Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Light Show: Your guide to Fourth of July Fireworks in Cleveland

It’s that time of summer again: fireflies, cookouts and Fourth of July fireworks, of course. We found the best places to cozy up and watch colorful explosions light up the sky across Northeast Ohio.

Photo courtesy of the Cleveland Orchestra.

Lakewood Park: After a day of parades, concerts and picnics, stop by Lakewood Park to catch the perfect end to a patriotic day. Bring blankets and chairs and come early for a lawn spot. Parking: Lakewood Park’s lots near the baseball field and in the center of the park. 9:30 p.m., July 4, free, 14532 Lake Ave., Lakewood, onelakewood.com

Cahoon Memorial Park-West: This staple fireworks display brings families young and old back every year. This year, though, Independence Day is in the middle of the annual citywide festival Bay Days (July 2-5), so crowds will be even thicker than in the past. Parking: The lots off of Cahoon Road or Park Lane. 9:45 p.m., July 4, free, 27600 Lake Road, Cahoon Memorial Park- West, Bay Village, cityofbayvillage.com

Grindstone Festival: Make a day out of it by taking in live bands at the Grindstone Festival (July 3-5) and sticking around for the 10 p.m. fireworks show. Bring a chair or blanket to get a great view. Parking: Near the gazebo. 10 p.m., July 4, free, Berea Commons, Coe Lake, Berea, cityofberea.org

Brunswick Summer Celebration: Between July 1 and 6, Brunswick will not only celebrate the country, but also the city itself. Along with musical guests, parades and activities for young and old, fireworks will light up the city’s sky over Brunswick High School. Parking: The high school’s parking lot and surrounding streets. July 4, $2 per person, free if under age 2, 3553 Center Road, Brunswick, 330-220-1111, summer-celebration.com

Independence Day Weekend: Independence is celebrating its namesake a day early this year. Food booths open at 7 p.m. and the fireworks are set off at 10 p.m. Festivities continue through July 6. Parking: Independence’s Elmwood Park has ample parking in many areas (near the recreation center, baseball fields, swimming pool), so get there early to grab some grub and a prime spot. 10 p.m., July 3 ( July 5 rain date), free, 6363 Selig Drive, Elmwood Park, Independence, independenceohio.org

Clague Park: After an afternoon parade down Hilliard Boulevard, people can join together at Clague Park for an evening of food, music and fireworks to ring in another year of freedom. Parking: Various parking lots around Clague Park, but avoid the parade route along Hilliard Boulevard July 4, free, corner of Hilliard Boulevard & Clague Road, Westlake, cityofwestlake.org

Akron’s National Rib Fest: Nothing says summer quite like barbecue and cover bands. This end-of-the-week celebration begins July 2 and runs through July 5. The Akron Symphony Orchestra will perform patriotic tributes on the Lock 3 stage right before the colors and lights fill the sky. Parking: Multiple downtown lots. Visit downtownakron.com for all parking options. 9:45 p.m., July 4, free, 200 S Main St., Akron, 330-375-2877, akronribfestival.org

A Salute to America: What would the Fourth of July be without the 1812 Overture? Experience real canons firing while our world-class orchestra performs this classic. Fireworks to follow, so bring a blank and chairs for the lawn. Parking: Although Blossom Music Center has plenty of spaces, it's also notoriously known for traffic jams. So do yourself a favor and arrive early or buy a parking pass with your tickets. 8 p.m., July 4, $23-$45, 1144 W Steels Corners Road, Cuyahoga Falls, 330-920-8040, clevelandorchestra.com

Cleveland Indians Game: The ultimate American evening. Watch the Indians play against the Kansas City Royals while downing some Dollar Dogs. Stay after for an extended fireworks display and patriotic tribute with a guaranteed seat. Parking: Choose from the variety of garages around the stadium or save money and take the RTA. 7:05 p.m., July 4, $17.25-$113.50, 2401 Ontario St., Progressive Field, Cleveland, 216-420-4487, cleveland.indians.mlb.com

Goodtimes Cruise III: Step abroad the Goodtimes Cruise III for dinner, dancing and fireworks. Reservations required for this classy celebration on the water. We suggest a fourth deck viewing ticket for a front row seat to the finale. Parking: Pier Parking Lot, the Port Authority Lot behind the FirstEnergy Stadium or Burke Lakefront Lot. Rates vary. 6 p.m. boarding, July 4, $20-$79.95, 825 E Ninth  St., Cleveland, 216-861-5110, goodtimeiii.com

By Katy Witkowski