you will NOT be taxing one more granule of our sugar” territory. (It’s the Declaration of Independence, in case that was’t clear.) What’s not clear is who will be reading this magnificent document, but fingers crossed it’s Franklin and he decides to throw in some jokes.
- Saturday, July 4th • 11:00 AM
- St. John’s Church, 2401 E. Broad Street
- $5 suggested donation
I had the liberty of smelling this gingery brew myself–and it is as spicy as Betsy Ross’s reply when George Washington suggested she stitch a little faster.1 Last year, this small batch sold out as quickly as George could retort, “I cannot tell a lie, my shoeless, starving, freezing men in Valley Forge could sew a better flag than you.”2 This year, they’ve made a little more, and if it tastes as good as it smells, I will just climb into the batch and drink myself out of it. (This event features King of Pops, a monarchy we will all tolerate, and the Cary Street Ramblers.)
- Saturday, July 4th • 12:00 – 7:00 PM
- Blue Bee Cider, 212 W. 6th Street
- Free to attend!
This was my event of choice last year, where I sipped cold beer that I actually liked (tough customer over here) and navigated through tolerably long lines. It’s free, there are food trucks (12 of ’em), and beer tickets are only $6. They recommend bringing cash to speed things along or buying them in advance on the day before. Bands playing will include: The Mikrowaves (“American rock and roll”), My Darling Fury (“tech-fueled indie-pop with a classical tinge”), Manatree (“guitar-driven indie-whatever rock/math/pop”), Avers (“psychedelic pop, blistering garage rock, fuzzed-out shoegaze, free-formed throwback james”), and White Laces (“dreamy, atmospheric indie-pop”). Fireworks will eventually begin over at the Diamond, and you’ll be in a decent spot to watch them.
- Saturday, July 4th • 3:00 PM
- Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, 2408 Ownby Lane
- Free to attend!
The fireworks will start later, and you must be a resident to attend, but a full schedule of events makes this day a pretty fun one before that. Dress up as your favorite American Movie Character (think Lincoln, Forrest Gump, Tom Cruise in Born on the 4th of July, Christian Bale in American Psycho, Denise Richards in Drop Dead Gorgeous). Then, watch a parade chock full of floats and firetrucks. THEN, head down to Sunday Park for a little festival and free BranderBelle cruises.
- Saturday, July 4th • see site for schedule
- Brandermill, beginning at Swift Creek Middle School
This forthcoming restaurant is intent on winning your hearts early with this pig roast in honor of purple mountain majesties and all that. The hogs themselves will be braised in Three Chopt Tripel from Lickinghole Creek, which is, uncoincidentally, where this event is to be held. Food of all kinds and music are covered in the price of admission. Booze will cost ya, which is only fair.
Got any more ideas? Feel free to add in the comments.