Land of the free, home of the cheap: 13 ways to rock July 4th

Bow before America's greatness at Shea Stadium. via Facebook

Bow before America’s greatness at Shea Stadium. via Facebook

Beer, baseball, BBQ, and egalitarian outdoor space—Independence Day represents the apple-pie epitome of American pride.

The problem is that all this patriotic partying can get quite pricey. Here is our guide to binging on broad stripes and bright stars for the budget conscious; after all, Brooklyn is the land of opportunity (for cheap happenings at least).


Kick off Independence Day early when the Brooklyn Cyclones play the Staten Island Yankees on July 3. With tickets available for only $10 a free post-game fireworks display there is no excuse to miss out on the ol’ national pastime.

Or party as our forefathers intended at Bossa Nova Civic Club (1271 Myrtle Avenue, Bushwick) July 3. The no-cover party will feature live music by Nooka Jones and Great Ghost both accompanied by “bad-ass, Americana themed video projections.” Smuggle in sparklers at your own risk.


Grilling? America’s (second) great pastime and a prerequisite for July 4 revelry; if you’re looking to grill but don’t own one, check our list of free public grills in Brooklyn parks. A picnic in the park is a cheap way to show ‘Merica some love. As is grilling watermelon and cooking cheap meats with some skill.

If you’re spending the 4th out in the sand at the Rockaways, check out Rippers (Boardwalk & Beach 86th St, Rockaway) “Back To The Beach” party. The SixPoint-sponsored event starts at 1pm. and features free performances by Friend Roulette, Celestial Shore, Hippy, Library is on Fire, Pow Wow! and The Roads. Ripper’s promises a great show, and you know how to get there.

The Brooklyn Cyclones and the Alliance for Coney Island will host a free Independence Day celebration and fireworks show at MCU Park. All they ask in return is a donation to the Brooklyn Public Library and ConeyRecovers.

Watch Joey Chestnut and Sonya Thomas defend their tummy-stretching titles at Nathan’s Famous July Fourth International Hot Dog-Eating Championship at the Coney Island Nathan’s (1310 Surf Ave). The annual event draws over 40,000 spectators who leisurely munch on meat tubes while watching the ultimate American sport: competitive eating.

Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street, Bushwick) hosts SUMMERJAM V with music from The Shea Stadium Allstars, White Bike, and Pregnant. Doors open at 6pm and $5 gets you through them.

Secret Project Robot (389 Melrose Street, Bushwick) is also celebrating, with a backyard barbecue complete with drink specials, world beats by DJ Ivan Sunshine, and sprinklers! The soiree starts at 4pm along with the opening of John Eric Lawson’s “Tiny” art show.

The Knockdown Center (52-19 Flushing Avenue, Maspeth) is throwing America a proper birthday party with their 4th of America Pizza Hot Dog Hambuger Party featuring pizza from Roberta’s, grilled meats from The Meat Hook, and  music from 1-800-Band, Dirty Fences, and Endless Boogie.

Lp ‘n’ Harmony (683 Grand St, Williamsburg) presents the trifecta of Independence Day bliss: drink, dine (on FREE BBQ), and dance at their Beats & BBQ event.

Nothing is more American than Willie Nelson; celebrate the 4th under his approving portrait at Skinny Dennis (152 Metropolitan Ave). This bar is a fantastic post-fireworks spot with free live-music at 9pm courtesy of North of Amarillo—bourbon and blue jeans abound.

Even if  the fireworks are done booming, it doesn’t mean the music or dancing stops. Public Assembly (70 North 6th Street, Williamsburg) has a free July 4th afterparty with pop and hip hop hits starting at 10pm, and more important than the music, $3 tallboys and $6 tallboy and shot specials.


Not yet tired of patriotic partying? Well then shun our nation’s puritanical past at The Bell House (149 7th Street, Gowanus) with Wasabassco Burlesque’s America F*ck Yeah! Let freedom and striptease ring!