Originally published June 29, 2017. Updated July 2, 2019.
One of Columbus’ oldest traditions is its yearly Independence Day celebration.
Every July 3, the city pulls out all the stops and shows its patriotic colors for a night out on the town.
Red, White, and Boom! is more than just the largest fireworks display in the midwest, it’s practically an institution. Make the most of the night with this guide of useful tips and things to do during Columbus’ loudest and brightest night of the year.
It’s gonna be a hot one this year. Expect a high near 90 with scattered thunderstorms and showers.
During events like these, getting to and from Downtown is always going to take some time. An easy way to make that less hectic and more efficient is by taking the COTA. For those with a park and ride wristband, a valid BuckID, or CCAD ID will be able to ride free this year. New for boom this year, visitors can take Lyft to and from a COTA park & ride location and receive 50% off fare using promo code PARKNBOOM. The bus system will also provide express service to downtown from select Park and Ride locations starting at 5:30.
Buses will be leaving from downtown after the fireworks at 10 p.m. and midnight. Boarding zones will be designated by alphabetical order. For more details about specific routes and to plan your ride, please visit COTA’s Red, White & Boom page.
Important things to know
The fireworks will be launched from Genoa Park, east of COSI and over the river. Choose your viewing spot with this in mind and you should get a good view of all the explosive festivities.
What to bring
There will be scattered showers throughout the afternoon so it might be a good idea to keep an umbrella at hand. You should also be careful to stay hydrated during the summer. With temperatures reaching nearly 90 degrees and so many people in one area, it’s easy to overheat and become dehydrated. It also might be a good idea to bring a portable lawn chair or blanket! You don’t want to be left standing the entire time.
What not to bring
Alcohol, grills (either gas or charcoal), temporary pools, and generators are prohibited.
The Fun Stuff
WNCI 97.9 BOOM! Central
Head over to the corner of Broad St and Civic Center to meet radio personalities, Dave and Jimmy. WNCI 97.1 will be broadcasting LIVE starting at 10 a.m. through the fireworks!
Ford Oval of Honor Red, White, & Boom! Parade
Celebrate America by cheering along the parade route. The parade will step off at 5:30 p.m. from the Main St Bridge, turn north on Front St and disband at the corner of Front St and Spring St.
BOOM! Street Festival
From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., over 100 local and national vendors will be selling food, Pepsi products, adult beverages, glow sticks, and more!
NBC4 BOOM! Central
From 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Colleen, Darlene, and Mark will be hosting live coverage of Red, White & Boom for NBC4!
The main event kicks off at 10 p.m. with the explosions aimed just over the Scioto River. Make sure you don’t miss out on one of the most beautiful fireworks displays in the entire Midwest!
The fireworks set off at 10 p.m., July 3 and last for approximately 26 minutes. For the best view make sure you check the areas by Bicentennial Park and Civic Center. For more information on Red, White, & Boom! click here.
Have yourself a good old fashioned Red, White, and Boom!
A daily Columbus email you'll actually love. ❤️
Every morning we compile the best of Columbus news & events and deliver it in a quick 5 minute read that sets you up with everything you need to be a well informed Columbusian. Columbusite. Cbussian? Whatever, give it a try, you'll love it.