The Swiss celebrate the founding of the Confederation on 1 August, with fireworks and outdoor concerts in town and country. In Basel, the party starts the evening before, with food stands and tables set up in the Marktplatz and along both sides of the Rhine.
There's plenty of music, as well: Alphorns tooting on street corners, rock on a raft anchored in town for the summer , and Dixieland jazz on-stage at the Marktplatz. At 11:00 pm, two barges anchored in the river put up a spectacular fireworks display.
Angle for a vantage point from the city's oldest bridge, the Mittlere Brücke, or get to the steps along the shore early enough to have a picnic before the show starts.