Fourth of July is the day for firework displays, a brief respite from work and explosive celebrations across the country. No matter where you are, take a breather: we’ve compiled a list of the best Fourth of July events for you to attend in every state.
Described as the largest Fourth of July celebration in Alabama, you won’t be disappointed by the fireworks display that lights up the sky in Birmingham for Thunder on the Mountain. Promoters are promising a spectacle lasting 20 minutes, with new light effects to impress event veteran spectators.
For the best celebration, rise and shine—pancakes await you the morning of the holiday. Following the breakfast, the Fourth of July Parade begins and the festival opens. Music, games and vendors will line the streets with actors dressed in period clothes. The Harvard Club reads the Declaration of Independence, and a fireworks show closes the event post-baseball rivalry at Mulcahy Stadium.
Flagstaff is the place to be in Arizona for Fourth of July. Visit the annual Flagstaff Art in the Park, a classic arts and crafts festival knitting together the community. Later on, The Flagstaff Symphony then performs at Pepsi Amphitheatre. Following the concert, stay around for an awwww-inspiring light show.
Somewhere between the watermelon eating contest and underwater treasure hunt, revelers at DeGray Lake Resort State Park in Bismarck will realize this isn’t just any holiday. The Freedom 5K Fun Run is a winner for fitness junkies looking to get their exercise in. It’s also the ideal setting for a fireworks display when the sun goes down.
Golf carts outnumber floats and cars at this parade on Crescent Avenue in Catalina. Pump up in your usual BBQ lunch with music from USC Marching Band and reflect on fireworks over Avalon’s sparkling water.
For a fun adrenaline rush, head to Denver’s Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park to ride on roller coasters and water slides until your heart’s content. As dusk settles in, look up as that is where colorful action will be.
For a low-key celebration, board RiverQuest. The cruise floats through the Connecticut River—a peaceful journey designed for stargazing, picnicking and celebrating. Catch glimpses of area celebrations as you cruise down the river.
You don’t have to drive to the fireworks display in Delaware. Instead, park at Greenbank Station and hop aboard the train. A strategic stop in Hockessin for admiring the light display allows you to jump back on and head to the hotel before the dawn’s early light without any of those pesky ramparts getting in the way.
If you’re looking for a quirky twist on your standard parade and vendors, The Key Lime Festival in Key West starts on the weekend and carries over to the fourth. If you’re looking for a pit stop on the actual holiday, witness the Key Lime Pie Eating Contest in the morning, then view the pyrotechnics.
If fireworks aren’t enough to wow you, then the Fantastic Fourth Celebration in Atlanta has a solution—a laser show against the mountain face. Watch the immersive canopy, water effects and robotic drones move in sync with the music. The best part? You have seven days to experience it.
Located on Oahu’s North Shore, Turtle Bay Resort is the place to be for a colorful aerial light show. During the day, food trucks line the area while live entertainment plays in the background.
Meridian celebrates Fourth of July with quirky activities. A hola hoop contest, three-legged races and an inflatable obstacle course await while music plays in the background prior to the dazzling fireworks show.
The VIP feel of Odyssey Chicago Fourth of July Cruises will elevate your Independence Day. With lunch or dinner available to pair with wine, eat and drink your way through down river until you end with breathtaking views of Navy Pier’s interpretation of the rocket’s red glare.
For a full agenda, head to IPL Downtown Freedom Fest at Indiana War Memorial. With live music playing, local small businesses participating in the Indiana Originals Marketplace and the Drink Indiana Beer Garden, there is no shortage of things to see. And, of course, who can forget bombs bursting in air over Regions Tower?
Want to feel as though you’re a part NASCAR? Hop inside an Indy racecar and imagine yourself speeding across the racetrack at the Iowa Speedway. A hot air balloon display is a sight to see, as is the Adventureland fireworks later in the night.
Kansas offers a quirky activity at its Old Fashioned Fourth of July—a turtle race. Cheer the turtles on as they slowly, but surely, make their way to the end. Enjoy some delicious BBQ while watching a parade, then enjoy what the promoters declare to be the best firework display anywhere.
