Best 4th of July Celebrations in the USA

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Independence Day is one of the most festive holidays in the United States, and as such, it's a great time for traveling. Cities all over the country celebrate by having large Fourth of July fireworks displays, patriotic parades, and street parties.

In New York City, the fireworks are set over the Brooklyn Bridge and in Washington, D.C., the skies above the Capitol Building are ablaze with patriotic color. But you don't have to be in a big city to enjoy the holiday, as some of the best festivities are in small New England towns or metropolitan suburbs. Regardless of where you are, there's always some thrilling way to celebrate America's birthday.

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New York City

4th of July Fireworks in New York

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An Independence Day highlight in New York City is Macy's stupendous Fourth of July fireworks, exploding in the skies over the Brooklyn Bridge. Fireworks are set off from barges close to Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport and smaller fireworks will be shot from the bridge itself. This pyrotechnic spectacular is billed as the largest fireworks event in the U.S. on July 4.

You can normally see the fireworks from anywhere near New York's most famous bridge, with elevated public viewing areas available in Manhattan along the FDR Drive, as well as in Queens and Brooklyn. If you're staying in an apartment or hotel near the water in Brooklyn or downtown Manhattan, you may be able to see the live show right from your accommodations. Otherwise, it will air on NBC and Peacock across the country to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own living room, starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT or 7 p.m. CT/MT.

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New England

Bristol Rhode Island 4th of July Parade

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The historic towns and cities scattered across New England played a big role in America's independence, so it's no surprise that they go all out for Fourth of July with parades, family-friendly events, and lavish fireworks displays. Many of the largest events are held in Sturbridge, MA; Bristol, RI; and Bar Harbor, ME.

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Boston

Boston Pops Fourth Of July Fireworks Spectacular
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Beantown is famous for its fireworks display accompanied live by the world-famous Boston Pops Orchestra, which always ends the night with Tchaikovsky’s iconic "1812 Overture," complete with cannon fire. Fireworks blast off from seven barges along the Charles River while fans watch from the DCR Hatch Shell on the Esplanade or along the Longfellow Bridges. The free event starts at 8 p.m.

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Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg

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Colonial Williamsburg is living history—real-life actors take over the historic houses and bring to life the days before the American Revolution. You'll have a chance to ask a Thomas Jefferson or Patrick Henry replica a few history questions.

Fireworks are launched at 9:30 p.m. from behind the Governor's Palace and can be viewed from the Palace Green, Market Square, and the Lawn of the Art Museums. Prior to the fireworks, starting at 8 p.m., visitors can enjoy a reading of the Declaration of Independence and concerts.

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Washington, DC

celebration day in washington dc for the new year

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Nothing tops the afternoon National Independence Day Parade along Constitution Avenue. Then, at the U.S. Capitol, sit on the lawn and enjoy "A Capitol Fourth" concert which begins at 8 p.m. and features noted musicians and a performance of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" by the National Symphony Orchestra. The day in Washington, D.C., is topped off with a massive fireworks display over the National Mall.  

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Virginia Beach

People Relaxing Along Virginia Beach

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Virginia Beach puts on its annual Stars & Stripes Explosion for the Fourth of July. Thousands of visitors flock to the waterfront stages to see marching bands, tribute bands, and local entertainers followed by spectacular fireworks over the ocean in this free patriotic celebration.

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Chicago

Navy Pier

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Navy Pier has firework shows all summer, but on July 2, 2022, the iconic downtown Chicago destination will put on a special red, white, and blue fireworks display. This year, the fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m., and guests will be given special "diffraction glasses" to take the experience up a notch. Organizers expect large crowds filling parking garages and the pier itself so it's wise to go early and spend time there in advance of the evening celebrations. 

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Addison, Texas

fireworks for a national holiday in Dallas

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The Dallas suburb of Addison has a population of only 16,000 residents, but every year on July 3, the town swells to a staggering half-million people as visitors flow in for one of the nation's greatest firework displays. Kaboom Town, as the event is called, is a 25-minute show and not one to miss, as 3,500 pounds of fireworks light up the sky.

