July Fourth is the quintessential summer holiday! Celebrating our nation’s independence with the traditional grilling, gathering, and fireworks is always great. But if you’re looking for something with a slightly different flavor, here’s an idea.

Photo credit: Hermann Tourism

By Peg Cameron Gill

This year, how ‘bout spending your July Fourth holiday in historic Hermann? You may be thinking, “The Fourth of July? What about my potato salad, hotdog, coleslaw, and apple pie? And cold beer? And fireworks?!?” 

Relax. You can enjoy those at Hermann’s Freedom Fest, July 2–4. But consider these easy swaps: American potato salad=German potato salad. Hot dog=brat, coleslaw=sauerkraut, apple pie=apple strudel, bier=beer! Pretty simple, right?

And not only does Hermann make celebrating the Fourth easy, they make it fun! Enjoy kids’ activities, a free concert, plus a patriotic parade. And of course, fireworks! (If weather permits). For last minute details about FreedomFest, follow the Visit Hermann FB page (@visithermann).

As you come across Christopher Bond Bridge, you’ll see it lined with patriotic bunting sponsored by local businesses in honor of our freedom.

Photo credit: Hermann Tourism

Once you park, explore Hermann’s German heritage, browse its shops, visit wineries, breweries, distilleries, and more. There will also be many free scheduled events.

On Sunday, July 2, it’s Kids’ Day, with kids’ activities at the Hermann Amphitheater starting at 2 PM. This year’s activities include the kiddie tractor pull (pedal-powered), and the second annual Downtown Ducky Dash. Kids can search for rubber duckies in the Historic Downtown, both inside and outside of businesses. They can then bring the rubber ducky to the Hermann Area Chamber of Commerce booth for a prize. There will also be facepainting & sidewalk art, plus a Bubble Bus

Adam Puchta Winery will be on hand with their Slushie Trailer, serving wine slushies and domestic beer. HomeStyle Eats Food Truck will have food available for purchase, and restaurants will be open. Attendees may bring their own picnic basket and cooler, lawn chairs, and blankets to all events during the fest.

A free concert following the kids’ activities begins at 7 PM and features the rockin’ sounds of Clan Schaffrin & Friends, who’ll be covering rock ‘n roll classics as well as playing some original tunes.

 On Monday, July 3, enjoy a patriotic parade at Riverfront Park at 6 PM. This year’s theme is “Honoring the Red, White, & BLUE.” Following the parade, fireworks will start at dark at the Riverfront.

Photo credit: Hermann Tourism

The Hermann Lion’s Club will be selling Kettle Korn, the Hermann Boy Scouts offer funnel cakes, and the Brush & Palette Club will have dot dogs, hamburgers, brats, and frozen treats for sale.

Cap off the holiday weekend on Tuesday, July 4, with more daytime sightseeing and browsing, and a City Band Concert at the Amphitheater at 7 PM. 

Depending on whether you’re into guest houses, inns, B&Bs, boutique hotels, or RV or tent camping in Hermann’s parks, you’ll find Hermann most “accommodating.” For lodging, click here. For RV camping reservations call 573-486-5400. No reservations are needed for tent camping.

Hermann’s annual Freedom Fest grew out of a tradition that began in the 1980s, when veteran Gerald Engermann and his brother Dennis, owners of Hermann Sand & Gravel, would host a Fourth of July celebration on the north side of the Missouri River, right across from Hermann. The Engermann brothers started having fireworks at their celebration, and it grew from there. Today, the fireworks display is co-sponsored by the Hermann Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Hermann, businesses, organizations, and individuals.

  Click here to read more about Missouri’s rich German heritage. 

For hundreds more events, visit Missouri Life’s Event Calendar.