Celebrate America!

This extended holiday weekend will be a test of many things. But if you're a strong-minded and passionate individual, a curious explorer or even just an indecisive person with a lot of free time off from work, you should be up to the task.

Hurdles to watch out for this weekend include large crowds hungry for pop stars, road closings for block parties and rallying protesters both online and in real life.

But these are but a few of the trials that will test your love of country and four-day weekends.

Can you consume the greatest amount of hot dogs? Can you hunt down the best firework watching spot in the city? Can you withstand loud noises? And most important, can you sing along to every word of Miley Cyrus' “Party in the USA?”

If so, we've got your weekend all mapped out.

Alas, there is no time to waste. The weekend is upon us already and a long journey lies yet ahead. We'll be awaiting your arrival on the other side.

Wednesday
Kaboom Town in Addison
The amount of people allowed into Addison Circle is more limited than ever for the event this year due to the unbelievable amounts of people who have been coming out the past few years to watch this ever-popular fireworks display. You'll need to arrive impossibly early and be prepared to settle in for the long haul in order to even stand a chance. Sure, the traffic will be completely miserable, but it'll still potentially worth it to see one of the best Independence Day fireworks shows in the entire country. Celebrations start at 5 p.m., but the fireworks don't start until 9:30 p.m. —Jessica Petrocchi

Justin Bieber at the American Airlines Center
Too sick to go see the fireworks around town tonight? It's probably because you have a little bit of Bieber fever. Good luck curing yourself — that shit will stay with you. But, seriously, if you've always wanted to celebrate the most American day of the year with a Canadian, tonight's your chance. — JP

'Merica Party at The Common Table
Beer. Burgers. Baseball. Live music. 'Merica. Need I say more? Pre-fireworks or post-fireworks, The Common Table has your set of patriotic plans on lock. — JP

July 3rd Extravaganza at Barcadia & Beauty Bar
No need to wait until the Fourth to start your long weekend of celebrating. Just head on over to Henderson for a block party hosted by Barcadia and Beauty Bar. Enjoy Jell-O shots, live music, blow-up swimming pools, and — most importantly — Whataburger ketchup and mustard to go along with the free hot dogs. — Elaine Sun

Lone Stars and Stripes at Lone Star Park
You'd think the horse track wouldn't be the most hospitable place for kids. And, most days, you'd be right. But on holidays — and especially these next two days — Lone Star Park does its best to create a family-friendly environment for you to indulge your gambling Jones. Rugrat-friendly activities include pony rides, a petting zoo and bounce houses. Oh, and there's also 20 minutes of fireworks choreographed to country music. Because of course there is. — Stephen Young

Thursday
Dead Flowers at Double Wide
Like Dallas rockers Dead Flowers told us a few months back, if you don't hear an instrument on their albums, you won't see it when the band perform live. Fortunately for the sake of your plans on the Fourth, the sounds of booze-soaked good times are clearly audible on their debut LP. Like-minded locals The Roomsounds and Sugarfoote open a night filled with all sorts of other goodies. — JP

DJ Sober's Last Big Bang! at Beauty Bar
After an insanely hot, two-and-a-half-year run, DJ Sober is quietly pulling the plug on one of the most-popular weeklies in town tonight. Roll up, show the man some love and thank him for all thee memories — like that time you walked in on a couple having sex in the bathroom while Sober was spinning some Biggie. — Pete Freedman

Lone Star State Classic Dog Shows
Maybe your new apartment doesn't allow dogs. Maybe your boyfriend is allergic. Or maybe you just have a soft spot for soft things named Spot. Whatever the case, sometimes you just need a dog fix. Today through Sunday, the most beautiful pups around will be strutting their stuff at Dallas Market Hall. We're not sure how this rates on the Independence Day patriotic scale, but nothing says America like organized dog prancing, right? — JP

Taboo at SISU
It's a sad fact, but, to this day, many people continue living their lives not realizing that there were more than two members of the Black Eyed Peas. You know the two other members I'm talking about, right? There was that guy with the long hair and the other one who looked a lot like Will.I.Am but wasn't. Back to the guy with the long hair, though: His name is Taboo. He's since shaved his head. But this hasn't slowed down his solo career. No, we're not exactly sure what he'll do when he performs sans Fergie and Will.I.Am at this pool spot. But we have a feeling he'll manage to bring that boom boom pow to this Fourth of July party just the same. — Zoe Mattioli

