Happy 238th Birthday, America!
Like Champagne on New Year’s Eve and beer on Super Bowl Sunday, watching fireworks on the Fourth of July is an annual tradition that never gets old. Towns and cities all over the country are celebrating America’s birthday this week with more than 15,000 fireworks displays, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. Brightly colored pyrotechnics going off with loud kabooms into the night sky are always great no matter where you are. But here are Yahoo’s Top 10 Fourth of July fireworks destinations — plus a few worthy alternatives.
10. South Lake Tahoe, NV — July 4
The fireworks reflect beautifully off the waters of Lake Tahoe. (Photo: Steve Dunleavy/Flickr)
The same company that puts together Macy’s Fourth of July show in New York City also brings us this well-respected spectacle. South Lake Tahoe’s “Lights on the Lake” usually draws about 100,000 people.
9. Boston — July 4
Music and fireworks go hand in hand at Boston’s Fireworks Spectacular. (Photo: Ethan Bagley/Flickr)
The 41st Annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular promises once again to be one of the country’s grandest Independence Day celebrations. TV and Broadway actress Megan Hilty and the Beach Boys are among the many performers at this super-musical event, which of course also includes performances by the legendary Boston Pops. But the loudest “pop” of all will come from the 12,000 fireworks launched during a 21-minute display starting at 10:30 p.m.
8. Atlantic City, NJ — July 4
The beach is a great place to watch AC’s fireworks show. (Photo: Katie Schumm/Flickr)
About 250,000 people are expected to stop gambling long enough to take in Atlantic City’s show. This is a land and sea affair: the fireworks will be launched from two ocean barges and one land-based platform.
7. Chicago — July 4 and 5
Chicago’s fireworks show lights up Lake Michigan. (Photo: AP)
The Navy Pier is the place to be this holiday weekend. You’ll be able to catch two big Independence Day fireworks shows: Friday at 9:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10:15 p.m. You can watch from around Lake Michigan or aboard a number of boats offering dinner cruises.
6. New York City — July 4
The only way to make the Manhattan skyline even more gorgeous? Set off 54,000 fireworks over it. (Photo: AP)
The battle over which side of Manhattan will host the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show has become the Big Apple’s version of the “East-West” battle. This year, the show moves back to the East River after spending five years originating from the Hudson — sorry, New Jersey. The producers of this year’s show brought in some big-name help: Usher partnered with Pyro Spectaculars by Souza to help with the design. A jaw-dropping 54,000 fireworks will light up the Brooklyn Bridge. Watching fireworks go off above the Manhattan skyline is definitely a bucket list-worthy experience.
5. Philadelphia — July 4
The coolest thing at the Philadelphia Museum of Art — other than Rocky running up the stairs — is the Fourth of July fireworks show. (Photo: AP)
You know the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence is going to come correct this Independence Day. The “Philly 4th of July Jam” is part of a weeklong July Fourth celebration that began all the way back on June 28. On Friday, the “Largest Free Concert in America” features performances by Philly’s own the Roots, as well as Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson, Aloe Blacc, and Ariana Grande. It all culminates at 10:30 p.m. with a huge fireworks finale over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
4. San Diego — July 4
San Diego’s Big Bay Boom is part of its especially patriotic 4th of July celebration. (Photo: Port of San Diego/Flickr)
As the home port to thousands of U.S. servicemen and servicewomen, San Diego is serious about celebrating the nation’s birthday. Up to 500,000 people are expected to turn out for its “Big Bay Boom,” which bills itself as the largest fireworks show on the West Coast. Four barges will fire more than 10,000 fireworks and special effects into the night sky over north San Diego Bay starting at 9 p.m. Net proceeds from the event will go to the Armed Services YMCA.
3. Seattle, WA — July 4
Lots of choices for fun on the Fourth in Seattle (Photo: Rajiv Vishwa/Flickr)
If you’re in Seattle, you’ll have your choice of several celebrations being held in the area. The big one, Seafair Summer Fourth, will take place in two venues, Gas Works Park and South Lake Union Park. In the minutes before the show, skydivers will entertain the crowd before clearing the skies to make way for the colorful main attraction.
2. Addison, Texas — July 3
This small suburban town puts on one of the country’s biggest fireworks shows. (Photo: townofaddison/Flickr)
Addison is so hyped about its Independence Day fireworks show, they actually put the word “Kaboom” in the title. “Kaboom Town” is frequently called one of the nation’s best fireworks shows; it’s so good that it usually draws half a million guests to this town of 19,000 people. Live music and an air show precede the super-explosive grand finale.
1. Washington, D.C. — July 4
The most patriotic place to see fireworks on the 4th: Washington, D.C. (Photo: Andreas Münter/Flickr)
There’s simply no better place to celebrate this nation’s birth than at this Nation’s Capital. And watching this spectacular fireworks show from the National Mall, amid some of America’s most familiar landmarks, is enough to inspire awe in the most jaded reveler — and a bit of patriotism too.
ALSO WORTH CHECKING OUT:
Las Vegas — July 4
One thing Vegas knows how to do is put on a show. Its 4th of July fireworks display does the city proud (Photo: Sathish J/Flickr)
Loud, bright, and explosive typically plays very well here in Sin City, and the Fourth of July is no exception. You can catch spectacular fireworks displays at a number of casinos, including the Stratosphere, Caesars Palace, and Red Rock. All told, 30,000 aerial shells, comets, mines, and close-proximity effects will be lit up that night, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association.
Houston — July 4
The stars at night aren’t the only things big and bright at this Texas fireworks extravaganza (Photo: Texas.713/Flickr)
Houston is hosting a Texas-sized Fourth of July celebration with its “Southwest Airlines Freedom Over Texas” spectacular — a six-hour event on the newly renovated Eleanor Tinsley Park on Buffalo Bayou. Country superstar Jennifer Nettles is the featured entertainer. There’ll also be vintage aircraft flyovers, children’s entertainment, and food. Of course, the main event is the fireworks display, which in recent years was the country’s largest land-based fireworks show.
Nashville — July 4
They don’t call it Music City for nothing; Nashville’s Symphony will perform live at the fireworks show (Warne Riker/Pyro Shows of Tennessee)
Nashville has quietly put together one of the country’s most spectacular fireworks shows. “Let Freedom Sing” features what’s called the largest fireworks display in the South. And this year it’s getting even bigger: At 27 minutes, this will be the longest show in Nashville’s history. 30,000 fireworks shells weighing more than 16,000 pounds will light up the sky above downtown Nashville. The Nashville Symphony will perform a live medley of songs perfectly choreographed to the kabooms!
Happy birthday, America!