WORTH THE DRIVE: Balloon Glow among top Cincinnati 4th of July traditions

Still trying to figure out your 4th of July plans?

You can’t go wrong with these top celebrations near Cincinnati that are worth the short road trip.

>> Where to watch fireworks TONIGHT near Dayton

A balloon glow with fireworks will illuminate the skies near the Ohio River at Coney Island tonight, July 3, at the 20th annual Coney Island Balloon Glow. Rides, hot air balloons, fireworks and more await.

>> When are fireworks in your community?


Coney Island Balloon Glow

There’s nothing else like this celebration in the area. Along with music, entertainment and rides, we add a few special attractions to make LaRosa’s 20th annual Balloon Glow a memorable night for all ages.

The evening sky will illuminate when hot air balloons of every color “glow” for all to see. The grand finale for the event is a spectacular Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks display over the banks of Lake Como. The pool area will remain open for a unique fireworks view. Coney Island’s rides and attractions will stay open until 11 p.m.

BONUS: The Cincinnati Circus brings its Circus Stunt Show with aerialists and a giant wheel to Coney Island for two days July 3-4.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 3, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. Sunlite Water Adventure will be open from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

WHERE: Coney Island Amusement Park, 6201 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati

COST: There is no charge (other than parking) to view the balloons and fireworks. Normal rates apply for Sunlite Water Adventure and Coney's rides and attractions. Parking is $10 until 2 p.m. and $15 after 2 p.m.

INFO: Website

Credit: Wolf Photographic Arts

Credit: Wolf Photographic Arts

Fourth of July fireworks at Kings Island

Kings Island offers one of the region’s largest and most impressive fireworks displays over the Fourth of July holiday. This colorful pageant in the sky set against the backdrop of the park will include close-proximity fireworks and will be 20 minutes in length, longer than the park's traditional nightly fireworks. The park is also offering free admission to military July 3-5 as part of their Military Appreciation Days.

WHEN: July 3-5

WHERE: Kings Island, 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason

COST: Included with park admission

INFO: Website

>>RELATED: Kings Island offering free admission for military for 4 days for Fourth

Red, White and Kaboom 

Easily the biggest community Fourth of July event, the city of Fairfield boasts four locations (parties) to view the Rozzi’s Fireworks show. They are Harbin Park (the actual launch site), Village Green Park, Marsh Lake, and the Fairfield Aquatic Center. Harbin Park and Village Green Park will feature food and live entertainment. Marsh Lake offers fishing for an additional $5 for non-season ticket holders, and the Fairfield Aquatic Center offers swimming and games.

• Harbin Park (1300 Hunter Road)

Food vendors: Sweets & Meats BBQ, U-Lucky Dawg, Patriot Grill, Taste of Mexico, Dreamy Whip, Graeter’s, Meteorite Ice

Live music: The Soul Pocket (party and dance music trio)

Cost: Free

Party start time: 5 p.m.

• Village Green Park (301 Wessel Drive)

Food vendors: Remi Js Barbecue, El Rancho Nuevo Food Truck, Donato’s Pizza, The Dawghouse, Fabulous Funnel Cakes and More, Kona Ice

Live music: The Whammies (1980s New Wave and pop hits)

Cost: Free

Party start time: 8 p.m.

• Marsh Lake (6440 River Road, Fairfield)

Activities: Fishing

Cost: $5 (free for season pass holders)

Party start time: 5 p.m.

• Fairfield Aquatic Center (2605 Augusta Blvd.)

Activities: Swimming, games, food specials, DJ music

Cost: $5 (free for season pass holders)

Party start time: 7 p.m.

WHEN: July 3, dusk-11 p.m.

WHERE: Various locations throughout Fairfield including: Harbin Park (the actual launch site), Village Green Park, Marsh Lake, and the Fairfield Aquatic Center

COST: Free

MORE INFO: 513-867-5300 or www.fairfield-city.org

Red, White and Blue Ash 

Get ready for a night of music and entertainment at Blue Ash’s Fourth of July party. Natalie Brady & the Night Owls, will take the stage at 5:30 p.m. Legendary rock band Kansas will follow at 8:15 p.m. Rozzi’s will take over at 10 p.m. for the “biggest and best fireworks.” The show will use the famous tower at Summit Park in new and unique ways. This family-friendly event will also include plenty of food and drink.

WHEN: July 4, 4 p.m.-10:35 p.m.

WHERE: Summit Park, 4335 Glendale Milford Road, Blue Ash

COST: Free

MORE INFO: 513-745-8550 or www.blueashevents.com