Willie Nelson's Fourth of July Picnic at Billy Bob's
The 40th edition of the Texas icon's annual summer picnic takes over Fort Worth with performances from country legends like Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shaver and David Allan Coe. The event closes, as it always does, with what is sure to be a loose, rambling and lengthy set from Willie and his “family.” — SY

Young Americans Fourth of July Party featuring The Thin White Dukes at The Church
Lizard Lounge club-within-a-club The Church throws a Young Americans-themed soiree for Independence Day. In keeping with the theme, The Thin White Dukes (read: a David Bowie tribute band) highlight the night's performances. — SY

Big Fiction, PVC Street Gang, Fogg and Mountains of Smoke at Lola's
Local metalheads Big Fiction and their awesome prison van headline a loud evening at Lola's. Dallas rock mainstays PVC Street Gang highlight a bill which also includes Fogg and Mountains of Smoke. —SY

Fourth of July Fiesta featuring Weedeater, ASG and Terminator 2 at Rubber Gloves
If fireworks just aren't your thing — or if you already took in one of the numerous fireworks displays around the region these past couple of days — you may want to hit up Rubber Gloves' free Fourth of July bash. There may be more traditional ways to celebrate the country's birthday than thrashing along to the violent sounds of Weedeater, ASG and Terminator 2, but there aren't any that promise more noise or reckless abandon. — SY

Fair Park Fourth at Fair Park
Independence Day festivities at Fair Park include a performance by the Dallas Wind Symphony, kids activities, reduced-price admission to the Park's many museums and, of course, fireworks. If you want a seat in the Cotton Bowl for the fireworks, make sure and grab a wristband before 8:30 p.m. from one of the event's information booths. — SY

Restore the Fourth at Klyde Warren Park
Restore the Fourth is an organization that promotes the security and privacy rights of Americans through urging the strengthening and restoration of the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. In light of recent events, the group is hosting a July Fourth rally at Klyde Warren Park. Leave your iPhone at home, grab a burner, and go check it out. — SY

The Libertine's Brass Knuckle Corn Dog Beatdown
For the fifth year in a row, The Libertine will host their annual Brass Knuckle Corn Dog BeatDown on July 4. And, yes, there is an actual brass knuckles-shaped trophy up for grabs — along with $100, $50 and $25 gift certificates. In the event of a draw, there will be tequila shoot out. There's no way this is going to end well for everyone. But so long as plenty of trash cans are nearby, it'll be all good, right? — JP

Friday
The Birds of Night at The Foundry
Is it just us or has every publication in town find a way to include West Dallas bar The Foundry to some sort of “best of” list? This past week, the Dallas Observer ranked the spot among its list of bars in town that play the best music. Hell, even Southern Living once got in on the action. But don't take everyone else's word for it. Check out one of our favorite jangle-rock bands in town as they play a free set from what has to be the coolest-looking stage in Dallas at this show.

Erik Griffin at Addison Improv
Erik Griffin, better known as Montez Walker from Comedy Central's Workaholics, shows off his stand up skills at Addison Improv tonight. On the show, Griffin plays a grumpy co-worker to the trio of protagonists. But his real-life passion is standup comedy. His first performances in town this weekend kick off tonight. But if you miss those, he'll be back tomorrow and all next weekend. Bonus points if you can name where he pops up in the new Arrested Development episodes. — JP

The Pronail Princesa Birthday Extravaganza at the Texas Theatre
Get your diva on at Vanessa “Pronail Princesa” Quilantan's birthday celebration at the Texas Theatre, complete with DJ sets from Internet Trap God, Jenny Robinson and Deb Doing Dallas. We hear that the dress code is CAPS LOCK, so prepare accordingly. — ES

Brandon Callies at Kessler Theater
Former Black Tie Vendetta frontman Brandon Callies hits the Kessler for the release of his new alt-folk EP, Life is Still Good. Alt-country act Exit 380 and Dallas psych-rockers The Orange share the bill. After the Black Tie Dynasty shows last weekend, it looks like we've got another black-tie weekend on our hands. — SY

Pearl Gem, Alyson Chayns and Nearvana at House of Blues
Tribute bands can be pretty great. Done right, they give you the opportunity to hear good-but-not-great versions of songs you'd otherwise never get the chance to see performed live. That's what makes the bands on this bill — with the exception of Nearvana — a little odd. Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains are both still very much active. Still, tickets to this show are only $12, which means it still may be the cheapest way to hear either of the bands' hits live. — SY

Saturday
Beyonce at American Airlines Center
The embodiment of bootylicious doesn't really need an introduction for her Mrs. Carter World Tour. Just know this going in: Beyonce is an incredible performer. They don't just start calling you Queen Bey for nothing. — JP

