The Fourth of July is one celebration we can depend on each and every summer. You won’t find a better reason to party than the birth of our country. And party we do – across all 50 states.
Some of the country’s major cities put on the most incredible fireworks displays possible on the 4th of July; most of them far better than what you’ll find on New Years Eve! Grab a blanket or chair, load the family into the car, and make yourself comfortable at your perfect viewing point. These fireworks displays are destined to leave you calling for more!
10. Washington, DC Fireworks
Thomas Jefferson hosted the first official 4th of July Celebration on the lawn of his mansion over 200 years ago. Now, the fireworks are blown into the sky amidst the beautiful DC skyline, featuring the Capitol building and the Washington Monument. All branches of the military are represented in the annual parade, followed by a performance by the National Symphony Orchestra. The fireworks begin after 9pm. If you can’t make it to the show, it will be broadcast on PBS!
9. Lake Tahoe, Nevada Fireworks
Touted as another one of the largest shows west of the Mississippi, the fireworks at Lake Tahoe are nothing less than breathtaking. The fireworks are shot from a barge on the lake and can be seen from almost anywhere on the lake. Music is broadcast from radio stations and viewers gather on the shores, on docks, and some even venture into the lake on paddleboats to experience the fireworks from the water!
8. Addison, Texas Fireworks Show
Fireworks in Kaboom Town began in 1983 and have continued as an annual tradition ever since. The show has always been put on by Royce Trout and the folks at Atlas Enterprises, featuring fireworks from around the world. Texans love this show – and you will, too!
7. New Orleans, Louisiana 4th of July
New Orleans is home to the Go 4th on the River Dueling Fireworks Extravaganza! Ever see two barges battle it out with fireworks? Grab a bowl of jambalaya, find a seat near the levy, and watch the fireworks paint their own incredible story!
6. New York, New York Fireworks Spectacular
The Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular begins over the East River each year. In addition to the fireworks, fireboats in the river shoot patriotic streams of fire high into the air. Music is broadcast by local radio stations and the entire event is shown on national television by the local NBC station right there in the city. Grab a seat alongside the river and enjoy the show.
5. Chicago, Illinois Fireworks
The city of Chicago cosponsors the annual Fourth of July celebration with Navy Pier each and every year! The fireworks are best viewed from the shores of the lake, around Buckingham Fountain, or in beautiful Grant Park. If you’re looking for a romantic twist, visit Navy Pier and take your sweetie out on a dinner cruise before the show.
4. Atlantic City, New Jersey Boardwalk Fireworks
The casinos in Atlantic City band together each summer to put on one of the most spectacular pyrotechnic shows at the Jersey shore. Grab a blanket and stake out your spot on the beach or boardwalk. If you plan to stay the night, make reservations well in advance as the city is usually packed for the holiday weekend.
3. Boston, Massachusetts Fireworks Display
The fireworks display in Boston has been a history event for over 30 years. The Boston Pops Orchestra plays an annual 4th of July Concert each year. Back in 1973, David Mugar suggested a change: he wanted the fireworks display to be accompanied by the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky. His suggestion turned into an annual tradition and now more than 200,000 people line the banks of the Charles River for the concert and pyrotechnic display each year. The concert and show always includes new music by the Boston Pops Orchestra – but will always end with the 1812 Overture!
2. Idaho Falls, Idaho Freedom Celebration
Hosted by The Melaleuca Foundation, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration takes place on the Greenbelt in Idaho Falls each year. This incredible event starts with a buffet dinner (approximately $22 per ticket) and is followed by a performance by the Idaho Falls Symphony Orchestra. The fireworks display itself is known as the largest display west of the Mississippi River, and rightly so! The pyrotechnic show is coordinated by computers to make sure that each firework shot is in tune with the popular patriotic music that is blasted during the event.
1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 4th of July Celebration
The Sunoco Welcome America celebration in Philadelphia, the birthplace of our country, lasts for a full week. The city of Philadelphia is full of activities for families, including concerts and movies. This year, Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross will be wed (the actual wedding of two city employees who regularly play the parts) on the 3rd. The 4th of July will feature a party on the parkway before the annual concert (this year featuring John Legend) and the fireworks display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Rumor has it that this year, because the 4th is on a Friday, the fireworks will be followed by a second concert!
No matter which celebration you attend, take a moment or two to reflect on the meaning of the 4th of July. Sit back, relax with your family, and enjoy the show!