Kaboom Town is held on the day before the Fourth of July each year. Festivities will take place from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Addison Circle Park, with concerts, inflatable waterslides, an obstacle course, and a giant zip line available to enjoy. The legendary fireworks show itself will go on at 9:30 p.m. and can be viewed from virtually anywhere in the city with an unobstructed view, so hang out on the patio of a nearby restaurant, at your Addison hotel, or in your parked car. If you're out of the area but want to see this famous show, you can watch Kaboom Town from home by streaming it live.

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Nashville

Fireworks over Nashville

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Music City hosts one of the biggest fireworks shows in the country along the Cumberland waterfront. Accompanied by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the fireworks and music start at 9:30 p.m. on July 4, 2022, and are the finale of a weekend jam-packed with entertainment and music.

The main concert stage is located at Fifth Avenue and Broadway. See the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. website for the full lineup of events, which includes an Amazon Family Fun Zone and live music.

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Houston

fireworks for a national holiday in Houston

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In the heart of downtown Houston, the annual Freedom Over Texas event is celebrated on July 4 with a festival, live music, and a massive fireworks display. In 2022, the event will include appearances by NASA astronauts and virtual field trips in honor of the 60th anniversary of NASA Johnson Space Center's Houston location. The festivities will take place at Eleanor Tinsley and Sam Houston Parks from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; entry is $10 a person (children 5 and under are free).

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New Orleans

Independence Day fireworks display, New Orleans, USA

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Ring in America's birthday in New Orleans style at the Go 4th on the River bash, which features vintage victory bands and the "Dueling Barges Fireworks Extravaganza" over the riverfront. The fireworks begin at 9 p.m. but come by Crescent Park from 5:30 p.m. for family-friendly activities, food vendors, and live music.

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St. Louis

St. Louis, Missouri

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On the banks of the Mississippi River, Fair St. Louis is a massive Fourth of July event that spans an entire weekend and usually culminates with a show consisting of over 3,600 pounds of fireworks, musical acts, a variety show, and a patriotic salute to the nation and frontline workers. America's Biggest Birthday Parade kicks off the the celebrations at 10 a.m. on July 2, 2022, while the big fireworks display takes place at 9:30 p.m. on July 4.

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Los Angeles

Firework Display At Night in Los Angeles

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There are Fourth of July festivals to celebrate all over Southern California, including Grand Park's Block Party in downtown L.A., Disneyland fireworks, KABOOM in Pomona, and AmericaFest in the Rose Bowl of Pasadena. Celebrating its 96th year in 2022, the latter is considered one of the country's longest-running Independence Day festivities, and will celebrate with a motorcycle stunt show and a big fireworks display. Check each event's official page for full details.

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Lake Tahoe

Fireworks, Lake Tahoe

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The fireworks reflecting on the calm waters of Lake Tahoe, with the gorgeous Sierra Nevada mountains in the background, really make this one of the most scenic celebrations. The 25-minute "Lights on the Lake" show attracts some 125,000 people to the area and will begin at 9:45 p.m. Head to the south end of the lake, in areas like El Dorado Beach, Nevada Beach, and Timber Cove Marina for the best views.

In North Tahoe, however, the area will be celebrating July 4th in 2022 with a drone light show as an environmentally-friendly and safe alternative to pyrotechnic fireworks. The show will include 200 drones and feature two acts at 9:30 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., with a laser show entertaining visitors before the first act and during intermission. Head to the Incline Village Middle School Ball Fields at 7:30 p.m. to start celebrating early with a beer garden and DJ.

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Park City, Utah

Young cowgirl wearing an American flag riding a horse
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Park City, located 32 miles from central Salt Lake City, is a historic mining town and ski area. July 4th here is rife with family-friendly activities, including a pancake breakfast, rugby, a volleyball tournament, live music, and a barbecue. The parade begins at 11 a.m. on Main Street. Note that fireworks will not be taking place in 2022 due to wildlife concerns.

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