Estimates from the American Automobile Association say that roadways will be packed this Fourth of July weekend with two million more people traveling this year than last. If you’re staying out of the fray and staying on the island, there’s plenty to do during the long weekend, including three straight nights of fireworks.

On the evening of the Fourth of July, Galveston Island will celebrate its annual Independence Day parade featuring a procession of floats, decorated military vehicles and performers. The parade will kick off at 7 p.m. with a procession on Seawall Boulevard starting at 59th Street and continuing to 25th Street.

After the parade, the island will host a 20-minute fireworks show over the Gulf of Mexico at 9:15 p.m. near 37th Street and Seawall Boulevard. The fireworks show is sponsored by the Galveston Park Board of Trustees.

Going into the weekend, Moody Gardens will host its popular Bands on the Sand concert series on Friday and Saturday. Each concert will be followed by a fireworks display over Offatts Bayou. Bands on the Sand concerts are held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Moody Gardens’ Palm Beach. Tickets are $15 per person.

If you’re hitting the beach, be sure to head to Stewart Beach and Pirates Beach to hone your sandcastle skills. Free sandcastle building lessons will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at Pirates Beach, and Saturday at Stewart Beach. This event series allows you to take sandcastle building lessons from the pros. Some equipment is provided, but taking a bucket and shovel is recommended.

The Bucket Brigade will offer free educational tours at Stewart Beach on Saturday. Offered by Artist Boat, these tours teach participants about the coastal environment and ways to keep it healthy and clean.

If you find yourself exploring the downtown historic Strand District, catch a free, family friendly movie under the stars at Movie Nite on The Strand. The event will take place at 7:45 p.m. Saturday, with a showing of the film “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” at Saengerfest Park, on the corner of 23rd and Strand streets.

“The Fourth of July holiday weekend will bring plenty of visitors to the island looking for fun and relaxation,” Park Board Executive Director Kelly de Schaun said. “With all the activities lined up, it’s times like these I feel most fortunate to live where others choose to go on vacation.”

Park board meetings are typically held at 1:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 601 23rd St.

Mary Beth Bassett is the public relations coordinator for the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Park Board of Trustees.

(1) comment

Doyle Neuwiller

Also, after the Seawall Parade, The Galvez Hotel will host a free outdoor 4th of July band concert by The Galveston Community Band, starting at 8:45PM.

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