Have A Blast At These Iowa 4th of July Fireworks Displays

By Amie Rivers

June 28, 2023

Below is a list of more than 100 upcoming fireworks displays in Iowa in celebration of Independence Day. This list has events from 96 cities around the state!

But before I get to that, a little history about why we celebrate Independence Day and why we do it with fireworks.

What we’re celebrating

Independence Day marks the day the United States ratified the text of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain, on July 4, 1776—247 years ago. (Congress voted to declare independence two days earlier, on July 2, 1776.)

A copy of the Declaration made its way to British King George III months after publication. Britain’s response? Calling its authors “misguided Americans” who made an “extravagant and inadmissable Claim of Independency.”

The Revolutionary War would keep raging for years, until George Washington’s Continental Army—with the help of the French Army and Navy—turned the tide in their favor at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781. Britain formally recognized US independence on Sept. 3, 1783, with the Treaty of Paris.

Despite all that, there was no lasting bad blood between the old nation and the new: The UK and US established diplomatic relations two years later in 1785. And though we were on a short break during the War of 1812, we’ve been besties ever since.

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Why do we celebrate with fireworks?

Ironically, because England did it first!

Celebratory displays of fireworks were first used at the wedding of King Henry VII in 1486. Queen Elizabeth I apparently was so fond of fireworks in the 1500s that she appointed a royal Fire Master of England for fireworks shows.

After the famous Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament in 1605 was foiled, the annual commemoration of that event featured a fireworks display and was called Fireworks Night.

By the 1700s, Europe’s fireworks displays had grown extravagant and were a popular way of celebrating national prosperity and patriotism—something that easily migrated across the Atlantic Ocean.

But it was John Adams’ letter to his wife, Abigail, that sealed the deal for US Independence Day celebrations. The Fourth of July, he wrote, “ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with [Shows], Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

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Fireworks 2023, by city:

Adams: Sunday, July 2, 10 p.m., Lake Icaria

Altoona:

Amana Colonies: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Lily Lake

Ames: Monday, July 3, 9:45-10:15 p.m. (or after dusk), near Jack Trice Stadium

Anamosa: Monday, July 3, 9:30 p.m., Downing football field (rain date July 4)

Arnolds Park: Tuesday, July 4, 10 p.m., Arnolds Park Amusement Park/Preservation Plaza

Atlantic:

Aurora: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Aurora Park

Avoca: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Edgington Memorial Park

Belle Plaine: Tuesday, July 4, dusk

Bellevue: Sunday, July 2, dusk, South Riverview

Belmond: Tuesday, July 4, 10 p.m., Belmond-Klemme High School football field

Bettendorf: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Middle Park (rain date July 8)

Bonaparte: Saturday, July 1, 10 p.m., across from City Park

Boxholm: Saturday, July 1, dusk, school ball diamond

Bronson: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Bronson City Park

Brooklyn: Saturday, July 1, dusk, Holiday Lake/Powell Park (rain date July 2)

Buffalo: Saturday, July 1, dusk, Terry Adams Memorial Park

Carlisle: Tuesday, July 4, 10 p.m., North Park

Cedar Rapids:

Chariton: Tuesday, July 4, 10 p.m., Northwest Park

Charles City: Tuesday, July 4, 10 p.m. Main Street Bridge

Clarinda: Saturday, July 1, following the Clarinda A’s game, Municipal Stadium

Clear Lake: Tuesday, July 4, 10 p.m., over Clear Lake

Colesburg: Saturday, July 1, dusk, Pride Park

Coralville: Tuesday, July 4, 9:45 p.m., S.T. Morrison Park

Council Bluffs: Tuesday, July 4, 10 p.m., Lake Manawa

Cresco: Saturday, July 1, dusk, Cresco Country Club

Creston: Tuesday, July 4, 9:30 p.m., McKinley Park

Davenport: Monday, July 3, 9:30 p.m., Modern Woodman Park/LeClaire Park

Defiance: Friday, June 30, dusk, Defiance Walking Park

Des Moines:

