Eds note: This guide is from 2014, check out our guide for 2015 here.
Whether you're rocking a Stars and Stripes jumpsuit or merely soaking in the patriotic atmosphere, Independence Day is a time for celebration.
But with so many displays, parades, and other festivities, it can be a little daunting to decide just how to celebrate.
That is why we've decided to plan out your itinerary for the entire day. Here are some of the best places in the metro area to make your Fourth of July a real humdinger:
Start your Fourth of July celebrations off with the Lenexa Community Days Parade at 10 a.m. Floats, bands, and classic cars make this a good choice for families.
The city of Parkville's July Fourth Celebration is one of the biggest events in the area. A pancake breakfast, carnival, street vendors, and fireworks are just some of the attractions you'll find there. It's a great choice for families, as well.
If you want to kick things off with some good, old-fashioned Americana, the Merriam Flags 4 Freedom event runs from now until July 5. The American Legion band will perform at 12:30 p.m. There also will be barbecue and sweet treats.
Honoring fallen soldiers is one of the most patriotic acts one can practice, so why not head to the Liberty Memorial's World War I Museum? You might learn a thing or two about the Great War that you never knew before.
Once you get a little thirsty around midday, make your way out to The Big Rip Brewing Company's 2nd Annual Beer, Music, and Fireworks Celebration. Doors open at noon, with tailgating and festivities like a screening of "Independence Day" going on throughout the day. The celebration ends with a view of KC Riverfest's firework display.
According to the KC Crossroads Twitter account, First Fridays is still on for the Fourth. Galleries and restaurants will be open, so you can stop by and enjoy some art and food before the fireworks start flying.
Nighttime fireworks displays
If you're really itching to see some fireworks and can't wait until the Fourth, you can check out the Fairway, Roeland Park and Westwood display on July 3, at 9:30 p.m. Parking is available at Bishop Miege High School and St. Agnes Parish in Roeland Park, Kan.
Worlds of Fun will have fireworks on the Fourth and every Saturday in July. So even if you can't make it out on Friday, you'll have another chance on Saturday.
If you're out in the eastern parts of the metro, Jackson County's Big Bang at Longview Lake is always a treat. The event runs from 5:30-10 p.m., with accompanying radio simulcast from 94.9 FM during the display.
Above all else, stay safe and enjoy the 238th anniversary of the United States.