Our guide to the best 4th of July fireworks shows in Iowa

Our guide to the best 4th of July fireworks shows in Iowa

Photo courtesy of Anthony Da Cruz via Unsplash.

By Katie Giorgio

June 25, 2024

Nothing says summer like sitting back and watching fireworks light up the night sky.

Fireworks don’t just happen on the 4th of July—although it is arguably the most popular time to catch an eye-popping, patriotic show.

Check out this list of the most dazzling fireworks displays that will light up the night skies across Iowa this summer, and mark your calendar to take in a show near you. 

The best fireworks in Eastern Iowa

  • Fairfax USA Days kick off the fireworks displays in Eastern Iowa. You can enjoy the market, a parade, a carnival, and more fun for the two-day celebration on June 21st and June 22nd, and catch the grand finale fireworks on June 22nd at 9:30 p.m.
  • The Linn County Fair in Central City features fireworks shows on June 28th and 29th at 10 p.m. This is included in admission for the day, which is just $5. 
  • If you head to Trek Fest 39 in Riverside’s Hall Park on June 28th and 29th, you can enjoy the fireworks that wrap up the event. Don’t miss out on the parade and special guest events featuring VIP trekkies. 
  • Marion hosts their annual Fireworks & Fireflies event in Lowe Park each summer on July 3rd. The free event features live music (the FunkDaddies are performing this year), food trucks, face painting, and the grand finale fireworks. 
  • Summer of the Arts includes a fireworks show at the Pentacrest in Iowa City on July 5th at 9:30 p.m. It’s pretty cool to see fireworks light up the sky above the Old Capitol.
  • The Cedar Rapids Kernels shoot off fireworks after every Saturday night home game during the 2024 season. It’s a great way to catch a great game of baseball (we recommend grabbing a hot dog and beverage, too) and see a fun fireworks show all in one.
  • The Freedom Festival — which features two weeks of fun-filled activities all around town — in Cedar Rapids also features a phenomenal Celebration of Freedom fireworks show on July 4th in the heart of downtown over the Cedar River that has been a favorite in the area for decades.
  • Keosauqua hosts a 4th of July celebration in their quaint downtown that includes loads of kids’ games and activities, a street dance, and concludes with a dazzling fireworks show over the Mississippi River.
  • You can visit the Field of Dreams earlier in the day, then hang around Dyersville for the July 3rd Celebration & Fireworks at Commercial Club Park. The event does have a $5 ticket charge.
  • Bellevue Heritage Days, held in Cole Park, takes place on July 5th and 6th and features a water ski show, parade, live music, and more, plus fireworks as the grand finale on the 6th. Heritage Day buttons/bracelets are $10.
  • Waterloo is home to the  Red, White & Loo Mayor’s Fireworks on July 6th at the RiverLoop Expo and Plaza right on the banks of the Cedar River in downtown. Grab dinner and drinks then catch the fireworks show at 10 p.m.
  • Dubuque’s fireworks show for the season takes place on July 3rd for the 38th Annual Fireworks and Air Show at A.Y. McDonald Park.
  • There are a couple of opportunities to catch a fireworks show in Burlington including during the West Burlington 4th of July Celebration. Fireworks start promptly at 10:01 p.m., right on the banks of the Mississippi River. Then on July 6th head to Crapo Park to enjoy Symphonic Blast. It features a free outdoor concert starting at 8 p.m. that concludes with a real blast of fireworks.

The best fireworks in Central Iowa

  • Clear Lake hosts a three-day Independence Day celebration that includes a parade, carnival, live music, a fun run, and a fireworks show over the lake on July 4th.
  • In Ames, you can enjoy a fireworks show hosted at Jack Trice Stadium on July 3rd to get in the patriotic spirit.
  • Both Prairie Meadows (July 3rd) and Adventureland (July 4th), just outside of Des Moines, have fireworks displays to enjoy. Plus the Des Moines Symphony will host their 30th Annual Yankee Doodle Pops concert on July 3rd at 8:30 p.m This delightful evening of patriotic music concludes with a dazzling fireworks show over the Des Moines skyline.
  • On July 3rd you can head to West Des Moines for the Independence Day Parade and Fireworks, which takes place on the City/School campus. And fireworks will also go off in Waukee on July 4th at 9:30 p.m. in Centennial Park. The cities of Grimes, Norwalk, and Newton also have fireworks shows scheduled on July 4th.
  • After the holiday has passed, you can still spot some fireworks in Central Iowa including at the Rendezvous on Riverview. Held on July 7th from 5:30 to 9 p.m., a favorite Iowa band, The Pork Tornadoes, will play followed by a fireworks extravaganza.
  • Head to Ankeny for their fireworks celebration on July 14th at 9:30 p.m. which is the last day of Ankeny’s SummerFest.
  • Clive Festival also features a fireworks show on both July 19th and July 20th. The event features live music, the popular Clive Fire Department’s Slip-N-Slide, and the Clive Running Festival.

The best fireworks in Western Iowa

  • 4th of July Fireworks take place over West Lake Okoboji, following the Rolling Stoners concert at Arnolds Park Amusement Park. But what’s great about Okoboji is that fireworks happen every Saturday night over the lake so the summer nighttime magic can continue.
  • Storm Lake hosts the Star Spangled Spectacular on July 3rd and 4th which includes a parade, patriotic ceremonies, and live music, and concludes with a fireworks show the evening of the 4th of July.
  • It may be just after the 4th, but that won’t stop the Mardi Gras Parade through downtown Sioux City on July 5th. This evening parade is followed by fireworks at about 10:15 p.m.
  • Bronson celebrates the 4th of July with a parade in the morning, followed by a baking contest, petting zoo, kids’ games, and a horseshoe tournament. Fireworks go off at dusk.
  • The Independence Day Celebration in Le Mars is extra sweet. Literally. After the parade, enjoy a picnic lunch, rootbeer floats, and a watermelon feed. That evening features a municipal band concert followed by a fantastic fireworks show at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds at dusk.
  • If you are in the Council Bluffs area there are a few chances to catch fireworks, including We Love America Family and Fireworks Evening at Westfair on July 1st from 6 to 10 p.m. Then on July 4th, head to Chautauqua Park for the Oakland Independence Day Celebration which starts in the morning with a pancake breakfast, features a car show and swimming, and also includes a grand fireworks show at dusk. Fireworks also happen on July 4th at 10 p.m. at Lake Manawa State Park. Some people enjoy the show while on the water, while others cozy up on the shore.
  • The City of Avoca hosts Fire in the Sky on July 4th with a day of fun-filled events on the charming Main Street. There’s a kid’s pedal tractor pull, a classic auto show, food vendors, midway games, and more. The parade, one of the best in Western Iowa, begins at 2 p.m. and fireworks wrap up the night in a most spectacular way at dusk. Hosted at the Avoca CountryView Golf Course, they are visible from almost anywhere in the city.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.Our guide to the best 4th of July fireworks shows in IowaOur guide to the best 4th of July fireworks shows in Iowa

  • Katie Giorgio

    Katie Mills Giorgio is a freelance writer, editor, and nonprofit professional living and working in her hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She’s written for a wide variety of publications, including WashingtonPost.com, BHG.com, and U.S. News & World Report. 100 Things to Do in Cedar Rapids Before You Die, her first book came out in October 2022. Learn more at katiemillsgiorgio.com or follow her on Instagram at @ktmgiorgio.

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