Dubuque: Monday, July 3, 9:45 p.m., A.Y. McDonald Park

Dunlap: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Pleasant View Park

Dyersville: Monday, July 3, dusk, Commercial Club Park

Dysart: Tuesday, July 4, dusk

Earlham: Tuesday, July 4, 10 p.m., City Park

Earlville: Tuesday, July 4, dusk

Exira: Tuesday, July 4, 9:45 p.m., Spartan football field

Farley: Saturday, July 1, dusk, Main Street

Fort Dodge: Friday, June 30, 10 p.m., Sports Park Raceway

Fort Madison: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Riverview Park

Grand Mound: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, ballpark

Grandview: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Academy Park

Grimes:

Grinnell: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Ahrens Park

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Hampton: Monday, July 3, dusk, Franklin County Fairgrounds

Independence: Tuesday, July 4, 10 p.m., Riverwalk Parks

Indianola: Sunday, July 2, dusk, Deer Run Golf Club

Iowa City: Saturday, July 1, 9:30 p.m., main stage, Iowa City Jazz Festival, downtown

Iowa Falls: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Riverbend Park

Keokuk: Monday, July 3, during first break of performance by Ozark Drive, Southside Boat Club

Le Mars: Tuesday, July 4, 10 p.m., Plymouth County Fairgrounds

Mapleton: Monday, July 3, dusk, Bill Mac Field (rain date July 4)

Marengo: Monday, July 3, dusk, Gateway Park

Marion: Monday, July 3, dusk, Klopfenstein Amphitheater, Lowe Park

Marne: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Marne Park

Marshalltown:

Mason City: Monday, July 3, following a performance of the Mason City Municipal Band, MCHS Stadium

Minburn: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Meek Park

Mitchell: Monday, July 3, dusk, Interstate Park

Mitchellville: Saturday, July 1, dusk, City Park

Monticello: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Fairgrounds

Morning Sun: Tuesday, July 4, dusk

Muscatine: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, downtown

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Newhall: Monday, July 3, dusk

New Market: Tuesday, July 4, 10 p.m., Park

Newton: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Agnes Patterson Memorial Park

North Liberty: Monday, July 3, 9 p.m., Penn Meadows Park

Northwood: Tuesday, July 4, 10 p.m., airport

Norwalk: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, McAninch Park

Oskaloosa: Tuesday, July 4, 9:30 p.m., Lacey Park

Ottumwa: Tuesday, July 4, 9:30 p.m., Ottumwa Park

Oxford: Monday, July 3, dusk, Creekside Park

Oxford Junction: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Wapsi Park

Pella: Saturday, July 1, 10 p.m., Central College

Perry: Tuesday, July 4, 9:30 p.m., Pattee Park

Prescott: Tuesday, July 4, 10 p.m., Prescott Eagle’s Nest (801 First St.)

Reinbeck: Tuesday, July 4, 10 p.m., Elmwood Park

Sheldon: Monday, July 3, dusk, Village Northwest Unlimited

Shell Rock: Monday, July 3, 10 p.m.

Sigourney: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Keokuk County Expo

Sioux Center: Tuesday, July 4, 10 p.m., Mouw Motor and Ver Hoef Automotive parking lots

Sioux City: Saturday, July 1, following the Earth, Wind & Fire concert, Grandview Park

Slater: Monday, July 3, 10 p.m., Grimm Park (rain date July 4)

Sperry: Monday, July 3, dusk, Sperry Fireworks (18876 111th Ave.)

Spillville: Saturday, July 1, dusk, Riverside Park

Storm Lake: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Chautauqua Jetty

Urbandale: Tuesday, July 4, 10 p.m., Walker Johnston Park (rain date July 5)

Waterloo:

Waukee: Tuesday, July 4, 9:30 p.m., Centennial Park

West Burlington: Tuesday, July 4, 10:01 p.m., downtown

West Des Moines: Tuesday, July 4, 9:30 p.m., West Des Moines City Campus

Westfair: Saturday, July 1, dusk, Westfair Fairgrounds and Amphitheater

Windsor Heights: Tuesday, July 4, dusk, Colby Park

 

by Amie Rivers
6/27/23

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  • Amie Rivers

    Amie Rivers is Starting Line's community editor, labor reporter and newsletter snarker-in-chief. Previously, she was an award-winning journalist at the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier; now, she very much enjoys making TikToks and memes. Send all story tips and pet photos to [email protected] and sign up for our newsletter here.

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