One of the most celebrated holidays in the United States, Independence Day is an occasion for fireworks, food and music. From small towns to large cities, people have created their own special ways to celebrate this day which not just reflects their culture but also the history of the place. From parades to firework displays and street parties, cities have it all. For those of you planning your next summer holiday in the US try to stick around for the 4th of July celebrations, because it’s a once in a lifetime experience.
In the capital, the skies above the Capitol Building light up in patriotic colors and in NYC, the sky over Brooklyn Bridge is set ablaze. For people who prefer the quiet life, the small towns of New England or the metropolitan suburbs are ideal for festivities. Here is a list of our top 10 favorite locations to enjoy this day in a special way.
New York City
Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show is reason enough to visit NYC for Independence Day. Thousands of fireworks light up the skies over Brooklyn Bridge making it a display worth visiting New York for. Every year they outdo themselves with fabulous pyrotechnics and synchronized patriotic music.
Stream: If you are unable to travel all the way to NYC, no worries! This year’s 46th edition will be live on NBC (and the NBC YouTube Channel) at 8 PM ET (5.30 AM IST, 5th July). The Fireworks display will be launched from barges along the East River in Manhattan.
During the day, visit some of New York City’s Revolutionary War locations. Pay homage to the Fraunces Tavern, where G. Washington once bade farewell to his troops at the end. The building was also hit by a British cannonball in 1775. Take a ride on the Staten Island ferry for spectacular views of the Manhattan coastline and a trip to Fort Wadsworth.
San Diego, California
The Southern Californian city is home to many service members, veterans and their families representing the Navy, Air Force, National Guard, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Army. Hence, patriotism is high for the annual Big Bay Boom, with hundreds of fireworks lighting up the sky and launched simultaneously from four barges located throughout San Diego’s North Bay at 9 p.m PT (9.30am IST 5th July). One of the most popular viewing locations is the U.S.S. Midway flight deck, where live entertainments, USO review and all-American concessions add to the celebration.
You can also watch the fireworks from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Marina District, Cesar E. Chavez Park, Coronado Ferry Landing and North Embarcadero.
Nothing beats celebrating Independence Day in the capital of the U.S.A. While there’s no official location to view the show, D.C’s annual firework display can be viewed from across the Potomac River, the Mount Vernon Trail, the Supreme Court Plaza, or as the National Park Service recommends, The National Mall. The show will start at 9:09 p.m. on July 4 and the fireworks will be launched from both sides of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. “A Capitol Fourth” concert at 8 p.m. at the U.S. Capitol is also a great way to celebrate the Fourth.
You can also visit the museums of the city, explore DC parks, gardens and monuments; catch daytime baseball at Nationals Park; relax at the Capitol Riverfront; pay homage to America’s Presidents at the National Portrait Gallery and learn history at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Stream: Tune or stream here Monday, July 4 at 8 p.m. ET (5.30am IST) or 8/7c on your local PBS station and the PBS Video App.
The Dallas suburb of Addison swells with visitors on the 4th of July for one of the greatest firework displays of the nation. Kaboom Town, as the event is named, is a 30-minute show, where the sky is set ablaze with 3,500 pounds of fireworks.
It is held the day before the fourth of July every year. This year, Addison Kaboom Town’s fireworks show is taking place at 9 p.m. on July 3.
Stream : The fireworks show can also be viewed from home through the YouTube channel of Town of Addison.
Boston’s Revolutionary Way history and heritage make it a great place to celebrate the Independence Day of America. Pre-COVID around 3 million visitors from all over the world, visited the city for its Fourth of July festival which made it the largest one in the U.S. It is also famous for its fireworks display which is accompanied by the Boston Pops Orchestra. The 2022 Boston Pops July 4th Spectacular will take place at Tanglewood in Lenox, MA. The fireworks finale will also be broadcasted and these will be launched from Boston Common. The fireworks would be visible from the Parade Ground and the Frog Pond. Concert tickets will have to be bought online through the Boston Pops official website.
Stream: The festivities will be broadcasted live on Bloomberg TV and Radio and WHDH-TV Channel 7.
Twin Cities, Minnesota
Family fun is of high importance in Minneapolis and the city attracts over 75,000 people to the Red, White and Boom events on the downtown riverfront. However, the firework celebration has once again been postponed due to construction at Father Hennepin Park and staff shortages (the previous two years saw cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Instead, it is replaced with smaller events in various parks throughout the city. You could check out the Minneapolis’ historic Tangletown neighborhood that offers a dazzling parade that all can participate in. The parade ends at Fuller Park, where you can enjoy live music featuring the Roe Family Singers, food trucks, inflatable activities for the kids and more. Timings: July 4, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Fuller Park, 4802 Grand Ave. S., Minneapolis. You could also head to Lake Minnetonka. The town has a full day of events planned, including the Firecracker Race, a parade, petting zoo, food trucks, and music. End the day with a free fireworks show at Excelsior Bay. No boat required! Timings: July 4, 8 a.m. – dusk, Commons Park, 135 Lake St., Excelsior.
Navy Pier has firework shows all summer, but on July 4 the iconic destination of Chicago downtown puts on a special red, white and blue fireworks display. Although there isn’t an official firework display planned for Independence Day, the city plans regularly scheduled firework shows all summer on Chicago’s Navy Pier. Firework display’s take place every Wednesday at 9 p.m. and Saturday at 10 p.m. Therefore, Chicago will be celebrating the Fourth of July with its firework display on Saturday July 2 at 10 p.m.
You may want to check out The Grant Park Music Festival, Chicago’s summer musical sensation, demonstrating that classical music, performed by a world-class orchestra and chorus. The festival is on till Aug 20, 2022.
Music City’s Let Freedom Sing! celebration is back for 2022 with the famed country music band Old Dominion as the headliner. The event will also feature performances by Gramps Morgan, Cassadee Pope, Levi Hummon as well as a live performance from the Nashville Symphony during the firework display. Attendees can find the concert stage at First and Broadway, or check out the symphony at Ascend Amphitheater.
Stream: This event will be livestreamed starting 9:29 p.m. CST on visitmusiccity.com/july4th.
Celebrating Independence Day in the colonial atmosphere of Williamsburg will make you feel as if you have travelled back in time. You can listen to a reading of the Declaration of Independence by Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson or play colonial games at the Market house. Observe a special militia muster or watch a salute to the 13 original states featuring music by a fife and drum corps with the firing of cannons and muskets.
The best locations to view the fireworks are Palace Green, Market Square and the East Lawn of the Art Museum.
The city where it all began with the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Philadelphia celebrates six days of festivities, from the start of the annual Wawa Welcome America festival to the magnificent fireworks finale over the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This year’s 16-day festival aims to showcase different perspectives on what independence means in the United States with programming from (and free admission to) museums and attractions in the city; hoagie giveaways from Wawa; concerts, including one starring Jason Derulo and Ava Max; and more — all for free.
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