If you’re a fan of pie, then you might be a contender for the pie eating contest in Downtown Lexington’s celebration. If it’s not your cup of tea (or slice of pie), head to an ice cream social, then join the festival for live entertainment and vendors, which ends with a heart-melting display of lights in the sky.
If you want a dose of history, the battleship USS KIDD is ready to be explored. Take a tour, then indulge in face-painting and obstacle courses until smoke and lights boom over the Mississippi.
The Patriotic Pops Concert is the belle of the ball in Portland. The Portland Symphony Orchestra will be joined by songstress Susie Pepper, providing an elegant dose of entertainment. Follow the concert with pyrotechnics over Casco Bay.
Lovers of jazz, rejoice: the U.S. Navy Band Commodores will be playing at Ports America Chesapeake Fourth of July Celebration. Following the performance, head to Top of the World Observation Level for panoramic views of Baltimore and the fireworks.
Boston is filled with parades, performances and pyrotechnics. Catch the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence, a Heart of the Freedom Trail walking tour and a Boston Harbor Cruise. End your day at fine-dining establishment Top of the Hub, located on the 52nd floor of The Prudential Tower.
Reminiscent of Bellagio Hotel and Casino Water Performances in Las Vegas, Grand Haven Musical Fountain dances along to the strains of The Star-Spangled Banner. No matter where you are, the sky will light up with special effects to move the heart and soul.
Looking for more than a day of celebration? Delano Fourth of July Celebration at Round Lake Park is packed with activities, including a 5K, canoeing and beanbag tournament. After you put on a show of athletic prowess, settle in for an explosive display at the twilight’s last gleaming.
If you’re looking for a celebration the weekend before, then Hudson Valley, Mississippi, is where you’ll want to be. The Mississippi Championship Hot Air Balloon Festival has plenty of activities, including, but not limited to, a Balloon Chase Bike Ride and a special balloon glow. End the night with a fireworks spectacular.
The Saint Louis Fair is where it’s at this holiday. It’s so big, in fact, that it lasts three days. The STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) Expo features Scope, which offers fun exhibits, including a VR experience putting you in the place of a Special Operations Airman. Live music, from Jason Derulo to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, accompanies the patriotic fun.
Big Sky Country’s big sky will be lit up everywhere, with plenty of fireworks planned throughout the state. Roundup Independence Days Extravaganza is where Musselshell Valley and Roundup get together for four days of events. Join the parade, dance around to music and watch a shooting competition.
This year, join the 150th Seward County’s July Fourth. Check out the car show, walk through Crafts on the Square on the courthouse lawn, then end the day with extravagant fireworks.
Start your celebrations early—Las Vegas is the place to live it up. Catch firework displays from Caesars Palace, Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa and Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino the weekend before. Follow up the displays with live performances at Flamingo Las Vegas and MGM Grand, where DJs will crank the music up. Swing by Mandalay Bay on Wednesday for a performance by Mystic Roots Band.
Nebraska’s 150th celebration of Seward’s anniversary isn’t the only one around—it’s also New Hampshire’s 150th annual celebration in Ashland. Get in on the parade action by decorating or operating a float.
Enjoy your time in Camden, where the annual Freedom Festival and Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular will be held. Mingle in the beer garden, then join the Tri-County Symphony Band in a salute to veterans. Entertainment from The Spinners and Eddie Money will liven the event, preceding the, yes, spectacular fireworks display.
New Mexico is all in when it comes to celebrations. Head to Smokey Bear Stampede in Capitan for a unique experience—eight rodeos in four days. On Independence Day, celebrate with steer riding and fireworks to cap it off.
Hot dogs are a classic in New York. Since beginning in 1916, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has become a classic, with an estimated 40,000 people attending last year. The world record to beat? Seventy-two of Nathan’s Famous hot dogs in 10 minutes. Grab a dog of your own, without any pressure to down it.
Following a reading of the Declaration of Independence, test your skills out on a mechanical bull, go on a penny hunt, then end the search with lights in the sky.
