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Texas To Do: Top Three Picks for the Fourth of July

Written by , published July 1, 2013

Freedom Over Texas, Houston's Fourth of July celebration, includes a huge firworks show over downtown. (Photo by Richard Carson)

From big-name concerts to small-town celebrations, there are plenty of places to celebrate America's birthday Texas-style this Fourth of July. Here are my top three picks for sure-fire fun this weekend:

One of the state's biggest Independence Day events is Houston's Freedom Over Texas, featuring performances by music superstars Sheryl Crow and Martina McBride, as well as children's activities and a huge fireworks display. The event runs 4-10 p.m. in Eleanor Tinsley Park downtown. Tickets cost $8 and can be purchased online or at the gate--children age 5 and younger get in free.

 Granbury's Hometown Parade. (Photo by Michael Amador/TxDOT)

Granbury's 39th-annual Old-Fashioned Fourth of July keeps the party going Thursday through Saturday with a full roster of family events. July 4 activities include the Hometown Parade, a decorated bike contest, a performance of the "1776 " musical and a ranch rodeo. Then at the end of the day, look out over Lake Granbury to see a huge fireworks show that's consistently ranked among the top 10 displays in the Southwest. The fun continues Friday and Saturday with live music, a car show, old-fashioned games and dancing.

If the summer heat is wilting your enthusiasm for outdoor celebrations, Aqua Boom in Kingsland might be an ideal destination. The city takes full advantage of its location at the confluence of the Llano and Colorado rivers at this four-day event, with water activities, a boat parade and more to help flag-waving revelers cool off. There's also a fried-chicken dinner and patriotic concert Wednesday; three parades and water races before the fireworks at dark on Thursday; a steak cook-off Friday; and a full Saturday of barbecue and chili cook-offs, arts-and-crafts vendors, a remote-controlled aircraft show, car show, sports and games tournaments, and a concert with a street dance.

For a full list of events going on around the state, check out our Web Extra. Safe travels!

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