Best cities for 4th of July fireworks and celebrations

Jun 26, 2008 at 12:49 p.m. ET

Every town honors July 4th with fireworks and fun, but if you're looking to kick things up a notch, check out one of these exciting cities and experience new celebrations of our nation's independence.

Fireworks over New York City

Los Angeles

  • The Studio City Chamber of Commerce in Studio City, California, is hosting a night of fireworks on July 4th featuring music, food and several stars in attendance. Entrance fees go toward raising funds for The Circle of Care Foundation, which is a non-profit organization to help fund community-based health programs. You can also purchase a VIP package, which allows you to enjoy a BBQ, enter the VIP Lounge and watch the fireworks show on the rooftop with the stars.
  • The Hollywood Bowl will put on a "July 4th Fireworks Spectacular" set to the amazing sounds of the Los Angeles Philharmonic with special guests, the LA Dodgers (who are celebrating their 50th Anniversary) and musician Randy Newman.
  • The Pasadena Rose Bowl celebrates the 4th of July with five of the country's best Drum and Bugle Corps, a barbecue, beverages, exhibits, crafts, inflatable rides and of course fireworks. Members of the military and their families will be admitted for free.



  • On July 3rd, Lake Michigan will light up with what is called one of the country's most spectacular fireworks displays, accompanied by Christopher Bell leading the Grant Park Orchestra.
  • The Navy Pier presents a ten-minute firework show over Lake Michigan on July 4th, complete with patriotic music. You can head down to the lakefront with picnic baskets filled with 4th of July recipes and blankets. Even take advantage of the several dinner cruises offered where you can enjoy the amazing display up close and on the water.

New York City


  • The Macy's July 4th Fireworks is a tradition in the Big Apple launching from the East River between 23rd and 42nd streets near the South Street Seaport. The theme of this year's display is "America Dances" and can be seen from any place in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens with a view from the East River.
  • Roosevelt Island displays a great view, as well as music, face painting and a food court.
  • Long Island City holds an annual Fireworks Festival at Gantry Plaza State Park offering music, food, games and a fantastic view of the fireworks.
  • Head to the top of the Empire State Building for a spectacular view of the show. There are a limited number of tickets available, so act quickly!

St Louis


  • One of the largest all-day festivals in the Midwest for the 4th of July is happening in St. Louis, Missouri. Enjoy the 131st Annual VP Parade just blocks from the festival grounds and partake in the many fun fair activities. Watch as fireworks burst over the Mississippi River and the Gateway Arch and enjoy free music that's part of the LIVE on the Levee Series, which continues throughout August and will include performances from Joss Stone, OAR, Rusted Root and more. Due to flooding, this year's LIVE on the Levee series will be held in the Soldier's Memorial area of downtown St Louis.

Washington DC

  • What better place to celebrate our country's independence than in our nation's capital? Head to The National Mall where an all day event will take place. Enjoy a parade along Constitution Avenue. Take in all the monuments. Experience the cultural festivities at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the White House Visitor Center. Listen to "A Capitol Fourth Concert" put on by the National Symphony Orchestra. Then "ooh" and "ahh" over the amazing fireworks display over the Washington Monument.


  • The City of Miami Beach Fourth of July Celebration kicks off with a swearing-in ceremony of some of America's newest naturalized citizens and continues with a live concert under the stars, culminating in a fantastic fireworks show.
  • America's Birthday Bash is the largest celebration in South Florida and offers live music, food, drinks, children's activities and fireworks at Miami's Bayfront Park. While enjoying the holiday's festivities you can also utilize the park's sandy beach, rock garden, waterfall and garden.

    the list goes on

    These are just a few cities offering fantastic activities for the holiday. With so many rich and lively cities out there, we know other towns have a lot to offer as well, so share what your city, or city you plan to visit has planned for this year's 4th of July celebration below!