Independence Day Celebration

Thanks to everyone who participated in our 2023 celebration! Special thanks to our sponsors, partners, vendors and incredible staff who brought this 2-day event to life. See you all next year! 

2023 Independence Day Celebration Information

Each year, Waukee hosts a celebration of our nation's independence. Visit Centennial Park on July 3 and 4 for the annual parade, inflatables, live music, tournaments, fireworks and more! Scroll down for full schedule and frequently asked questions or download a copy of the schedule

Inflatables Presale (June 1-30)

All-you-can-jump armbands for inflatables are $10 and be purchased in advance at Armbands are valid only on July 4.

Register for Adult Sand Volleyball or Bags Tournaments

Pre-register your team by June 30 for two fun tournaments at Centennial Park. 

  • Coed Sand Volleyball Tournament on Monday, July 3 at 5 p.m. Teams may have up to 10 players with six on the court at a time. Each team must have at least three females on the court at a time. ($40 per time)
  • Bags Tournament on Tuesday, July 4 at 1 p.m. ($20 per team)

Monday, July 3

Activity Time
Food Vendor: American Legion grills up classics - hamburger, hotdogs and brats (see menu) 5-9 p.m.
Backyard Games (bags, Jenga, tic-tac-toe, badminton, match game) (free) 5-9 p.m.
Adult Coed Sand Volleyball Tournament ($40 per team; pre-registration required) 5 p.m.
Pie Eating Contest (free, open to all ages) 5:30 p.m.
Bubble Gum Blowing Contest (free, open to all ages) 6 p.m.
Bingo, sponsored by OMNI Wealth Management (free, open shelter) 6:30 p.m.
Movies in the Park: "Top Gun: Maverick" 8:45 p.m. (dusk)

Tuesday, July 4

Activity TIme
Waukee Boy Scouts Troop 178 "Waukee Freedom 5K" at Lutheran Church of Hope Waukee (entry fee; pre-register) 7:45 a.m.                
Rotary Pancake Breakfast (free, but donations accepted; basketball court) 8-10:30 a.m.
Parade (free; route map here) 10:30 a.m. 
Ice Cream Social with Waukee Ice Cream Shoppe (free; concession stand building) Noon-1 p.m.
Food/Beverage Vendors Noon-10 p.m.
Inflatables Village (presale armband $10) 1-8 p.m.
Adult Bags Tournament, sponsored by Iowa Orthodontic Solutions (team entry $20; pre-registration required; basketball court) 1 p.m.
Live music from Riverside Drive & Oreo Meatwagon (free) 5-10:30 p.m.
Des Moines Skydivers (free) 8 p.m.
Fireworks (free) 9:30 p.m.

*All events are held at Centennial Park (1255 Warrior Lane) unless otherwise noted. Map

Can I buy tickets or an armband for inflatables at the event? 
Yes. Tickets and armbands will be for sale at the event for cash purchase starting at noon. Armband sales will close at 7 p.m. and ticket sales will close at 7:30 p.m. Buying an armband online during presale enables you to use a credit card and to avoid the longer line at the event.

What kind of inflatables will there be? 
We request a variety of inflatables from bounce houses to obstacle courses that are suitable for people of all ages. Some have age limits and are designed for young children. 

Where can I park?
Limited parking will be available on Park Road. The circle drive through Centennial Park will be closed for vendors and activities. There is a gravel/grass lot by the red covered bridge on the southeast corner of the park, accessible from University Avenue. Parking is also available at the school and on side streets where allowed. Do not park in no-parking zones. 

Parking is not allowed by the enclosed shelter in the southwest corner of the park to keep the area clear for lighting the firework display. 

What is the parade route?
The parade will go up LA Grant Parkway from SE Westown Parkway, past Centennial Park as the road turns into SE Ashworth Drive and ends by the Waukee Middle School. 

There will be road closures that morning as the parade participants line up and during the parade at SE Westown Parkway and LA Grant Parkway as well as SE University and Ashworth Drive.

What can I bring to Centennial Park? 
Help keep our park clean by taking home any item you bring into the park and putting trash in the designated bins. Do not leave sparklers, cans, wrappers or other items in the grass; they can be hazards for children, pets, wildlife and lawn mowers. 

  • Chairs, blankets and strollers are welcome. Do not enter the roped off landing area for the skydivers.
  • There will not be a beer garden or bar at the event. Attendees may bring canned beer or wine if they are 21 or older. No glass containers or liquor. Police officers will be present at the event.
  • No fireworks are allowed in the park or in public areas, such as the street, sidewalks or right-of-way (grass from sidewalk to street) by state law. Sparklers are allowed in Centennial Park for the Independence Day Celebration. Designated bins or buckets will be placed for you to dispose of used sparklers. Do not leave the metal sticks in the grass as they are dangerous to park visitors and lawn mowers. 

Do vendors take credit cards?
Some food or beverage vendors may accept cards, but having cash is recommended. There will be an ATM at the open shelter if you need to get cash during the event. 

red and white stripes going center out with large blue star and red banner

Be a Vendor at the Celebration

Application window is closed for 2023
Apply to be a vendor, providing food, beverages or other services at this event. 

Be a Part of the Parade

Application window is closed for 2023. 

The parade is scheduled for Tuesday, July 4 at 10:30 a.m. See the parade route map. There is no cost for businesses/organizations participating in the parade, but advance registration is required. Additional information and guidance will be emailed to all participants following the close of registration at 10 p.m. on June 29. Please note:

  • Candy is allowed to be tossed to the crowd. Water balloons, water guns and any spraying of water at spectators are prohibited.
  • The parade is a community event and is intended for viewing by all families and all ages. Dress code, behavior, parade handouts and signage should reflect a “G” rating.
  • The use of profanity on signage or audio is not acceptable.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not allowed on the floats or in the staging area.
  • Excessive noise (horns, sirens) can be frightening to people with sensory issues. Please avoid use of loud noisemakers.

Thank You to Our Event Sponsors

the OMNI Wealth Management Logo Opens in new window IOwa-Orthodontic-Solutions-logo Opens in new window

Thank you to our event partners

the waukee rotary club logo with blue text saying "rotary club of waukee" Opens in new window
The logo for Waukee boy Scout Troop 178 Opens in new window
the des moines skydivers logo Opens in new window
seal of the US American legion - gold and blue circle with star in the middle Opens in new window brown, white and bubblegum pink illustration of a ice cream cone with a cherry on top Opens in new window