Fair Saint Louis
Fair Saint Louis
Fair Saint Louis
The Fourth of July is not just a perfect excuse to have a picnic and bask in the sun on a day off work, it’s also a day where you can see a spectacle in the sky. Oh yes, we’re talking about fireworks. No summer is complete without a big Independence Day celebration, and no Independence Day celebration is complete without fireworks. And these 15 cities have the biggest, most dazzling pyrotechnic displays in the country. From a small town in Texas that becomes a must-visit destination every July to the most famous displays of fireworks in the world, these are fireworks displays worth traveling to this July Fourth.
Town of Addison
Addison, Texas, transforms into Addison Kaboom Town on July 3. This charming small town (with a population of roughly 13,000) expands into a mass of half a million people who come to see the spectacle of fireworks and fun. Addison Kaboom Town features a party in Addison Circle Park with a carnival, live entertainment and an air show. Of course, the real show starts after dusk when the fireworks go off for 30 minutes, synchronized to music. Because Addison is such a tiny town, you can see the fireworks well from anywhere in the 4.4-mile radius.
The fireworks in Atlantic City, New Jersey, easily rival the far more famous display in nearby New York City. It’s estimated that 250,000 people gather on a 1-mile stretch to take in the show. The display runs for about 18 minutes, and the launching point — a platform in the Marina District — was selected to give all visitors the best view possible. The Atlantic City fireworks are so spectacular because of their location: alongside the beach and boardwalk. Nothing says summertime quite like a sky spectacular when you’re on the ocean, after all.
The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular in Boston, Massachusetts, is aptly named. It really is a spectacle. In one of America’s most historical cities, 500,000 visitors flock to the Charles River Esplanade to take in the sights and sounds of Independence Day. The Boston Pops orchestra plays a concert of classic American songs, including the “1812 Overture,” complete with cannon fire. At the end of the show, the skies are lit up with a dazzling fireworks display.
Downtown Columbus, Ohio, hosts the Buckeye State’s biggest fireworks display every July 3. Red, White & BOOM! is an all-day patriotic party with a parade, live music and a street festival featuring local food trucks and craft beer. But the real festivities are at 10 p.m., when over 400,000 people take in a massive fireworks display.
You don’t just celebrate Independence Day in Denver, Colorado, you celebrate Independence Eve. Yes, the Third of July is the big holiday in the Mile High City. The annual Independence Eve Celebration in Civic Center Park features live music, food trucks, local craft beer and a light show — all for free. If that’s not enough entertainment for you, the night concludes with an explosive finale of fireworks and a patriotic concert.
Brad Scott Visuals/Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Lake Tahoe in California is an amazing summer destination all on its own, but it really comes to life for the Fourth of July, when 125,000 visitors flock to the beach for a summertime spectacular. Lights on the Lake is a 25-minute fireworks display with stunning vantage points all around the water. For the absolute best views, take a boat out on the water, where you can see fireworks explode right above you and colorful reflections around you in the crystal-clear lake.
Donn Jones Photography
Nashville, Tennessee, celebrates the Fourth of July the only way they know how; with a big ol’ country music concert. Some of the genre’s biggest stars come out for a show; 2019’s performers include Brett Eldredge, Mac McAnally, Jessy Wilson and more. Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th, also features one of the biggest fireworks displays in the country. Over the course of a 25-minute show with an accompaniment by the Nashville Symphony, over 62,000 fireworks shells will be shot off. You need to see this show to believe its epic scale.
New Orleans, Louisiana, always knows how to throw a party, and Independence Day is no different. The Big Easy’s Go 4th on the River celebration features dueling barges on the Mississippi River shooting off fireworks displays. No matter where you look and no matter where you are in the city, you’re going to be taking in a magnificent sight.
The Annual Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks in New York, New York, are world-famous for a reason. They’re ridiculous in both size and scope. Over 3 million people all across New York City see this show every year, which is returning to the East River after several years of being launched from the Hudson. More than 70,000 fireworks and effects will be launched around the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. A waterfall of fireworks will even spill out from the landmark itself, making this highly Instagrammable attraction even more picture-perfect.
David Roark/Walt Disney World
It’s a bit of a rookie mistake to visit Orlando, Florida, hotspot Walt Disney World during a holiday week, but for the Fourth of July, you may just want to brave the crowds. The Magic Kingdom Park features a stunning, patriotic fireworks show, fittingly called “Disney’s Celebrate America — A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.” Cinderella Castle is turned into the Stars and Stripes as massive fireworks displays paint the theme park red, white and blue. Luckily, seeing this show is one of the many things you can do at Disney World without a park ticket. Some of the best sights are at the Ticket and Transportation Center and Disney’s Polynesian Resort.
J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA
The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, so you know this city knows how to celebrate the occasion right. The Philadelphia Museum of Art hosts the Wawa Welcome America fireworks show, which provides quite the stunning backdrop. The spectacle also features an all-American soundtrack provided by the United States Army Field Band and Chorus.
The Big Bay Boom in San Diego, California, is big, indeed. Fireworks are launched from four barges in the San Diego Bay, so there are great views all around the city, both on land and in the water. About half a million people will take in the 18-minute show, which is timed to original musical compositions. This massive celebrations is one of the best things to do in California this summer.
Fair Saint Lewis
St. Louis, Missouri, hosts an event dubbed “America’s Biggest Birthday Party.” Fair Saint Louis is a three-day festival complete with parades, Boeing air shows, performing dogs and concerts from the likes of Brett Young and the Flaming Lips. The highlight of this celebration, however, are the Edwards Jones Fireworks. On July 4, the city’s famous Gateway Arch and the surrounding area are illuminated with tens of thousands of pounds of explosives.
You can’t find a more patriotic place to spend the Fourth of July than Washington, D.C. The nation’s capital has A Capitol Fourth, with music from Carole King, Lindsey Sterling, Lee Brice and some of your children’s favorite friends from “Sesame Street.” The celebration on the National Mall also has a remarkable fireworks display. It doesn’t get much more American than seeing an 18-minute celebration with a backdrop of the Washington Monument.
If you’re a true history nerd, than you’re going to want to go to Williamsburg, Virginia, for the Fourth of July. A truly remarkable fireworks display is set off behind the Governor’s Palace at night, which is a truly charming sight. Beyond the fireworks, Colonial Williamsburg also features picnics with classic American foods, readings of the Declaration of Independence and performances from patriotic marching band Fife and Drum Corps. If you haven’t been to Williamsburg, add it to your list of popular American tourist destinations you need to visit.
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