8 cities hosting the nation’s top Independence Day celebrations
Often called the “Birthplace of America,” Philly does the Fourth up right – the city’s Party on the Parkway starts at noon, with food and entertainment on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. At 7 pm, The Fourth of July Jam Concert kicks off at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, followed by the Grand Finale Fireworks Show at 10:30pm.
Festivities at the nation’s capital start with America’s National Independence Day Parade, and continue with the musical extravaganza “A Capitol Fourth,” performed by the National Symphony Orchestra on the U.S. Capitol’s West Lawn at 8pm, complete with live cannon fire. At 9pm, the orchestra provides background music for the city’s fabulous fireworks display.
New York City
Start you celebration early in the Big Apple, with the Revolutionary War New York Nighttime Walking Tour – at 3am! During the day, festivities range from Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island to the Hot Jazz / Cool Garden summer concert at the Louis Armstrong House Museum. Evening brings the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show, one of the nation’s largest fireworks displays.
A full day of family-friendly activities takes place at Bayfront Park in Downtown on the Fourth. Admission is free, and children can enjoy a complimentary kids’ zone, pony rides, and a petting zoo. A family contra dance is set to live music, and a huge fireworks display takes to the sky at 9pm.
Iconic Navy Pier hosts fireworks shows twice a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day – with particularly dazzling effects on display for Independence Day, set to a patriotic score. Show up early to claim a spot on the dock, board an evening cruise, or head to the top of 360 Chicago for stunning views of the show.
Fireworks are launched simultaneously from four barges across San Diego Bay – making it easy to find prime viewing for the show. Big Bay Boom, San Diego’s largest fireworks display, is a 17-minute extravaganza that starts at 9pm.
Pier 39 puts on a Fourth of July celebration with a day full of live music and activities for the whole family. At 9:30pm, the city lights up the sky over San Francisco Bay with an extravagant fireworks display, setting one of the most picturesque scenes you could find on the Fourth.
While not the biggest bash on this list, Honolulu’s July 4th celebration has that extra something special going for it: location, location, location. Spend a day out on the water, then pick a sweet spot on the sand to watch a fireworks show framed by palm trees and sparkling ocean waves.
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