A Band Called Death screening at Texas Theatre
A Band Called Death, an official selection for the 2013 SXSW Film Festival, is a documentary that looks at an all-black band that played “white boy music” (read: punk rock) at a time when playing Motown was the only way any label would sign them. They've got awesome music and an even better story to go with it. Stick around for a “Behind the Screen Show” from new project Radioactive, which features members of Marked Men and Mind Spiders. Then go check out DJ Wanz Dover in the bar lounge. — JP

City of West Night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
The Texas Rangers support the citizens of West with a night dedicated to the Central Texas town at this game. One thousand West residents will be in attendance, the team will wear special West patches on their jerseys (which will be raffled off after the game) and West Mayor Tommy Muska will throw out the first pitch. Head out to Arlington to see the Rangers take on the Astros and support an extremely worthy cause. — SY

Safari Nights at the Dallas Zoo
There may not be any wild horses at the Zoo, but with Rolling Stones tribute act Satisfaction performing, a more figurative kind of the same species might be! — SY

Opening Reception: SIDE AFFECT at Liliana Bloch Gallery
This spring, gallerist Liliana Bloch held her inaugural exhibition at the new space in Deep Ellum that she shares with the Public Trust. “SIDE AFFECT,” the gallery's first group show, opens tonight and will occupy the large room at 2919 Commerce. But that's not all. The Public Trust's Brian Gibb is concurrently opening his exhibition, entitled “Beezus,” in the space's small room. This event has been postponed until next week. — ES

Stoney LaRrue at Billy Bob's
On the off chance that you didn't get your alt-country/red dirt fill at Willie's picnic, Billy Bob's hosts Stoney Larue for what should be a bluesy, vocal-driven set. Put on your urban cowboy best and head over to Fort Worth to check it out. — SY

The O's, Swindle Boys and Big City Folk at Lola's
Local Americana-rock act The O's new Thunderdog album has been out for a couple of months locally now, but the official national release isn't until the 23rd of this month. So expect a strong performance as the band ramps up for the record's promotion. Openers Swindle Boys and Big City Folk should heighten the show's folky vibe. — SY

North Texas All Stars perform The Talking Heads' Remain In Light at Kessler Theater
Los Angeles producer/musician Scrote reconvenes his North Texas supergroup project for a front-to-back rendition of the classic Talking Heads album, Remain in Light. The band includes local stalwarts Kenny Withrow, Dave Monsey and Adam Pickrell, among others. Ryan Thomas Becker, who's part of that band too, also opens the show with Devil's Progress, his Petra Kelly-assisted Sparklehorse tribute project. — SY

Black Stone Cherry at Trees
In bands-you-sorta-liked-in-high school news: Black Stone Cherry does its hard-ish southern rock thing at Trees. The band has been opening for Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd's tour, which comes to Verizon next week, but they oddly aren't on the bill in this market. So, if you want to relive the early aughts with these guys, this will be your only shot. — SY

Sunday
Grand Opening of Ministry Sundays at Levu with DJ Drew G
Don't be turned off by the promotion poster of a super muscular dude who looks like he's constipated and wearing a muscle tee that reads “I am not a whore.” We don't judge, bro. You're good. Anyway, Ministry Sundays start tonight with dancing and drink specials that promise to give Sunday Funday a whole new meaning. — JP

Dishcrawl invades Klyde Warren Park
It's a known fact by now that food trucks have become a staple for any outdoor park experience in Texas. This is especially true of Klyde Warren. Dishcrawl invites you and a crew of equally as enthusiastic foodies to try out four yet-unnamed food trucks in the park. Apparently there will be a scavenger hunt in store as well, which should be interesting considering the lack of solid hiding spots in the open park's grounds. — ZM

Union Specific at Lola's
Austin-by-way-of-Sherman alt-country/roots-rock outfit Union Specific kicks of its U.S. tour with a swing through North Texas, beginning at Lola's in Fort Worth. While we've read that the band sounds as if “Uncle Tupelo and the Old 97s produced a love child,” that simile conjures up some pretty uncomfortable images of Jeff Tweedy and Rhett Miller, if you ask us. The sound it attempts to describe seems like it might be pretty cool, though. — SY

Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
After this game against the Astros, the Rangers won't be back in town until the 19th, due to a road trip and the All-Star break. Plus, is there a better way to work on your base tan than by roasting on the third base side of Rangers Ballpark during a day game? — SY

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