Fourth of July Festivities Downtown

Jillian Span Hofbauer

(Photo Barbara J. Perenic)

Celebrate the stars and stripes at one of these Fourth of July festivities happening Downtown this weekend.

Red, White and Boom

When: Fri., July 1

Where: Bicentennial Park, Long St., Nationwide Blvd., Washington Blvd. and Civic Center Dr.

If you're up for braving large crowds, celebrate Independence Day at the largest fireworks display in Ohio. This annual Downtown event draws more than 400,000 people and includes a one-mile parade and lineup of entertainment. Grab a spot along the parade route, which kicks off at 6 p.m. from the Main St. Bridge, then stake out your spot for fireworks at 10 p.m.

Tip: Stick around late to listen to live entertainment while the crowds clear out. These bands will go on after fireworks.

Patriotic Pops

When: Sat., July 2

Where: Columbus Commons

There is nothing like patriotic tunes and fireworks to feel a sense of American pride. Join the Columbus Symphony Orchestra for an evening of American favorites and Sousa marches including "The Stars and Stripes Forever" and other well-known songs. The concert begins at 8 p.m., and general admission tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children. Stay for fireworks immediately following.

Tip: Reserve your parking space at the Columbus Commons' lot ahead of time with prepaid parking.

Doo Dah Parade

When: Mon., July 4

Where: Victorian Village and Short North

Take a little time to laugh during this one-of-a-kind parade that boasts freedom of speech through humor. Celebrating its 33rd year, this annual party in the street brings out the silly side of Columbus as participants come dressed in outlandish costumes and garb, all in the spirit of self-expression. The best part? Anyone can participate. Lineup starts at noon on Park Street, and the parade kicks off at 1 p.m. Former Mayor Michael Coleman who will serve as this year's Less-Than-Grand Marshal.

Tip: If spectating is more your style,bring a lawn chair and arrive early to nail down a good spot along the parade route.