Best Places to Celebrate July 4th



July 4th.  Now sure, any time you refer to the Fourth of July as America’s birthday, some know-it-all will point out that the Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed precisely on that day.  But a date had to be picked, and that’s the one the founding fathers chose.  Today, July 4th is marked by one of the greatest creations ever known to man… fireworks.  Every year, countless locations across the USA play host to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays on the planet.

New York City

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Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks display is one of the most famous fireworks shows in the country.  Fireworks are released from three different locations within the city.  The Air Force does a flyover, and NBC broadcasts the event across the nation.  This isn’t even counting the numerous other fireworks displays taking place at the same time throughout the area, lighting up the night sky.

Philadelphia

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While celebrate the fourth of July in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love?  Let us not forget that Philadelphia, was America’s first capital.  And, even more significant for July 4th, this is where the Declaration of Independence was signed.  What better place to celebrate the birth of a nation than in the city in which it was born?  Suffice to say, the city hosts one heck of a fireworks show.

Boston

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This is a city that loves the Fourth of July.  If you hear “Stars and Stripes Forever” on the radio, chances are it’s being played by the Boston Pops.  Every year for over three decades the Boston Pops have played a top rate concert accompanied by one of the best fireworks shows in the country.  When it comes to celebrating the Fourth, you can never go wrong with Boston.

Washington D.C.

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This one’s a no-brainer.  Washington D.C., the capital of the United States of America, is of course going to have one of the best fireworks displays for the Fourth of July.  The day begins with a parade along Constitution Avenue, culminating in a fireworks display over the Washington Monument.  Throughout the day, various institutions celebrate the holiday as well, from the Smithsonian Institute to the National Archives.

Chicago

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Chicago exhibits not one but two fabulous fireworks shows, the first being on the third and the second on the fourth.  The shows are displayed over Lake Michigan, making the entire lake-front the best seats in the house.  Concerts and various other events happy throughout the city to accompany the two fireworks spectaculars.

San Diego

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This is another city that loves the Fourth of July with events taking place throughout the city.  The largest fireworks display takes place over San Diego Bay with the “Big Bay” celebration.  Another great attraction around the Fourth is the San Diego County Fair, which is one of the best county fairs in California.

Seattle

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“Family Fourth”, Seattle’s largest Fourth of July fireworks celebration is also considered one of the best in the country.  The event is a day long extravaganza filled with family activities and concerts for everyone.  The fireworks display takes place over Lake Union and features fireworks designs from throughout the world.

Lake Tahoe

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Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Lake Tahoe spans over 192 square miles and is the second deepest lake in the United States.  It is also a major tourist attraction with a plentiful amount of outdoor summer recreation.  So why, you may ask, is Lake Tahoe on this list?  For no other reason than it is the single largest synchronized fireworks display west of the Mississippi.  Whether viewed from the shore, or from a boat out on the water, the show is spectacular.

Disneyworld

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Disney’s theme parks have been known for some time for their fabulous fireworks displays, which are held on many days throughout the year.  So it goes without saying that on Fourth of July itself Disney pulls out all the stops.  Be warned though, this is no “well kept secret”.  July 4th and the days around it are considered to be some the busiest days of the year at Disney’s theme parks.  Show up early, and be ready for a crowd, but don’t worry, the show is worth it.

New Orleans

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If there’s one city in the United States that knows how to party, it’s New Orleans.  Now sure, it is mostly known for its Mardis Gras celebration every year, but the city also hosts one heck of a Fourth of July bash.  The “Go 4th on the River Dueling Barges Fireworks Extravaganza” is considered one of the best in the nation.

Mount Rushmore

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It is one of the most iconic monuments in the United States, featuring four of the nation’s greatest leaders, and every year it hosts one heck of a fireworks show.  Strangely though, the fireworks spectacle occurs on July 3rd instead of the Fourth.  This could provide a distinct advantage though as one could viably enjoy two great fireworks displays over one July 4th weekend.  The first at Mount Rushmore, followed by a show wherever one pleases on the Fourth.  It may require a bit of travel, but where’s your sense of adventure?

Whether it be New York, Mount Rushmore, or even Disneyworld, there is still one fireworks show that is greater than all the others, and that’s the one right down the street from your own home.  The Fourth of July may be a celebration of the USA, but it is even more so a day when Americans remember what it is they love so much about their country… the friends, neighbors, and family they share it with.
Creative Commons License photo credit: beigeinside