For a true dose of current American tradition, catch a baseball game at Chahinkapa Park. Stick around for man-made comets in all the colors of the rainbow.
The holiday is celebrated the weekend before, when you should make your way to Fairview Park Summerfest. There are three days of fun, starting with a parade and ending in fireworks—but it’s the in-between that makes it stand out. There’s a 5K and 1-mile “fun run,” DIY art workshops, a cornhole tournament and more to get you into the celebrating spirit.
Did you know that Rockets Over Rhema has the largest fireworks in the Tulsa/Broken Arrow area of Oklahoma? Now that you know, it’s a no-brainer to head over to this event. A musical celebrating our independence kicks off the event. The Inflata-Zone is fun for all ages hoping to get their bounce on prior to the live entertainment and fireworks display.
The Waterfront Blues Festival begins on Independence Day and ends that weekend. Featuring more than 100 acts on four stages, catch sets from classics and newcomers alike. It’s for a good cause—all proceeds go to the Oregon Food Bank in Oregon and Clark County, Washington.
Twenty-six years later, and Wawa Welcome America is more popular than ever. This year, Pitbull will be headlining on the Fourth, with plenty of entertainment and festivities throughout the week-long event. After the entertainment, witness Wawa Welcome America’s largest firework show in a decade.
PVDFest takes over Providence for four days, and it certainly makes the most of it. With art installations surrounding the town, live music and a variety of vendors lining the streets, there’s something to do at every moment.
For those looking to get the blood pumping and heartbeat racing, register for the 32nd Annual Easley Firecracker Frolic 5K. You’re encouraged to bring a flag to show just how patriotic you are. Don’t have one? They have some available for the early arrivals.
Fireworks and parades are standard—Black Hills understands this, but they also tap into their love for country. With Old West shootouts, cook-offs and car shows, you’ll be fully immersed in the state’s fun country culture.
Of course, Music City is where the best performances come together on the Fourth. Lady Antebellum and Chris Janson are just a few of the many performers at the Nashville July Fourth Fireworks. Following the concert, fireworks will shoot off in sync with the Nashville Symphony.
Castle Hills 20th annual July Fourth Freedom Festival is engaging for everyone. While a DJ spins jams, tackle the largest inflatable maze in Texas, stop by caricature artists for fun drawings and trackless train rides. Find a spot on the grass for fireworks over Lake Avalon.
The weather may be hot in Beaver County, so cool off in Utah by taking a swim in the city pool. Free hot dogs will be handed out for dinner, which you can enjoy watching the Roger Grimshaw Band concert. A parade and fireworks close out the day.
The town of Wardsboro may be small—less than 1,000 people live there!—but they go big when it comes to Independence Day celebrations. A street fair opens the day, followed by a parade. Once the last marchers have passed, you’re free to wander to the duck race, quilt show or fishing derby—only in Wardsboro.
Colonial Williamsburg was where founding fathers congregated to create the policies that are the foundation of our nation. So, it’s no surprise that the destination takes patriotism to heart. Attend for readings of the Declaration of Independence, firing of muskets and cannons and a grand fireworks display to top it off.
The SCCA Seafair Summer Fourth is back again. With a fireworks show consisting of almost 8,500 pounds of pyrotechnics choregraphed to a musical score, it’s no surprise USA Today and Business Insider have voted this as the nation’s best firework show in past years. Beer and beverage gardens are there to enjoy in anticipation of the display.
Clear your agenda the Saturday before the holiday—you’ll be plenty busy in Point Pleasant. A variety of performances mark the day, from the Riverside Cloggers to a lip sync battle. A concert with Two River Junction and glowing flowers in the sky close the day.
With a variety of activities to choose from, your best bet for celebrations in Wisconsin is Bayfield Fourth of July Festivities. There’s something for everyone—take an island cruise, pick some berries or catch a concert at Big Top Chautauqua.
There’s plenty to experience in Jackson Hole. Start your day with pancakes and sausages, then prepare for the annual parade. There’s a reenactment of a shootout at Town Square, then a rodeo at the fairgrounds. Watch the fireworks from either Snow King Mountain or the base of the Tetons in Teton Village.