Discover New Fourth of July Traditions in Southern Indiana

Discover New Fourth of July Traditions in Southern Indiana

June 6, 2022

Cookouts. Lake days. Fireworks. The Midwest is at its best on Independence Day weekend. And no one does it better than Southern Indiana, with a packed calendar of festivities, hiking, and the oldest consecutive 4th of July celebration in the history of our great nation. Grab some sparklers and read on for a list of events you won’t want to miss.

Fireworks

Southern Indiana has some of the best and brightest fireworks displays you can find. Check out West Boggs Park for a gorgeous display over the water. Another option is the Campbellsburg fireworks show located at Medora Town Park. Prior to the show, the fairgrounds will host food trucks and games. If you’re looking to get the party started early, head to Patoka Lake on July 2 for Thunder Over Patoka, an annual fireworks show which can be viewed on the water and the beach.

Festivals

Fireworks may get top billing on July 4, but there are plenty of other options to occupy the daylight hours. If you consider yourself a fisherman, check out the Shoals Catfish Festival which has fishing competitions, fireworks, and a plenty of catfish sandwiches. For some old-fashioned fun, Spring Mill State Park’s celebration is the place for you with plenty of activities going back to its pioneer roots. 

The Linton Freedom Festival – the largest 4th of July celebration in the state– begins on July 1 and continues through July 9. Visit Humphrey Park for the Freedom Festival Carnival each night of the celebration beginning at 6 p.m. in addition to live music. The celebration on July 4 begins at 6 a.m. with breakfast at the fire station and continues all day with a parade, the carnival, and of course, a fireworks show. 

To experience a true piece of Americana, stop by the Pekin 4th of July Celebration. Pekin boasts the longest-running consecutive Independence Day celebration in the history of the United States, having hosted the first celebration in 1830. Today, you can catch the festivities in Pekin Community Park, where the celebration has been held since 1909. Activities include the Pekin Queen contest, corn hole tournaments and, of course, a parade. 

Outdoor Adventures

Soak up the sun at Patoka Lake to make the most of Indiana summers. Not only is it a beautiful sight to take in, but Patoka offers a lot of fun activities including miles of walking trails, fishing, and pontoon rentals. Patoka Lake has a variety of lodging options including camping and cabins. For the 21+ crowd, Patoka Lake Winery offers a wide variety of drinks including wine slushies to cool you off after a day of exploring the park.

If you’re looking for a place to cool off during the summer, try going underground. Visit and tour Indiana’s coolest caverns and Marengo Cave and Blue Springs Caverns. In addition to cave tours, your family can take part in pedal karting, gemstone mining, and camping. 

For a bit of adventure during your trip, the Wilstem Wildlife Park is the way to go.  Experience over 50 different animal species from the comfort of your own vehicle throughout the Drive Thru Safari, or try some horseback riding through the many miles of trails in the park. End your adventure with a high – that is a 5,000-foot canopy zipline tour through the trees of the park. Take your adventure to the next level by booking a cabin on the property to enjoy the beautiful views and be steps away from all the fun.

View more attractions through Discover Southern Indiana

Kid-Free Fun

If you are traveling kid-free, stop at some of Southern Indiana’s more “spirited” sites. French Lick is home to both a winery and a distillery located on the same property. Both locations are open everyday, and all days except Tuesdays you can grab a meal at the site’s restaurant, Drift Coast Italian. French Lick is also home to a Casino with 700+ slots and a wide array of games to play.  If wine isn’t your cup of tea, check out one (or multiple) of Southern Indiana’s breweries including St. Benedict’s Brew WorksSalt Creek Brewery, and Feed Store Beer Co.

Young or old, Southern Indiana is waiting for you to come celebrate the 4th. Whether you’re here for the weekend or just for the day, there’s no better time to visit Southern Indiana.