It’s Fourth of July — time for fireworks, parades, barbecues and — lucky us — lots of fabulous nightlife. Whether you’re the toes in the sand type or prefer the sparkle and shine of fireworks and nightlife, there’s something for everyone this Independence Day. Here are eight ways to celebrate the 4th.
1. Get in on a Battle
Get to The Deck at Golden Nugget for an epic Battle of the Bands! The contest takes place on July 4th, with six bands vying for top prize: $2500 cash courtesy of Tito’s Handmade Vodka. From noon until 5 p.m., Scotty Reilly and Steve Raymond of 100.7 WZXL will host guiding audiences through all six bands: Mathias Noise, Rat Rod, The Only Way, Voltage, Forest View Movement, and Platform 55. Who needs fireworks when you’ve got a battle? Inside, check out the party at Haven Nightclub, which starts with Chris Devine on Thursday; DJ Nicky Rizz on Friday; and 4B on Saturday. Or head to Rush Lounge Thursday for Dane Anthony followed by The FM Band; Friday for Ken Shiles & CiBon followed by Red Hotts; and Saturday for Matt Adams followed by Spoiled Rotten.
2. Head for the headliners
Kick off July 4th weekend with comedians Jim Norton on Friday and Russell Peters on Saturday, and New Kids on the Block on Friday, all at Borgata. Hard Rock isn’t slowing down either. In addition to headliners like Toby Keith on Friday and Earth, Wind & Fire on Saturday, head for music all weekend. At Lobby Bar, tune into John Eddie and M-80 on Thursday; Eleven Eleven, Joe Bachman & The Party, and Split Decision on Friday; The Dane Anthony Band, John Eddie, DJ Ferrari and Split Decision on Saturday; and High Five Swan Dive, Gypsy Wisdom and Goodman Fiske on Sunday. At Council Oak Lounge, check out Nancy Malcun Thursday; Guitaro 5000 and Joe Cumia Solo on Friday; Bobby & Kit and Five Times Famous on Saturday; and the Ken Shiles & CiBon Trio and Matt Adams Duo on Sunday. At Hard Rock Café, there’s Jeremiah Hunter and the Soul Survivors on Friday and The B Street Band Saturday. At The Beach Bar, there’s more music including Changing Lanes and DJ Jason Weiss on Thursday; Dr. Cheeko, JJ Rupp, and DJ Drift on Friday; Steel Source, Hunkajunk, and DJ Reed Streets Saturday; and Sensamotion, John Eddie and DJ Ferrari on Sunday. If it’s a party you’re looking for, head to Daer Nightclub for Two Friends on Friday; Rev Run & Ruckus Saturday; and Montone Sunday. Ocean Casino Resort’s Ovation Hall has headliner George Lopez on Saturday. Or head to any nightclub venues on the property for 4th fun like Villain & Saint for Jay LaBoy Duo and Victoria Watts Band on Thursday; Five Times Famous and Laura Lee & Tripp Fabulous on Friday; and Amy Faden Duo and Stealing Savanah Saturday. Or check out HQ2 Beachclub is where it’s at. Get there Fourth to catch Australian music producer, FISHER, who will be making his Atlantic City debut at HQ2 Beachclub for a July 4th banger. On Saturday, get there in the morning for Made in Miami with Oscar G, Ralph Falcon and Larazo Casanova, followed by Kryder that night. Finish off your weekend at HQ2 with a Jersey Shore Beachclub Party with Vinny, Ronnie, JWoww and Angelina from The Jersey Shore. If a Prohibition bar is more your style, head to 1927 Lounge & Speakeasy for a Prohibition Variety on Friday and Saturday nights.
