Celebrate the founding of the USA at these free and fabulous fireworks displays across the country. It makes for an explosive encore to an affordable family vacation.
Fireworks on the 4th of July
Fireworks were invented in China under the name “Huo Yao” and came to America in the 1600s. Their first appearance came famously in 1776 on the original Independence Day. Fourth of July Fireworks will be lighting up a city skyline near you.
The nation’s capitol is the place to celebrate the nation’s 243rd birthday! The festivities take place on the National Mall. The day-long celebration starts with a parade along Constitution Ave. NW from 7th to 17th streets from 11:45am-2pm. The Capitol Fourth Concert starts at 8 on the West Lawn of the US Capitol; gates open at 3; performers include John Stamos, Vanessa Williams, Carole King, Sesame Street and the National Symphony Orchestra. Fireworks start just after 9pm.
TravelingMom Tips: Plan to arrive early and don’t drive! There won’t be any place to park and many streets will be closed, so even ride sharing won’t be easy to find. Take the Metro to to a station near the National Mall, such as the Smithsonian.
Boston’s Annual Fourth of July at the Hatch Memorial Shell on the Esplanade features the Boston Pops concert starting at 8pm and fireworks at 10:30 p.m.
In Colonial Williamsburg, where the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4th, 1776, celebrate The Lights of Freedom, including Thomas Jefferson’s reading of the Declaration of Independence, a torch lit procession of the CW Fifes & Drums, patriotic sing-along and the thrilling fireworks display above the Governor’s Palace
4. Mandan, North Dakota
What do rodeos and fireworks have in common? They’re all part of the Mandan Rodeo Days Celebration from July 1-4 at Decotah Centennial Park, 2500 Longspur Trail, Mandan. The celebration includes professional rodeo performances, concerts, dancing, baseball, and what Mandan says is “the biggest and best Fourth of July parade and fireworks celebration in the Northern Plains!”
The Spirit of America Festival, held annually in Decatur, is one of North Alabama’s largest free fireworks shows. Fireworks launch at 9 p.m. but the day starts at 3 with games, entertainment, sports tournaments, food and craft vendors, talent shows, patriotism awards and a beauty pageant.
6. Hampton Beach, Massachusetts
The Fourth of July Celebration starts at 7pm in the Parsons Field in Rye, with a performance by Jumbo Circus Peanuts. Fireworks are scheduled to take place at dusk, weather permitting.
7. Yorktown, Virginia
The free family-friendly celebration starts with a 8K Run and 5K Walk followed by a patriotic parade along Water and Main streets and live music. Evening activities include a bell-ringing ceremony, patriotic concert, and fireworks over the York River.
8. Savannah, Georgia
Festivites start at 4pm on Rousakis Plaza. There will be food, radio entertainment and face painting. Fireworks start at 9:30pm. Military personnel get VIP seating and complimentary refreshments. Make reservations at this link.
The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Seafair Summer Fourth was voted one of the nation’s best fireworks shows by USA Today and Business Insider. The show features fireworks choreographed to Seafair’s custom musical score, simulcast on WARM 106.9. Gates to Gas Works Park open at noon. Fireworks start at 10:15 pm. Throughout the day, look for All-American Games featuring pie-eating contests, sack races, food, live entertainment and exhibit booths.