If you’re ready to celebrate Independence Day in grand style, don’t miss out on some of the nation’s biggest fireworks displays and Fourth of July parties. From waterfront light shows to a lineup of concerts, head to one of these cities to see a spectacular July 4th celebration.
Washington, D.C., Fourth of July Fireworks
National Mall Fourth of July Celebration
The Fourth of July fireworks display at the National Mall starts at 9:09 p.m., and the fireworks launch over the Washington Monument. Make your way to the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool for the best view of this patriotic celebration.
If you’re in town earlier, be sure to catch the Independence Day Parade at 11:45 a.m. that runs on Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th streets. Washington, D.C., is also a great option for a summer family vacation. But if you can’t make it to D.C., watch the footage from one of 20 television cameras broadcasting from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol via PBS.
Chicago Fourth of July Fireworks
Fireworks at Navy Pier
Head to Chicago's Navy Pier for a 9:30 p.m. pyrotechnics show and fireworks display along the lakefront. The fireworks will light up the night, and you can enjoy patriotic music playing in the background. Head to Millennium Park earlier in the evening for the free Grant Park Music Festival: Independence Day Salute. In 2016, WGN-TV broadcast the annual fireworks display as part of its evening newscast.
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New York City Fourth of July Fireworks
Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks
This one is still the country’s largest Fourth of July fireworks display, lighting up the New York City skyline over the East River. The event brings more than 3 million spectators to the city each year and is also broadcast on national television.
The festivities start at 9:25 p.m., and you’ll find some of the best viewing locations in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and along FDR Drive at Pearl and Frankfort, and at Houston Street. You can also catch musical performances before the show. Tune in to NBC at 8 p.m. EST to watch the fireworks over the NYC skyline.
St. Augustine, Fla., Fourth of July Fireworks
Fireworks Over the Matanzas
Make your way to the Castillo de San Marcos for this grand fireworks display that fires off 5,000 shells. It’s one of the biggest fireworks displays on the East Coast.
Head here early to catch the All-Star Orchestra performance before the show. The two-hour music event includes swing music and patriotic tunes to get everyone ready for the fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.
New Orleans Fourth of July Fireworks
Go 4th on the River
Watch the fireworks display on the Mississippi River in New Orleans. Some of the best places to see the Dueling Barges Fireworks for the Go 4th on the River celebration include Woldenberg Park and aboard the Creole Queen steamboat. The Fourth of July celebration starts at 6 p.m., and the fireworks launch at 9 p.m.
Los Angeles Fourth of July Fireworks
Marina del Rey 4th of July Fireworks Celebration
Spend the afternoon enjoying the marina and waterfront views as you count down to the Marina del Rey fireworks celebration at 9 p.m. The free event features fireworks shot across the main channel of the Marina. You’ll find plenty of places on the lawn to set up a blanket and picnic for the evening. View the fireworks at Fisherman's Village and Burton Chace Park, where synchronized music will be broadcast.
Atlanta Fourth of July Fireworks
4th of July Celebration at Centennial Park
Atlanta's big fireworks show has attracted more than 30,000 spectators in years past. Lenox Square and Centennial Park will be sharing this year’s Independence Day celebrations for a full day of activities.
Visitors can head to Lenox Square for the annual Peachtree Road Race and other Fourth of July activities to kick off the celebration in downtown Atlanta. Centennial Olympic Park will be hosting the fireworks display.
Philadelphia Fourth of July Fireworks
Wawa Welcome America!
One of the more extended Fourth of July celebrations in the country, this six-day event in downtown Philadelphia includes free concerts, a block party in the historic district and patriotic ceremonies. You can watch not one, but four fireworks shows over the weekend, and catch parades weaving in and out of the downtown district. If you want to join the festivities, you can still plan for last-minute travel on a budget.
Head to the National Constitution Center on June 29 to learn about the U.S. Constitution, or head to the Penn Museum and Eastern State Penitentiary for a special museum series, free of charge, to kick off the celebration. Fireworks displays start on July 4 at 9:30 p.m. over the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Delaware River Waterfront. The events will be televised on NBC10, Telemundo62, Cozi TV, TCN and TeleXitos.
Boston Fourth of July Fireworks
Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular
Head to the DCR Hatch Shell on the Esplanade to watch the free concert and fireworks show, followed by the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. The Boston Pops Orchestra has been performing at the Esplanade since July 4, 1929, and their concerts are a summer tradition.
The program includes recently released albums by the Boston Pops. There is a rehearsal night with all guest artists — but no fireworks display — on July 3. You can tune in to the live concert stream on the Bloomberg website, or watch it on Bloomberg Television in the Boston area.
Nashville, Tenn., Fourth of July Fireworks
Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th, presented by Dr Pepper Cherry
Music City might be your best bet for the biggest Fourth of July parties and a grand fireworks display over the water. Nashville hosts several bands for free concerts on July 4, including the Nashville Symphony and Chris Young for this year’s celebration. The 2017 event includes games and family-friendly activities in downtown Nashville. The event was broadcast live on ABC News 2 in 2016.