3. Focus on the fireworks
On Thursday, head to the Beer Garden at Borgata for prime viewing of the Borgata Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular, as well as tunes from DJ Ernesto starting at 2 p.m., followed by Stellar Mojo onstage at 7 p.m, or stay all weekend and tune into DJ Ernesto and M-80 on Friday; DJ Ernesto and Seven Band on Saturday; and The Coconutz and DJ Ernesto on Sunday. While at Borgata, head to Gypsy Bar for The Rockets on Thursday; Men of Horses and Lost in Paris on Friday; and SideArm and Flip Like Wilson on Saturday. Continue the 4th of July festivities at Premier Nightclub, with Brandi Cyrus on Friday and 2 Chainz on Saturday, or at Gypsy Bar for Men of Horses and Lost in Paris on Friday, or Sidearm and Flip Like Wilson on Saturday. Get to the Waterfront Conference Center parking lot for a free fireworks viewing with DJ entertainment, lawn games, giveaways, and food and beverages available for purchase at 8 p.m. on 4th of July. Then head inside Harrah’s for a weekend long 4th of July Celebration at The Pool After Dark featuring Pete Wentz’s Official Birthday Bash on Friday; DJ Dnial on Saturday afternoon from noon to 7 p.m. followed by DJ Pauly D’s Official Birthday Bash on Saturday Night; and acoustic tunes with Little Nicky’s Radio on Sunday night. Poolside not your thing? Head to Eden Lounge for The Legacy Trio on Thursday; The Exceptions followed by DJ Jay L Friday; Modern Luxe and DJ Transit Saturday; and the Jeremiah Hunter Band on Sunday. Or head to Martorano’s for a special show from The Trammps Friday night. At Congress Hall in Cape May, there’s a lawnside Fourth of July celebration complete with a lobster bake, family picnic, music from the Congress Hall Festival Choir, and fireworks, but the revelry continues inside at The Boiler Room with Matt DiVenti and Tribe on Thursday, The Smooth Edge Band on Friday, and Billy D Light on Saturday, as well as at The Brown Room with Gregg Carpenter on Thursday, The Tipsy Wicked Duo Friday, The Valerie Vuolo Duo and Darin MacDonald Saturday, and Chad Morales, AJ Luca, and Don Shaw Sunday. At Byrne Plaza in Wildwood, get there for fireworks, cocktails, and a concert from The Juliano Brothers Thursday.
4. Get celebrating
Head over to Margaritaville and LandShark at Resorts for a weekend of fun and festivities. At Margaritaville, tune in to Dynasty Marie on Thursday, Devin Lynn & Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Duo on Friday, Prep School on Saturday, and Patty Blee on Sunday. And get to LandShark for Smokey Starr on Thursday, DJ SL on Friday, Jason E and DJ Sojo on Saturday, and DJ Centuri on Sunday. There’s lots to do at Tropicana every day of the year, and 4th of July weekend is no exception. In addition to Colbie Caillat on Saturday, head to Kiss Kiss Nightclub for Brandon Gomes; to Boogie Nights for Stars, Stripes and Boogie Nights Thursday, Cougars and Cubs Ball on Friday, and Primal Men on Saturday; to Cuba Libre for Latin Friday and Bailamos Sabados on Saturday; to Anthem for comedy on Friday and Diva Royale Saturday; to RiRa Irish Pub for Shaun Durnin Friday and The Diddley Idols followed by a late night DJ on Saturday; to Tango’s for DJ Perry Angelozzi on Thursday, Marquee and DJ Brandon Bobal on Friday, Evolution X and DJ Ahmed Khan on Saturday, and All Souled Out on Sunday; and to Firewaters Saloon for Derek Crider on Friday and Saturday. Head to The Princeton for a party with The Party on Thursday, Goodman Fiske on Friday, Steal the Sky and Johnny Phatt on Saturday, and Almost Queen on Sunday. In LBI go to Nardi’s Tavern for Triple Rail Turn Thursday, Mike Bryne and Jumper Friday, Garage Kept and Lima Bean Riot on Saturday and Dave Christopher Band and Mr. Lovejoy on Sunday; to SIC’s Kix McNutley’s for The Chatterband on Thursday, Quizzo & Karaoke on Friday, Sensational Soul Cruisers Saturday and The Heartbeats Sunday; to Dead Dog Saloon for live acoustic all weekend long; to Shenanigan’s for DJ Kureousy on Thursday.
