America’s Independence Day on July 4th is traditionally celebrated by many with trips to the beach, picnics, barbecues and all-day fun capped off with a fireworks display. It’s a patriotic holiday for sure and one of the most expensive times of the year to travel commercially, second only to December holidays. So how about a road trip? Here are the top ten fireworks displays in the United States from FireworksGuide.com who tracks displays and shows worldwide, all worth a road trip to see:
Thunder Over Louisville– Kentucky Derby Festival Fireworks
The day-long event kicks off the two exciting weeks of events that are part of the annual Kentucky Derby Festival. The Thunder Air Show dazzles the crowd with more than 100 planes, aerobatics teams, daring sky diving teams and breathtaking stunts. When it gets dark, the Thunder rolls. The fireworks will feature the latest in pyrotechnic power from Zambelli Internationale, America’s “first family of fireworks”. Six barges that are 100-foot open top each assemble on both sides of the 2nd Street Bridge to form the stage from which the fireworks spectacular ignites.
Macy’s 4th of July– New York City.
Each year Macy’s kicks off the world’s largest fireworks display at approximately 9pm on July 4th. Four barges stationed between 23rd and 42nd Streets in the East River set off 20,000 aerial shells and special effects. There are electric set pieces on the barges, and the New York Fire Department gets in on the act with fire boats shooting red, clear, and blue water 300 feet over the river
Pops Concert at the Esplanade- Boston
Lionel Richie, will join maestro Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra for Boston’s 38th annual Fourth of July celebration, sponsored by Boston-based insurer Liberty Mutual Group and broadcast on CBS w/special Guest MC Michael Chiklis. The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will conclude on July 4 with a 21-minute pyrotechnic extravaganza from Rozzi Fireworks, of Loveland, Ohio.
Sailfest– New London Connceticut
Sailfest is Southeastern Connecticut’s premiere summertime event attracting over 300,000 people over the three-day festival. Complete with a major fireworks display, amusement rides, free entertainment, Tall Ship, and over 100 vendors lining the downtown streets.Sailfest produces five stages of free entertainment with musical genres ranging in Rock, Celtic, Hip Hop, and Blues. Kids enjoy free shows and entertainment throughout the event.
Central PA 4th Fest– State College, Pennsylvania
Central Pennsylvania July 4, Inc. is a non-profit organization comprised of a team of volunteers and sponsors dedicated to celebrating America’s independence with a day of family fun and the best all-volunteer fireworks display in the nation. Volunteers are dedicated to work year-round and organize what has traditionally been a patriotic, family oriented event designed to serve local businesses and residents of Central Pennsylvania.
Independence Day Celebration Washington DC
The big event is the Capitol Fourth Concert on the West lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) and contemporary artists perform patriotic music, while the fireworks light up the sky. You don’t need tickets to attend this event but the “doors” open at 3:00PM and the best seats go fast, so get there early. Jimmy Smits will host this year’s event, and the performers include Reba McIntire, Gladys Knight, Darius Rucker, David Archuleta, and John Schneider. Plan for intense heat by dressing appropriately and drinking lots of fluids.
Welcome America! Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia’s 4th of July celebration where for eleven days we showcase all that America’s birthplace has to offer. Our fantastic title sponsor Wawa, Inc. is back for their second year helping to make this a Fourth of July you won’t want to miss. While most are familiar with our 4th of July concert and its place as the “Largest Free Concert in America”, there is also an entire week of additional activities to enjoy. For the second year in a row we are thrilled to offer not one, not two, but three spectacular fireworks shows that will light up Philadelphia’s night skies! We can’t wait to see you there!
Go 4th On The Bay– Long Island New York
This location will be the Gruccis flagship location for the Go 4th program featuring the US Army Team’s Salute to the “Raising of the Colors” to the National Anthem, the Bayport Aerodrome Society Flyover of Vintage Bi-wing Planes, and Sponsor Village at the Bay Shore Marina all to celebrate our nation’s 235th Birthday. The best and most spectacular viewing would be from the Captree Boat Fleet or your own boat. On land, good viewing would be from most of the Fire Island bay fronts and shorelines of the bay from Captree to Islip.
Fair St Louis– St Louis, Missouri
Fair Saint Louis invites you to “America’s Biggest Birthday Party” under the iconic Gateway Arch. The party begins with the 134th Annual Veiled Prophet Parade on Saturday, July 2 at 10 am Then it’s great concerts, dazzling air shows, spectacular fireworks, the K-Town Kids Zone and much more.
Greely Stampede– Greely, Colorado
Having something fun to do is easy at the Greeley Stampede, and has been for more than 85 years! Every day of the western celebration has something for the Northern Colorado community to do. From being shot up into the air on the Ejection Seat to sipping lemonade by the Free Stage, there’s something for everyone. The Greeley Stampede puts on one of the largest fireworks shows in the region. It has become a tradition to spend the 4th of July at Island Grove Park, viewing the fireworks production directly after the evening’s concert.
Flickr photo (top) by John_Brennan