How to celebrate Fourth of July in Salem

Salem is in for a hot Independance Day, with temperatures forecasted to soar to 93 degrees. But don’t let that stop you from having a wild, but safe Fourth of July experience. 

Keep in mind government offices, banks and the post office will all shut down in honor of America’s birthday, but don’t worry. From fireworks shows, parades, and festivals, there is plenty to choose from, including free and family-friendly celebrations.

All events are on Thursday, July 4, unless otherwise noted.

Salem’s spectacular Fourth 

The gates to the state fairgrounds swing open for the 2024 Fourth of July Spectacular event, which runs from 3-11 p.m.

The spectacular, taking place at the fairgrounds at 2330 17th Street N.E., includes a variety of different events like a demolition derby, basketball, and a free 20-minute fireworks show from 10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Tickets for the individual events, which range from $37 to $7, can be purchased online, and it is recommended to bring blankets for the fireworks show. 

The demolition derby is free for children 2 years and younger, and begins at 7:30 p.m. Music at the VIP Party Zone, includes performances by McKayla Marie, a country music artist from Eugene, and Radical Revolution, a “high-energy” 80s tribute band. Performances start at 4 p.m. and veterans get into the VIP Zone for free. 

Parking for the event, including for the fireworks show, is paid. VIP parking costs $20 per car and can only be reserved online. General parking costs $10 per car.   

Fireworks, baseball at Volcanoes Stadium

Get ready for some Mavericks League baseball and fireworks at the Volcanoes Stadium, 6700 Field of Dreams Way N.E., for the 17th annual Patriotic Tribute for the Fourth, which will honor veterans, followed by a post-game fireworks show. The Volcanoes will play the Campesinos starting at 6 p.m. Tickets typically cost around $25 per person and can be purchased online

Fourth of July Rodeo 

St. Paul has put on its 4th of July Rodeo since 1935, and this year is no different, with the rodeo coming to town from July 2-6. Events on Tuesday and Wednesday run from 9 a.m. to 10:15 p.m, on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10:15 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from 3 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. The event costs between $24 and $60 depending on where you sit. Tickets and schedules can be found online

Fireworks in the garden 

The Oregon Garden, 879 W. Main Street in Silverton, is hosting a July 3rd Fireworks Celebration from 5 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. The event will include food, music by funk and jazz fusion band from Eugene, Inner Limits, family activities and a 15-minute fireworks show at 10 p.m. Participants can wander the 80 acre garden before watching a 15-minute fireworks show at 10 p.m. 

General admission for the show is $10. For children 5 to 12 years old, admission is $5, for children 4 years and under, admission is $4, and garden members get in for free. Parking for the event is $10 per car and garden members get in for free. 

Monmouth July 4th Festival 

The City of Monmouth sponsors its free annual July 4th Festival held in Main Street Park, 120 Main Street, on July 3 and 4. The Wednesday festivities start at noon and go until 8 p.m. and on Thursday, the event goes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival will be chock-full of music, dance and theater, and there will be food carts and craft vendors as well as live entertainment. A full schedule of events can be found on the City of Monmouth’s website

Independence Days, Monmouth-Independence Parade 

The annual Independence Days event runs from July 3-5 at Riverview Park in downtown Independence. and includes three full days of non-stop fun with the community in Monmouth and Independence. The event will include live entertainment, family activities, and a YMCA kid’s zone. A diverse selection of food trucks and restaurants will provide food for purchase.

On July 4, a grand parade will stretch from Monmouth to Independence from noon to 1 p.m.

Other major events include a rubber ducky derby on the Willamette River, fireworks and more. Events on Wednesday start at 12 p.m. and go until 9:30 p.m. On Thursday the fun starts at 11:30 a.m., and goes until 10:25 p.m. Friday events go from 12 p.m. until 10:20 p.m. There are two fireworks shows, one on Thursday at 10 p.m. and another on Friday also at 10 p.m. A full schedule is available online

There are paid and free parking options for the event. Free parking is at the Independence Cinema, Independence Library, and the Osprey Lane parking lot. Parking is available for $10 at the Grand Street parking lot, the Winokur Dental parking lots, and the Umpqua Bank parking lot.

Civil War reenactment at Powerland Heritage Park 

Take a trip back through time and witness a dramatic reenactment of the Civil War at Powerland Heritage Park, 3995 Brooklake Road N.E. from July 4-7. From the 4 to the 6, there will be a morning battle at 11 a.m. and then an afternoon battle at 3 p.m. On the 7, there is one morning battle at 11 a.m. Each day there are a variety of other events to watch like cavalry warm-ups and artillery demos among others. 

From Thursday through Saturday the event goes from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., and on Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person. 

On July 4, at dusk, there is a new first-time event which will include firing of real cannons and rifles at night. The Night Fire Event costs an extra $5. More information is on the Northwest Civil War Council’s website

Contact reporter Joe Siess: [email protected] or 503-335-7790.

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Joe Siess is a reporter for Salem Reporter. Joe joined Salem Reporter in 2024 and primarily covers city and county government but loves surprises. Joe previously reported for the Redmond Spokesman, the Bulletin in Bend, Klamath Falls Herald and News and the Malheur Enterprise. He was born in Independence, MO, where the Oregon Trail officially starts, and grew up in the Kansas City area.