5. Dig your toes in the sand
Head to Laguna Grill & Rum Bar for music from the Whiskeyhicon Boys and Cheezy and the Crackers on Thursday; Grooveheart on Friday; The Whitewalls and Smashed with Kevin Miller on Saturday; and Incognito and The Dan Burke Band on Sunday. Or head to the Beachside Bar at Caesars for Matt Adams Duo on Saturday and Christian Glomb Duo on Sunday. Hit Bally’s Beach Bar for days worth of music for 4th of July weekend, including DJ Vito G, Nine Deez Nite, Stealing Savanah, and DJ Rashaun on Friday; DJ Tonka, Modern Luxe, High Five Swan Dive and DJ Redline on Friday; DJ N9ne, Go Go Gadjet, DJ Transit and DJ Patrice McBride on Saturday; and DJ Aiden Scott, Steal the Sky and DJ Chelsea Lee & Guests on Sunday. While you’re at Bally’s, get to Mountain Bar for Evolution X and DJ Tonka on Friday; Steal the Sky and DJ Patrice McBride on Friday; and Go Go Gadjet and DJ Aiden Scott on Saturday; to The Deck at Wild Wild West for Josh Liberio on Thursday, Derek Crider Duo on Friday, Modern Luxe Duo on Saturday and No Standards Duo on Sunday; and to Harry’s Oyster Bar for a 4th of July complete with Cheezy and the Crackers at 1 p.m., followed by The Se7en Band at 6 p.m. on Thursday; for Billy Walton followed by The Loop Band on Friday; for The Burnsiders followed by Indelible Groove on Saturday; and Robin Gazzara followed by Tidal Wave on Sunday. Head to The Rusty Nail in Cape May for cocktails by the fire pit, a view of the fireworks and music from DJ Tony Steff and Gregg Carpenter Thursday, Nate Cwik on Friday, The Don Evans Band on Saturday, and O’Brien & Joyce as well as The Smooth Edge Band on Sunday; to Icona’s Sandbar Village for Steve Moore & MIA on Thursday, Keep the Change on Friday, San Loosh on Saturday and Cheezy & The Crackers on Sunday; to Icona’s Star Beach Bar for DJ Cloudnine Thursday, DJ Buffet Day Friday, Keep the Change Band Saturday and The Burnsiders on Sunday; and to Pig Dog Beach Bar for Covert Pop on Saturday. Head to William Morrow Beach for a Fourth of July Spectacular with Billy Walton’s Shore Rock and Soul Revue, Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez and The Billy Walton Band on Thursday; and on Friday for Hawkins Road.
6. Do something different
At The Vue at The Claridge, take part in a Fourth of July Beer Olympics and Hot Dog Eating Competition. The Beer Olympics features games like Cornhole, Drinking Jenga, Quarters and the on Thursday for an Independence Day Backyard BBQ with lawn games, Visconti’s Cruisin’ Cuisine, music from Mariano DiGabrielle, and of course, wine; on Friday for Food Truck Friday with music from 4:44; on Saturday for music from Brian Bachorz or Sunday for Anj Granieri. For another Fourth of July BBQ, head to Linwood Country Club for old-fashioned BBQ and Steve Moore and MIA Band. For unusual fun, head to Showboat and take part in the AC Hustle Dance Jam, a weekend full of Hustle dance lessons and demonstrations, music and fun, or the Zouk n Play Festival, which focuses on Brazilian Zouk and Lambada. If art and beer are up your alley, head to Mud Hen Brewing Co., where they’re releasing a limited red, white and blue crowler design to help you celebrate, along with music from Five Times Famous on Thursday, Nancy Malcun Friday, and Emily Drinker Saturday. If it’s a laugh you want, head to Lefty’s Tavern for comedy Friday.
7. Pick a local pub
If celebrating your independence means independence from a huge crowd, consider heading to your favorite watering hole, like Fred & Ethel’s for Joe & Steve on Friday and Smokey on Saturday; to Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall for Walt Sapsai Friday, Locksmith followed by Mike and Stephanie Saturday and reggae Sunday; to Wonder Bar for the Usual Suspects on Saturday; to Bourre for a Big Easy Acoustic Series Thursday and Saturday to McCullough’s Pub for Cosmic Charlie on Saturday; to Brick House Pub for 8 Track Attack Saturday; or to Josie Kelly’s Public House for a Friday with Tom and Bill; to Bobby Dee’s Rock n’ Chair for the Mark Fisher Trio and Que Farkas Thursday; to Ocean Drive for Secret Service then Steal the Sky, Kim and