Feeling patriotic: Six ways to celebrate the Fourth of July in Brooklyn

coney island fourth of july
Celebrate the Fourth of July in Brooklyn with fireworks, a parade, and more!
File photo by Steve Solomonson

Summer has officially started, school is nearly out, and next week is one of the biggest holidays of the summer: The Fourth of July. Here are six ways to celebrate Independence Day in Brooklyn.

coney island fourth of july fireworks
There’s plenty to do to celebrate the Fourth of July in Brooklyn. File photo by Adrian Childress

Brooklyn Cyclones Pre-Independence Day Game

The Brooklyn Cyclones are celebrating the Fourth a little early, on July 3. That evening, they’ll take the field as their alter egos the Coney Island Franks. The first 1,500 fans in the stadium are guaranteed to receive a Joey Chestnut bobblehead, and special packages are available for a special rooftop BBQ party complete with merch, food and drinks. No matter where you’re sitting, stick around after the game for some celebratory fireworks!

$24+. 7 p.m. on July 3. Maimonides Park, 1904 Surf Ave. at West 19th Street in Coney Island. 

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Spend your Fourth of July at Coney Island’s most beloved holiday tradition: the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. File photo by Paul Martinka

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is a Brooklyn institution! Head down to Coney Island to watch competitive eaters gobble down as many hot dogs as possible in their quest for gastric glory and a grand prize of $10,0000 in cash. The men’s contest kicks off at 11 a.m. at the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island, immediately followed by the women’s contest. This year, things will look a little different — longtime Hot Dog Eating Contest champ Joey Chestnut isn’t participating, leaving the field wide open for a new victor.

Free to attend. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island.

Coney Island July Fourth Fireworks

Coney Island is the best place in Brooklyn for summer fun, and the Alliance for Coney Island is hosting one of the best fireworks shows in the borough on July Fourth! Head down to Steeplechase Pier for a patriotic display in the sky, completely free of charge. Make a day of it by spending your afternoon on the beach or on the famous Coney Island boardwalk!

Free. 9:45 p.m. Steeplechase Pier, 1739 Riegelmann Boardwalk near West 16th Street in Coney Island.

Brooklyn American Independence Day Parade

fourth of july independence day parade
The Brooklyn American Independence Day Parade is full of American history and local spirit. File photo by Arthur de Gaeta

Celebrate Independence Day and the people of Brooklyn at the 114th annual Brooklyn American Independence Day Parade. Packed with marching bands, historic outfits, first responders, and local heroes, the parade is patriotic and plenty of fun for Brooklynites of all ages.

The procession begins with a mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at 529 56th St. in Bay Ridge, followed by a ceremonial presentation of honors before the parade steps off. The parade itself starts at 11:30 a.m. on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, and heads down Fifth Avenue toward 43rd Street.

Sunday, June 30. Free. 11:30 a.m. Mass at 10 a.m. at 526 59th St. in Bay Ridge, parade at 11:30 a.m. on Fifth Avenue between 59th and 43rd streets. 

Fourth of July at Prospect Park

Bring the little ones over to Prospect Park for a fun and educational day at the People’s Playground! The park’s nature experts will teach kiddos about butterflies, introduce them to local critters, and take them on an educational, exploratory tour of the park where they can get to know the nature all around them. Afterward, close out the day with a ride on the park’s famous 1912 carousel!

Free. 12-5 p.m. Prospect Park Audobon Center, 101 East Drive in Prospect Park.

Project 91 Block Party

Project 91 is back with their 21+ July Fourth Block Party at Skyline Drive-in in Greenpoint! Celebrate the country’s birthday with live DJ sets from Matoma, ARIZONA, and Cherub from 3-9 p.m., six different bars including a beer garden complete with yard games, live music, and picnic tables, and a Gotham Burger Social Club Pop-Up. Dance, eat, and celebrate with beautiful views of the East River and the Manhattan skyline!

$41+. 3-9 p.m. 21+. Skyline Drive-In, 1 Oak St. near West Street in Greenpoint.

Other ways to celebrate:

There are plenty of ways to celebrate the July Fourth — or just enjoy a day off! — outside of attending special holiday events. Enjoy a day out at any of Brooklyn’s beautiful beaches, head to Coney Island for rides and fun at Luna Park or Deno’s Wonder Wheel, explore the New York Aquarium, or spend some time outdoors in one of the borough’s beautiful public parks.