From rock concerts to fireworks: Here’s what’s happening July 4th weekend in Altoona

fourth of july weekend

Altoona has always been known to throw an unequivocally rockin’ July 4th weekend, with outdoor concerts, festivals, horseracing, free family-friendly fun, a ton of awesome restaurants and bars, shopping, roller coasters, and not one but TWO nights of fireworks.

But this year’s special. This year, we’re turning things up to 11 and being very literal with our interpretation of a rockin’ weekend (see below). It even looks like Mother Nature might cooperate, with sunny skies and a slim chance of rain. All in all, it’s shaping up to be the biggest and best and rockin’-est Independence Day weekend in Altoona history.

But wait! Before you rush out the door with your Uncle Sam hat and American flag pants, keep scrolling to see the biggest events happening in town this weekend:

July 2: A free concert at Prairie Meadows

From 80’s hair to 2000’s party rock, with a hefty dose of 90’s alternative in between, Menace is a high-energy, time-bending rock experience. Now, the famous cover band is stepping out of their space-time portal for a free concert at Prairie Meadows. Catch ‘em July 2nd, 5:30-9PM on the track apron. Details here.

July 2: An AC/DC experience at Adventureland

I’m on the hiiiiiighway to… Altoona? Of course you are. It’s July 2nd, and you’re on your way to see Electric Shock: The AC/DC Show at Adventureland Park, part of the Sunset on the Boulevard concert series. And in case you weren’t already totally jazzed about seeing your favorite band back in black, there’s also special guest Not Quite Brothers, who, as the name suggests, may not technically be related but are definitely hard rockers. Come see the dirty deeds done dirt cheap on July 2nd, 7:30PM at Adventureland. Details here.

July 2: A pop-rock-country cover band at a rooftop bar

Suede is a type of leather with a soft, velvety surface. It’s also an amazing cover band that plays rock & roll to move your soul. Catch ‘em riffing to all your favorite pop, rock and country hits July 2nd, 9-11:30PM at the Brick & Ivy Rooftop in Altoona. Details here.

July 2 & 3: The Festival of Racing at Prairie Meadows

Did you know that horses have the largest eyes of any land mammal? That isn’t totally relevant to this post, but it isn’t totally irrelevant either because, on July 2nd and 3rd, the nation’s top thoroughbreds will be taking over the Prairie Meadows track for the Festival of Racing, one of the year’s biggest racing events! Details here.

July 3: The All-American Extravaganza at Prairie Meadows

Fireworks are great and all, but this is America’s birthday we’re talking about, folks, and we’re not sure why you would settle for anything less than fireworks plus horseracing plus an outdoor concert. Prairie Meadows’ All-American Extravaganza gallops away at 4PM with some live racing, followed by an outdoor concert featuring Standing Hampton at 5:30PM, and concludes with the grand finale: fireworks at dusk. Admission is free and all ages are welcome. Details here.

July 3: Fireworks at Prairie Meadows

We may or may not have just mentioned this, but we’d like to reiterate that the world’s best place to watch fireworks on July 3rd is at Prairie Meadows. Whether or not you join us for the All-American Extravaganza starting at 4PM—see above—be sure to head to Prairie Meadows at dusk to watch the skies light up with patriotic exothermic reactions (you try finding synonyms for ‘fireworks’). Admission is free and all ages are welcome. Details here.

July 3 & 4: Fireworks at Adventureland

If you think of July 4th as a giant birthday party for America, the fireworks are kind of like blowing out the candles. Are we stretching the metaphor? Maybe. Wouldn’t be the first time. Either way, there’s going to be an epic fireworks display at Adventureland Park, July 3rd & 4th at 9:30PM, and you won’t want to miss all the ooh-ing and ahh-ing. Details here.

July 4-6: Free admission for EMS, Firefighters and Police Officers at Adventureland

You know what’s a really good way to celebrate freedom? Free stuff. EMS workers, Firefighters and Police Officers get free admission to Adventureland Park on July 4th, 5th and 6th, plus discounted rates on up to six additional tickets. Don’t forget to bring a valid ID! Details here.

While you’re in town…

Here are some resources to help you plan your visit to Altoona: