Where to see Fourth of July fireworks, parades and celebrations in Ames and central Iowa
Update: This story has been updated to indicate the organizer of the Ames parade.
Whether it’s a fireworks display, a parade, stock car races or patriotic music, central Iowa has something for nearly everyone who wants to celebrate the Fourth of July this year.
Ames will hold its annual parade and fireworks exhibition as well as patriotic music in the park.
From Slater to Nevada to Perry, towns offer a variety of ways to celebrate with games, parades and fireworks.
Boone will celebrate with booms and vrooms as stock car races at the speedway also will feature some fireworks.
There’s still time to sign up to help volunteer with the community events or register to be in one of the parades.
Ames holds Fourth of July parade, fireworks, patriotic concert
Fireworks will go off east of the Jack Trice Stadium lots on Sunday when the sky is completely dark. Parking is available in the Iowa State Center and Jack Trice Stadium paved parking lots. Fireworks are presented by Discover Ames, with the city of Ames and Iowa State University.
Reiman Gardens will be open from 10 a.m. until the conclusion of the fireworks display. Visitors are allowed to bring folding chairs and coolers with food and drinks. No fireworks or sparklers are allowed inside the Gardens.
On Monday, the parade in Ames starts at 11 a.m. and will stream down Main Street.
Photos from 2021:Ames celebrates Independence Day with a Fourth of July parade
The Fourth of July parade on Main Street will begin at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 4. If you’d like to enter your business or organization to appear in the parade, registration is available at amesdowntown.org. That’s also the site to visit if you’d like to sign up to volunteer to help with the event.
“Volunteers have the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the parade setup by assisting in several different roles,” Ames Main Street, which organizes the event, said on its website.
Ames Municipal Band will hold its Patriotic Concert at 8 p.m. Thursday at Bandshell Park. The free concert will feature soloist Chad Sonka. All veterans and members of the military will be recognized.
Slater’s Fourth of July celebration started in the 1800s
The small town of Slater holds a big celebration, which features a parade, kiddie parade, fireworks, music, games and food. The celebration dates to 1889.
The celebration kicks off Saturday with Nelson Park being the hub of many activities, including a carnival and food and craft vendors. A kiddie parade starts at 6 p.m. at the Senior Center.
On Sunday, fireworks will be displayed at 10 p.m. at Grimm Park. During the day, the carnival and other activities continue at Nelson Park along with a beer garden and a performance at 8 p.m. by the band Cover That.
Monday starts with the Ballard Kiwanis 5K run at 6:15 a.m. and a pancake breakfast by the Kiwanis from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. and will feature Wayne Rimathe as the grand marshal. The beer garden, carnival, food and craft vendors, along with other activities (such as a rock climbing wall) will be held throughout the day.
For a full schedule of events, see the Slater Iowa Community Club’s Facebook page.
Nevada holds parade, fireworks, chicken noodle dinner
On Monday, events kick off in Nevada at 7 a.m. with the Firefighters’ Pancakes and Sausages Breakfast at the Fire Station. Free-will donations will be accepted, and breakfast will be served until 10 a.m.
Nevada American Legion’s Fourth of July parade begins at 10 a.m., with a route that begins at E Avenue and heads north on Sixth Street to N Avenue. To be in the parade, arrive around 9:15 a.m. along E Avenue between Seventh and Ninth streets and sign a waiver.
After the parade, a Chicken Noodle Dinner with side dishes and homemade pie will be served at the American Legion Hall, 1331 Sixth St. The cost will be $10 per person and $5 for kids age 10 and under. The Legion will also be serving root beer floats outside the building.
At dusk, the city’s fireworks show will be held at SCORE Park. The show can be viewed at the park or in many other areas with line of sight to that area, according to the city’s website.
Boone Speedway features fireworks, stock car race
On Monday, Boone Speedway is having what it calls a “huge fireworks show.” The “Eve of Destruction” show features hot laps at 7:30 p.m. Gates open at 6 p.m.
The lineup includes stock cars, sports mods, two-man cruiser cars, a rollover contest, bus races and the “Leap of Death.”
Adult general admission tickets are $20, youth 13-17 are $5 and kids 12 and under are admitted for free.
Fireworks in Roland on Sunday
Roland Kiwanis will hold its annual fireworks show at dusk on Sunday. In case of rain, the date will change to Tuesday.
Perry adds 'Perry Booster Games' to annual event
Perry’s Fourth of July celebration will return this year with a slate of traditional activities, including a parade, vendors in the park, live music and a fireworks show.
The Perry Chamber of Commerce will kick off the annual festivities with the parade at 10 a.m. Line-up will start at 9 a.m. at East Perry Plaza. The parade is free to enter and registration is not required.
The parade will travel down Willis Avenue to Pattee Park. Vendors will be set up at Pattee Park following the parade.
A new addition to the afternoon is the Perry Booster Games. The Perry Booster Club is partnering with the Perry Chamber to host the second annual event at 2 p.m. on the bandshell lawn at Pattee Park. The games are designed for all ages and skill levels and prizes from local businesses will be handed out.
Teams of four can sign up to participate online at perry-chamber.square.site or can register on July 4. The cost for each team to participate is $90 before July 1 or $100 on July 4. Proceeds will go to support the Perry Booster Club and Perry Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to the Perry Booster Games, the Perry Fine Arts Committee will host its annual Musical Extravaganza and Ice Cream Social at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church.
The July 4 activities will wrap up with live music from 6-9 p.m. at the bandshell at Pattee Park, followed by the fireworks show.
Find more information at perryia.org/july-4th-celebration.html.
Minburn offers free skating
The Minburn Community Betterment Group will kick off the town’s annual Fourth of July festivities with free skating and live music on July 3 in Meek Park. A free-will donation meal will be served by the Friends of the Minburn Public Library from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The skate shack will be open and kids will be able to skate for free at the outdoor rink. The Meet Me in Minburn concert series will feature live music from Robbie Michael from 7-9 p.m.
The festivities continue on July 4 with rolls at the Meek Park Food Shelter, followed by the parade at 9 a.m. The parade line-up will start at 8:30 a.m. at the Heartland Co-op. No registration is needed and anyone is welcome to participate.
Family games will be played in Rogers Park after the parade. The American Legion Auxiliary will serve a noon meal in Meek Park. A bags tournament will also start at noon at Mudders. Food trucks will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Meek Park, along with a variety of kids activities.
The evening meal will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Meek Park Food Shelter, followed by a raffle drawing. The festivities will wrap up with the Minburn American Legion Pie Auction at 7 p.m. and a fireworks show at dusk.
Waukee features skydivers, fireworks, ice cream social
Waukee’s Celebration of Independence returns with two days of events starting July 3 at Centennial Park. An adult co-ed sand volleyball tournament starts at 9 a.m. July 3. Food vendors will be set up from 4-10 p.m., followed by family entertainment from 5:30-8:30 p.m., a magician at 7:30 p.m. and a movie in the park at 8:45 p.m.
The festivities continue on July 4 with a 5K at 7:45 a.m., followed by a pancake breakfast. The parade will kick off at 10:30 a.m. from Waukee Middle School to South Middle School. Afternoon activities include a free ice cream social at noon, inflatables from 1-8 p.m., an adult bags tournament and live music from 5-10 p.m. The Des Moines Skydivers will perform at 8 p.m., followed by the fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.
Find more information at waukee.org/777/Celebration-of-Independence.