July 4th in the United States is more than just a national holiday — it’s a full-on party weekend! No matter where you are in the country, you can bet you’ll find an epic celebration happening just a few minutes away. Every town, big or small, has something going on for Independence Day, whether it’s fireworks or a community bbq! Check out the best fourth of July celebrations below!
New York City, New York
To kick off our list, we have to start with Macy’s iconic firework display over the Brooklyn Bridge. This event is the largest fireworks display in the US for July 4th! Fireworks are set off from barges close to Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport and smaller fireworks are shot from the bridge itself. If you can’t make it in person, don’t worry — this event is always televised on NBC!
New Orleans, Louisiana
At 9 pm, head down to the historic downtown riverfront in New Orleans for the annual “Go 4th on the River” event! This is a community project, where funds are raised annually in order to produce the show. If you’re up for it, come down to Crescent Park around 5:30 pm for live music, fantastic food vendors and an exclusive fireworks photography workshop! Ever wondered how to get Instagram-worthy photos of fireworks? Now’s your chance!
Boston Harborfest is the largest 4th of July festival in the US! From July 1st to 4th, you’ll be able to attend a huge variety of events, such as fashion shows, live music, craft markets, and of course, fireworks! Most of these are free, with the exception of the lunch and dinner cruises, the freedom trail and visiting Paul Revere’s house.
Corolla, North Carolina
What better way to celebrate Independence Day than with free live music and spectacular fireworks on the Northern Outer Banks!? Activities start at 5 pm, such as food trucks, watermelon eating contests and more. The night will cap off at dusk with a phenomenal fireworks display. The best part? Dogs are welcome (as long as they’re on a leash!)
Addison Kaboom Town is one of the most impressive and unique 4th of July celebrations in the nation. Each year, approximately 500,000 guests from across the country land in this small town near Dallas to celebrate Kaboom Town! While admission is free, tickets need to be purchased online in advance. The coolest part about this celebration is the airshow — it features historic warbirds from the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, as well as other specialty aircraft!
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Is there a better place to celebrate July 4th than by the beach? There are a million things to do in this coastal town, especially the first weekend of July! If you’re feeling active, join the morning runners at Market Common for a 5k or 8k run. Then, in the afternoon you can watch the golf cart parade in Surfside Beach or the parade on Pawley’s Island. Basically, the whole town is having a great time in the summer (AKA Summerfest), but July 4th gives them an excuse to up the ante a little bit!
You can’t make a best of July 4th list without including the nation’s capital! Festivities start with the free Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall starting June 30th, featuring music, cooking workshops, dancing and more! On the 4th, the National Independence Day Parade begins at 11:45 a.m, followed by a concert on Capitol Lawn. There are plenty of events to choose from!
Last but not certainly not least, if you’re looking for a simple but enjoyable 4th of July, head to Pensacola, Florida! Downtown, there is Sertoma’s annual 4th of July celebration — starting at 11 am, grab a lawn chair and head to Seville Square for a day of family-friendly activities such as bounce houses, face painting and hot-dog eating contests. Then, don’t miss Pensacola Beach’s fireworks display at 8:30 pm — make sure to arrive early to snag a spot!
Written by: Sacha Vincent-Toskin