Orlando, Fla., Fourth of July Fireworks
Fireworks at the Fountain
Enjoy a classic American celebration with a picnic on Lake Eola and a fun-filled evening of games, local music and family activities. The celebration ends with a 30-minute fireworks show over Lake Eola.
You’ll need to make your way to Lake Eola Park as early as 4 p.m. to secure your spot on the grass and participate in Independence Day festivities. The fireworks will be broadcast live on WKMG News 6.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Fourth of July Fireworks
4th of July Spectacular
Head to the beach for a night of live music, entertainment and a spectacular pyrotechnic display. The free event takes place on Fort Lauderdale Beach at A1A and Las Olas Boulevard. Get there early to participate in contests, get your face painted and compete in a hot dog-eating contest.
Visitors can also take advantage of the free bike valet at Las Olas Bridge to avoid heavy traffic. The fireworks show is scheduled for 9 p.m., and will be simulcast with music on radio station 101.5 LITE FM.
San Francisco Fourth of July Fireworks
4th of July Celebration at the Pier
Celebrate the red, white and blue at Fisherman’s Wharf for an unforgettable Independence Day event that starts at 11 a.m. You can explore the exhibits near the Pier 39 Entrance Plaza all day before catching the band performance from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The fireworks display begins at 9:30 p.m. over the pier, weather permitting. Waterfront restaurants, including Pier Market and the Fog Harbor Fish House are some of the top viewing spots in the area.
In 2016, both the local NBC and ABC stations broadcast the fireworks show live. You could also watch the show online on the San Francisco NBC station website.
Las Vegas Fourth of July Fireworks
Caesars Palace Fireworks Show
If you’re staying at any of the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, follow this Las Vegas insider tip: Head to the rooftop or higher floors to watch the Independence Day celebrations across the city. Las Vegas will be kicking off Fourth of July celebrations as early as the Friday prior to Independence Day, with revelries taking place throughout the weekend.
You don’t have to pay a single dollar to see the fireworks over Caesars Palace. Fireworks are shot from the hotel's Julius Tower at 9:15 p.m., and you can see the spectacle from the fountains out front.
Seattle Fourth of July Fireworks
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Seafair Summer 4th
Head to Seattle’s biggest fireworks show at Gas Works Park. The gathering includes live entertainment, and you can enjoy food from local vendors. Head to the park as early as noon to watch performances on the Gas Works Park main stage, and relax in the beer and beverage gardens as you wait for the fireworks show in the evening.
The show includes nearly 8,500 pounds of fireworks. It's free to view from the park, but reserved seating at the Seafair Club is available for $20 per person and includes access to a private cash bar. The fireworks start at 10:20 p.m., and the show lasts approximately 20 minutes. In 2016, TV station KIRO 7 broadcast the fireworks show live.
Portland, Ore., Fourth of July Fireworks
Waterfront Blues Festival Fireworks
The Waterfront Blues Festival includes blues music all day at Tom McCall Waterfront Park and a fireworks show starting around 10 p.m. You have to pay a $10 admission fee to attend this event, but you can catch the waterfront fireworks show free of charge at Portland bridges around the Willamette River. This can help you save money on your July 4 travel and celebration. Make your way to the Hawthorne Bridge or Ross Island Bridge later in the evening to claim your viewing spot.
Dallas Fourth of July Fireworks
Fair Park Fourth
A free, all-day event at historic Fair Park will give you plenty of opportunities to celebrate. The park is home to several attractions including the Texas Star Ferris Wheel and the Texas Discovery Gardens. Enjoy live music, games and other activities throughout the day at the Midway for $5, or just explore the grounds free of charge. Catch the fireworks display starting at 9:45 p.m.
Houston Fourth of July Fireworks
4th of July Weekend at CityCentre
Patriotic celebrations start on July 1 and run until 11 p.m. on July 4, with a 15-minute fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. at CityCentre. The entire event is free, and you can enjoy pop, rock, inspirational and country concerts over the four-day celebration.
Denver Fourth of July Fireworks
Independence Eve at Civic Center Park
The biggest community celebration for the Fourth of July in Denver is held on July 3, and can be a great way to kick off your patriotic revelry. Independence Eve includes a concert with the 101st Army Band of the Colorado National Guard, a light show and a fireworks show starting at 8 p.m.
Get there early with lawn chairs to claim your spot, and enjoy food from local food trucks onsite. Denver 8 TV has broadcast the Independence Eve celebration in the past.
Minneapolis Fourth of July Fireworks
Red, White & Boom!
Kick off Independence Day with the Red, White & Boom! Twin Cities Half Marathon, Relay and 5K at 6:30 a.m. Enjoy music performances, movies and other family-friendly events throughout the day along the Minneapolis Riverfront.
This annual event attracts more than 75,000 people each year, and ends with a grand finale fireworks show at 10 p.m. Catch free family activities at Father Hennepin Bluff Park and live music at Mills Ruins Park. The fireworks are shot from Water Power Park.