Tonic, The Benderz and My Hero Zero on Friday, High Five Swan Dive, and Gypsy Wisdom Saturday, and Secret Service, Go Go Gadjet and DJ Montone Sunday; to The Whitebrier for Black Dandelion on Thursday and Dueling Pianos on Sunday; to The King Ed Bar at The Chalfonte for the Howard Street Ramble on Thursday and The Clavicles on Friday; to Carney’s for Third Period French on Thursday, Fish Out of Water on Friday, JB Rocks and Bigg Romeo Live Saturday, and Beatles/Billy Joel/Springsteen tribute Sunday; to Iron Pier Craft House for Shaun LaBoy Thursday, Gordon Vincent Friday, C. Lynne Smith Saturday and Geno White Trio Sunday; to The Ugly Mug for Lima Bean Riot;Shake Shake Shake Friday, JJ Rupp Band Saturday, and Light up the Moon Sunday to Fins for Originaire Thursday, Tom Powdermaker Friday, and Ken Shiles & CiBon and DJ Drumatic Sunday; to The Mad Batter for Andy Reeves on Thursday, Audrey Snow on Friday, Jimm Ross Trio Saturday, Open Mic Night Sunday; to Cabanas for Animal House Thursday, Brendan Marro Friday, Joey DeNoble and It’s All Good on Saturday, and Shot of Southern on Sunday; to Hemingway’s for a DJ on Friday and Saturday; to Delaney’ s for Flip N Mickey’s Thursday, Thirsty Wilson Friday, Light Up the Moon Saturday and The Hey Buddy on Sunday to Willow Creek Winery for Fire Pit Friday and music Saturday; to Buckalew’s for July 4th with Ryan Zimmerman, Jinks Brothers and The Impulsives on Friday, Franklin Turnpike Saturday and Lenny G on Sunday; to The Old Causeway for Flip’n’ Mickey’s Friday, Fritz Electric on Saturday, and Ned Ryerson on Sunday; to Yesterday’s for Covert Pop Friday, Atley Moon Saturday, and Reggae Night Sunday; to Old Oar House for Daddy Darlin Friday and Saturday and Anna Oh Sunday; to Anglesea Pub for DJ Johnny Vee Friday and Ray Coleman on Sunday; to Owens’ Pub for DJ Bee Bop Bernie Friday and Name that Tune Saturday; to Sax Lounge for Shawn Loosh Friday, Tom Powdermaker on Saturday, and Kevin Burns on Sunday; to Tuckerton Beach Grille for Open Mic Thursday, the Jimmy Brogan Band Friday, and Bucket List Saturday; and to Dogtooth for Ryan Tennis Saturday.
8. Hit the deck
Celebrate at The Windrift with Jim Bannach Thursday, Darin MacDonald, DJ Jules and The Chatterband Friday, Jim Bannach, DJ Jules and Love Seed Mama Jump on Saturday, and The Juliano Brothers, Jim Doran, Darin MacDonald and DJ Jules on Sunday. Head to The Tuckahoe Inn for Throwback Thursday, Atley Moon & The Say Somethings Friday, and Chameleon on Saturday; to On the Rocks at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal for Ray McGeehan on Friday, Jeff Schwachter Saturday, and Island Acoustic on Sunday; to Flip Flopz Beach Bar & Grill for a Split Decision on Thursday, Lima Bean Riot on Friday, Love Junk, The Loop Band, and a pool party on Saturday, and another pool party and DJ on Sunday; to The Inlet for Yacht Rock on Friday; to Levari’s for Straight Down Duo on Saturday; to Hawk Haven’s Crushpad for Alexandra March on Saturday and Gordon Vincent and the Honeyhawks on Sunday; to La Costa for live music all weekend; to The Springfield for The Juliano Brothers on Thursday, Prep School Trio, LeCompt and DJ Rashaun Friday, Barclay MO, The Juliano Brothers, The Way Outs and DJ Dave Mass Saturday, and Rad and Kell, The Way Outs, LeCompt and DJ Brother Mike on Sunday; to Buckets Margarita Bar for Ray McGeehan on Thursday, Jon Thompson on Friday, Dynasty Marie on Saturday and Brandon Ireland on Sunday; to The Deauville Inn for Lou London on Thursday, Dirty Dozen Dance Band on Friday, Lou London and Dean Dunlevy on Saturday and Jim Maher and the Sensational Soul Cruisers on Sunday; to Elaine’s for Bill Bittman Steel Drums Thursday, Marc Wass on Riday and Camille Peruto Sunday; and to Harpoons on the Bay for Tom Powdermaker on Thursday, Doug Kelley on Friday, Beachcomber Bill and The Dean Dunlevy Orchestra Saturday and Subliminal Message Band and Beachcomber Bill Sunday. With fireworks viewing and a 4th celebration with E Street Shuffle — a Springsteen tribute — celebrating Independence Day on the rooftop Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille is a win-win.