Here’s where your family can celebrate the Fourth of July in the Shawnee Mission area

VillageFest Prairie Village Fourth of July
Prairie Village’s VillageFest celebration returns for its 22nd year on Wednesday.

The Fourth of July is practically here — and Shawnee Mission area communities are hosting a wealth of opportunities to celebrate.

Let’s start with…

Fireworks displays

Community fireworks displays will light up the sky in Roeland Park and Overland Park.
  • Roeland Park, Fairway and Westwood’s annual joint fireworks display is tonight, Tuesday, July 3, at Bishop Miege High School. The show at the St. Agnes Catholic School athletic field (near 53rd Street and Mission Road) will start just after it gets dark, which organizers say should be around 9:30 p.m. Parking is limited, so walk if you can. Note that Mission from 50th to 53rd Street will be closed starting at 8 p.m.
  • Overland Park’s Star Spangled Spectacular at Corporate Woods features one of the largest fireworks displays in the metro. The fireworks should begin around 9:45 p.m. Wednesday. Live music starts at 6 p.m. with the Overland Park Civic Band. The Elders, who are on a farewell tour, perform at 8 p.m.
  • Leawood’s annual July 4 Celebration kicks off at 6 p.m. Wednesday with carnival-atmosphere fun, including inflatables and food trucks. The evening concludes with fireworks that should set off around 9:45 p.m. The event takes place at Leawood City Park, 10601 Lee Boulevard. Parking is tight, so people are encourage to park at designated lots to the south along Tomahawk Creek Parkway and take a shuttle to the site. Admission is free, but there is a $5 charge for kids to get an all-access ride band.

Festivals and other events

Lenexa Freedom Run
Lenexa’s Freedom Run through Old Town starts at 7 a.m. Wednesday. Photo credit city of Lenexa.
  • Independence Day funs starts early in Lenexa with the 40th annual Lenexa Freedom Run. The 5k and 10k routes wind through the Old Town area with start at 7 a.m. You can still register in advance $30. Day-of registration is $35. Organizers expect around 1,600 participants this year. (All things considered, the weather should be pretty good. The current forecast calls for the temperature at the starting gun to be around 78 degrees).
  • The Freedom Run will be followed by the annual Lenexa Community Days parade, which starts at 10 a.m. and features dozens of groups marching, from the Renaissance Festival to local high school bands. This year’s route will be slightly different than in previous years. The parades will turn from Noland Road west onto 94th Street and then proceed to Pflumm Road between 94th and 95th Streets and head southbound. In previous years, the parade went down 95th Street.
  • Prairie Village’s ever popular VillageFest celebration returns to the city’s municipal grounds and Harmon Park Wednesday morning. the event kicks off with a pancake breakfast under the Harmon Park pavilion starting at 7 a.m. Starting at 8:30 a.m., the city will hold its annual Community Spirit Awards ceremony. The games, rides and entertainment start at 9 a.m. and run through 1 p.m.