The best July 4th parades around the country

Jul 4, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. ET

Get into the American spirit with the top parades around the country. From big time to small town, one of these locations is sure to be a hot spot for your parade fun.

Washington, D.C.

Washington DC Parade

Image source:

What a better place to catch a Fourth of July parade than at our very own nation's capital? This Independence Day celebration starts before noon with a parade that includes military personnel, giant balloons, horses, drill team and even celebrity guests. The parade is followed by events at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and a Capitol Fourth concert that ends with some of the most amazing fireworks. Paradegoers are encouraged to wear red, white and blue to show their true American spirit.

Bristol, Rhode Island

Bristol, RI Fourth of July

Image source: Bristol 4th of July

Holding the record for the longest running Fourth of July celebration, starting with its first run in 1785, Bristol, Rhode Island, has a ton of fun-filled activities for the entire family. Outside of the annual 2.5-mile Military, Civic and Firemen's Parade, Bristol offers a few key events and a summer concert series featuring top drum and bugle corps from surrounding areas.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston Parade

Image source: BU Today

The patriotic city coordinates their Fourth of July parade with their own Boston Harborfest. With 220 events in tow, this festival has musical events, historical re-enactments, State House tours and more. In addition to these unbeatable events, the reading of the Declaration of Independence is done annually at the Old State House every Independence Day. And if Boston's awesome celebration isn't right for you, visit one of the surrounding towns for equal amounts of Fourth of July fun.

Telluride, Colorado

Telluride, CO parade

Image source: Visit Telluride

Enjoy small town patriotism in Telluride, Colorado. This western state provides the all-American parade traveling down Main Street followed by family filled fun at the volunteer-run Firemen's Picnic. With fighter planes playing tricks in the skies above, this is a Fourth of July parade you wouldn't want to miss.

Bisbee, Arizona

Bisbee Fourth of July

Image source: Copper Queen

This small old western town has a big Independence Day celebration beginning with the infamous Coaster Race. This mile-and-a-half race has been running since 1914 and is designated for kids 16 and under. After the final racer crosses the finish line, the traditional parade rolls through town. After the parade festivities have ended, a traditional mining bucking and hard-drilling contest is held. With old western appeal, this mining town is sure to give you an Independence Day celebration to remember.

More 4th of July ideas:

Disney's Dog with a Blog stars plan the perfect Fourth of July
Where to see Fourth of July Fireworks in New York
Long weekend love: Fun 4th of July date ideas