5 Great Places to Celebrate the 4th of July
By Burt Carey
With the 4th of July falling on a Saturday this year, there will be no shortage of fantastic places for family fun, picnics, barbecues and fireworks displays to celebrate our country’s 239th Independence Day.
No one can deny the Macy’s 4th of July spectacular in New York City or the tremendous fireworks at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. But if you’re into massive parties and incredible explosions of color in the sky, there are some other places around the country you’ll want to visit this weekend.
Get ready for a real Texas-sized shindig in Addison, Texas, known to fireworks lovers everywhere as Kaboom Town!
This Dallas suburb of 15,000 residents has it all going on for the 4th, complete with a fireworks display where no expense is spared. For years the Addison Circle Park has been wowing crowds of up to 400,000 people with a spectacular pyrotechnic performance that includes some 1,500 pounds of fireworks and musical accompaniment.
You’ll need to get here July 3, from 5 p.m. to midnight to join the festivities and enjoy live entertainment, an air show and more.
Just how good is this show? It made the Top 10 July 4th fireworks displays list on both Forbes and ABC News. The Travel Channel lists it among its Top 5. AOL says it’s the No. 3 best fireworks shows in the U.S. And the American Pyrotechnics Association rates it as one of the Top 20 fireworks displays in the country.
Find out more at http://www.addisonkaboomtown.com/.
San Francisco, California
Everything happens on the waterfront in San Francisco, and this year Pier 39 will be the center of it all, with live music, sea lions and street performers.
The live music plays from noon to 7 p.m., leaving plenty of time to find a good place for your lawn chair anywhere from Aquatic Park to Pier 39. The fireworks display, synchronized to a custom music track, will be hurl more than 10,000 pyrotechnics across the San Francisco Bay from two locations.
Or better yet, watch the show from one of the city’s Red and White Fleet tour boats. Departing from Pier 43½ at Fisherman’s Wharf, you’ll sail amongst San Francisco’s city lights before stopping to enjoy the fireworks show. Beverages and snacks can be purchased on board. To find out more, visit www.redandwhite.com/seasonal/july-4-fireworks-cruise.
The fireworks show begins around 9:30 p.m.
St. Louis, Missouri
The city most famous for its Clydesdales and Budweiser celebrates Independence Day in big fashion each year with the three-day Fair Saint Louis at Forest Park, July 2-4. Each fair night is capped off with a fireworks display.
Music performances by Melissa Etheridge, Blondie, Kool & the Gang, Morris Day and the Time, Chris Young, Parmelee, and Natalie Stovall and the Drive top a list of artists that will also include MC Lyte, American Authors, Tony! Tony! Toné, and Noah Guthrie.
Recently added to this year’s event include stunt shows by professional stunt cyclist Chris Clark. The Wake Challenge watersports show returns for a second year at Fair Saint Louis and will include standout performances by watersports athletes, including the Lake Saint Louis Waterski Club, which features skiers from 5 to 70 years old. And this year Fair Saint Louis has added a zip line that will be set up along Lagoon Drive, giving thrill-seekers the chance to zip high over Forest Park and take in majestic views of the Grand Basin and Art Hill.
The event will wrap up each night with stunning custom fireworks display tailored to the Forest Park venue.
To find out more, go to http://www.fairsaintlouis.org/
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Bring your blankets and beach chairs and join thousands of Independence Day revelers as they gather along the beaches of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina this year.
Earlier in the day, the annual July Boat Parade is the big ticket at Murrells Inlet, followed by one the country’s best fireworks displays. (They get plenty of practice here, with fireworks going off every Monday and Wednesday night during summer.)
Fireworks will be launched from various piers.
Find out more by going to www.visitmyrtlebeach.com.
San Diego, California
The Big Bay Boom in San Diego will light up the sky beginning at 9 p.m. July 4th to thrill some 350,000 Independence Day celebrants. The best viewing places include La Jolla Shores, Kellogg Park, Shelter Island, North Embarcadero, Harbor Island, Seaport Village, and the Coronado Ferry Landing in Coronado.
The fireworks are launched from multiple locations around San Diego Bay: Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero North, Seaport Village, Embarcadero South Marine Park and the Coronado Ferry Landing.
To find out more, visit www.sandiego.gov.