July 4th Children celebrating

4th of July Events in Charlottesville

words by CharlottesvilleFamily Editors
Indepence Day Events - from Parades to Fireworks
Virginia Dept of Health

It’s time to celebrate as if it were 1776! Fourth of July fireworks are ready, so prepare to ooh and aah at the skies this Independence Day. Parades, fairs, and family 5ks are all part of the celebrations.

Charlottesville 4th of July Celebrations

The Fourth of July is one of the greatest occasions for families to enjoy summer in Charlottesville. The entire city takes on a celebratory atmosphere, and it’s the ideal reason to spend the entire weekend seeing everything Charlottesville has to offer. Explore river floats and parades, fireworks, music and culinary festivals and a variety of other Fourth of July events and activities in Charlottesville. Some of our favorite 4th of July Events for families and kids are listed below. Specific dates and times can be found in our popular Charlottesville Events Calendar.

1. Monticello Independence Day and Naturalization Ceremony

This is, without a doubt, THE Fourth of July celebration you shouldn’t miss! The 56th annual “Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony” and the “Great Birthday of Our Republic” are held at President Thomas Jefferson’s house from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Numerous international citizens are addressed by well-known guest speakers as they fulfill a dream that has been a longtime ambition for many of them: becoming citizens of the United States! The 2024 speaker is Misty Copeland.

Carter Mountain2. Greetings on America’s Birthday from Carter Mountain Orchard

Observe America’s birthday with a traditional family outing! Savor fireworks while admiring Carter Mountain’s breathtaking view of Charlottesville. This entertaining, family-friendly 4th of July event features a range of activities throughout the afternoon, including a water balloon throw, hayrides, bike parades, sack races, and even a watermelon seed spitting competition. At dusk, there will be fireworks and live music along with food, wine, and both sweet and hard cider for sale (alcohol from outside is prohibited by state ABC legislation)!

3. The Historic “Independence Day Parade & Celebration” in Scottsville

The town of Scottsville, which is located just south of Charlottesville, has a long history of holding parades, and its annual “Fourth of July Parade” down Main Street is a great example of small town charm. Folk music concerts, the Virginia Log Chopping Championships, an indoor and outdoor antique exhibition and flea market, fireworks, and, of course, candy throwing for passersby have all been part of previous celebrations. With the parade in the morning, music, food, and games in the afternoon, and fireworks over the James River in the evening, there will be a strong sense of small-town warmth and “slice of Americana” throughout the entire event. Everyone is guaranteed to have a great time!

Virginia Dept of Health

4. The Firemen’s Fair in Louisa

The Volunteer Fire Department’s yearly multi-day fair in the neighboring town of Louisa, which has carnival rides, games, and fair cuisine, ends with an evening fireworks display. Highway 22/Main Street is the only route through the town, so if you go, be prepared to spend some time there.

5. “Patriotism in the Park”, Fireworks in Charlottesville’s McIntire Park

This is the most anticipated fireworks display in Charlottesville and is a local tradition. An evening of family-friendly entertainment featuring food, local bands, and kid-friendly activities (such as obstacle courses, bouncy houses, antique firetrucks, face painting, etc.) begins at 5:00 p.m. The minute after dark is when the fireworks spectacular starts. It is not permitted to bring alcohol to this free event. Park at a public lot and catch a shuttle.

Ashlawn-Highland, James Monroe6. James Monroe’s Highland “Independence Day Celebration”

In addition to honoring the 187th anniversary of this Revolutionary War hero and fifth President of the United States’ dying on July 4, 1831, celebrate America’s birthday at his home. The celebration includes free access to Highlands’ grounds, family games, and interpretative patriotic activities. Please pack your own picnic foods.


7. Crozet Independence Day Parade and Community Celebration with Fireworks

At Crozet Elementary School, the Crozet Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD) march kicks off the 4th of July festivities. The march proceeds to Claudius Crozet Park along Crozet Avenue, passing through the heart of the charming town. Following the procession, there’s a reception at King Family Vineyards. If you want to be comfortable as you enjoy the local musicians, Ian Gilliam and the FireKings and Chicken Head Blues Band, bring a lawn chair. It’s the same celebration as it was last year. There will be classic American Fourth of July fare like funnel cakes, BBQ, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, and sno-cones. Tacos and other favorites, as well as vegetarian and vegan options, will be available! For an additional fee, King Family Vineyard wines, Bold Rock Cider, and local beer will be served. There are activities for kids as well. A magnificent fireworks display marks the event’s conclusion around 9:30 PM. $5 is the suggested donation amount.

4th of July Event Safety Tips

Each year, thousands of children under the age of 19 are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for injuries involving fireworks. 

Fireworks, including sparklers and flares, can cause serious burns as well as blast injuries that can permanently impair vision and hearing. It’s advised to teach your children what to do if their clothing catches on fire—‘stop, drop and roll’—and how to call 911 in an emergency. 

Where permitted by law, fireworks should be handled and used in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and all warning labels. In addition, here are some recommendations for adults using fireworks:

  • Light fireworks only on smooth, flat surfaces, and aim them away from buildings, dry leaves, flammable materials and spectators.
  • Do not try to relight fireworks that malfunction.
  • Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or hold them close to your face.
  • Visit www.recalls.gov to make sure the pyrotechnic devices you are using are not subject to any safety recalls. Do not modify fireworks or use homemade fireworks.
  • Keep a phone handy, and know first aid for burns. Also, keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.

Finally, keep all children under active supervision—in sight and in reach at all times with your undivided attention focused on them.

How to Grill Safely

Among all accidental injuries, fires/burns remain as one of the top causes of death for young children—in part because young children cannot recognize heat-related hazards quickly enough to react appropriately. A child will suffer a full-thickness 

burn (third-degree burn) after just three seconds of exposure to 140-degree water and will need surgery and skin grafts.

  • Keep children away from the grill area while preheating and cooking, and as the grill is cooling. 
  • Keep matches, candles, gasoline, lighters and all other flammable materials locked away and out of children’s reach.

Find more great family festivals and fun with our stories on Virginia Children’s Museums, Dad daytrips, science projects to try at home, Richmond’s Science Museum, County Fairs in Central Virginia and more. Be sure to try this great 4th of July recipe for strawberry shortcake with blueberry sauce.


CharlottesvilleFamily.com, a collection of local resources including a popular calendar of events, family services guides and features on education, health and family day trips for parents and teachers in Charlottesville, as well as Virginia Wine & Country Life, a semi-annual life & style magazine, and Wine & Country Weddings, an annual art book celebrating elegant Virginia weddings.