Free concert before 4th of July fireworks celebration

Birmingham's Thunder on the Mountain fireworks showBirmingham's Thunder on the Mountain fireworks show.
Photo courtesy of Wally Argus on Flickr.
When you live in Birmingham, one of the things you do every year is watch the city's "Thunder on the Mountain" fireworks display on July 4th. You also know that if you don't arrive early, finding a spot to park can be a nightmare (the entire city, after all, is out to do the same thing).  Nevertheless, you don't want to just stand around with nothing to do, waiting for the skies to darken. That's where the UAB Department of Music comes in.

UAB Summer Band presents its own annual Independence Day tradition with a concert on the lawn in front of Bartow Arena. The free concert, which precedes Thunder on the Mountain, begins at 7 p.m. and features patriotic music, Broadway classics, showtunes, and more. Director of bands Dr. Sue Samuels will conduct most of the songs, but audience members will have a chance to win a spot as guest conductor for the "Stars and Stripes Forever" finale.

Pack a picnic, bring a blanket, and join the crowd. When the concert is over, just turn your lawn chairs around to face Vulcan atop Red Mountain and watch the fireworks at 9 p.m.

Note: While you will find fireworks for sale in Alabama, it's illegal for you to set them off within the Birmingham city limits, so don't bring your own to campus.