Boston PopsCelebrate the founding of our country at these free and fabulous fireworks displays for an explosive encore to an affordable family vacation.

Fireworks were invented in China under the name “Huo Yao” and came to America in the 1600’s. Their first appearance came famously in 1776 on the original Independence Day. Fireworks will be lighting up a city skyline near you.

1. Boston, Massachusetts — Boston’s Annual Fourth of July on the Esplanade features the Boston Pops and invited guest stars at 8 p.m. and fireworks over the Charles River at 10 p.m.

2. Williamsburg, Virginia— In Colonial Williamsburg, where the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4th, 1776, see the Williamsburg Fife and Drum and militia parades and Colonial Williamsburg’s famous fireworks.


3. Auburn, Texas —  Auburn’s 4th Fireworks. Bring a picnic and blanket to Duck Samford Football Stadium live musical entertainment and the best fireworks display in the entire area. Gates open at 6 p.m., entertainment at 7 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m.

4. Bismarck, North Dakota — Bismarck-Mandan Symphony’s Fourth of July Spectacular. State Capitol Mall, Bismarck. Pre-show starts at 7 p.m., Symphony takes the stage at 8:45 pm. Fireworks start at 10:15 p.m.

5. Decatur, Alabama — Spirit of America Festival. One of the largest free Independence Day celebrations in Alabama. Family games, summertime field competitions, live entertainment, sports tournaments, food and craft vendors, talent shows, presentation of patriotism awards, beauty pageant, and fireworks. Fourth of July weekend 2009.

6. Hampton Beach, Massachusetts — Hampton Beach has 80 free evening concerts throughout the summer, as well as fireworks displays each week including July Fourth holiday.

7. Yorktown, Virginia — 30th Annual Independence Day Celebration in Historic Yorktown. Activities begin at 8 a.m. with the Independence Day 5K Run and continue at 4 p.m. with live entertainment, children’s fun center, 8 p.m. patriotic concert, and a fireworks finale.

8. Savannah, Georgia — Fantastic Fourth on the River. There will be arts and crafts, food and drink and live entertainment for the Freedom Band. Bring a blanket and a radio to listen to the music broadcast.

9.  Seattle, Washington — Fourth Family includes all-ages games, food vendors, noon-8 p.m., beer garden, noon-9:30 p.m.; special viewing area for people with disabilities opens 6 p.m., fireworks show at dusk.