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From big cities to small towns, see the most spectacular July 4th firework displays

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Fireworks in Washington DC to mark July Fourth

A massive fireworks display was held in Washington DC’ on Thursday to celebrate the Fourth of July. (July 5)


Small towns and big cities around the country will mark the 247th birthday of the United States of America by putting on bigger and better firework shows.

For many Americans today, fireworks are often accompanied with a day of other Fourth of July related activities, but the tradition of sending bright flares into the sky has been around since the very first Independence Day in 1776, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA).

“Early U.S. settlers brought their love of fireworks with them … a tradition that continues every 4th of July when we celebrate as John Adams had hoped, ‘with pomp, parade….bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other,’” APA’s website states.  

Out of all the dazzling firework displays in the nation, here are 10 spectacular shows, including some lesser known gems.

St. Louis, Missouri

Framed by the iconic Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular – dubbed “America’s biggest birthday party” – boasts a “world-class” display, typically lasting 20 to 30 minutes, over the Mississippi River.

Now in its 140th year, the 2023 Fourth of July show is accompanied by a parade earlier in the day, which is themed “A Better Community for All,” according to St. Louis Magazine. The best place to view the fireworks is on the grounds of the Gateway Arch, the outlet reported.

Washington D.C.

Fireworks launched from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool illuminate the sky behind the Capitol and Washington Monument during one of the most patriotic fireworks displays in the nation, which draws in about 700,000 people each year. Fireworks are visible from many locations throughout D.C. and Northern Virginia.

Celebrations occur all day throughout the city, beginning with a parade down Constitution Avenue.

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Melaleuca Freedom Festival is the largest Independence Day fireworks show west of the Mississippi River, and appeared multiple times twice on the American Pyrotechnics Association list of “must-see Independence Day fireworks displays,” according to the event website. Organizers bill the festival as “more than just entertainment on the Fourth of July.”  

Viewers will be surrounded by an idyllic mountain landscape on the banks of Snake River while listening to music accompanied with the firework show.

The soundtrack is intended to evoke emotion, instill patriotic pride and “remind listeners of the precious freedom they enjoy,” according to the event website.

“It’s a heartfelt, unifying gift for the community — but more importantly, it’s a grateful tribute to America’s heroes,” the website states.

New York City

The 47th annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks celebration in New York City, the country’s largest pyrotechnic display, will be “jam-packed with serious star power, electrifying performances and heart-pounding pyrotechnics,” the event website states.

“Thousands of elements dance, swirl, pulse and sweep across the Big Apple skyline during every moment of our 25-minute extravaganza,” the website states.

Some new features of this year’s show include a mile-wide waving flag with red, white and blue palm and strobing shells and a sunflower ring with crackling pistil shells.

San Francisco

San Francisco’s firework show can be seen along the waterfront with the city’s dramatic skyline in the background. Fireworks are launched from a barge off of Pier 39 and from the Municipal Pier.

Tourist attraction Fisherman’s Wharf hosts a number of local bands ahead of the celebration. 


The annual Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing celebration in Nashville is the region’s largest fireworks show, with more than 1,000 floating flares, 40,000 pounds of explosives, and 200 miles of wire used. Grammy-winning country music singer Brad Paisley is one of several artists listed to perform at the event this year.

Spectators can expect to hear a symphony playing patriotic tunes and new popular music.

Addison, Texas

Kaboom Town, a top-ranked Independence Day festival with food vendors, entertainment, and an air show, host’s a dazzling 25-minute fireworks display annually.

Addison is only home to 16,000 residents, but the event brings more than 500,000 guests to the town from across the nation, according to the event website. This year’s event will be held on Monday, July 3.

Alachua, Florida

Dubbed the “Largest Small Town Fireworks Display in America,”  thousands of people will flock to Alachua, Florida, for the 23rd annual Fourth of July celebration. This free event positively impacts local businesses, according to the city’s website.


What better way is there to celebrate independence than in the birthplace of the United States? 

The Philadelphia Museum of Art on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Pennsylvania provides the perfect backdrop for one of the nation’s greatest fireworks shows as part of the Wawa Welcome America festival — the city’s 16-day festival “celebrating a season of freedom” that runs from Juneteenth to July Fourth.

“The display draws major crowds to the Parkway each year and caps off a massive free concert featuring award-winning superstar Demi Lovato and rap legend Ludacris,” the event website states.

Blue Ash, Ohio

The annual Red, White and Blue Ash fireworks display at Summit Park, just outside Cincinnati, Ohio, is one of the largest fireworks celebrations in the area and has also made the American Pyrotechnics Association’s list of “must-see” displays. The non-stop 35 minute show features over 7,000 fireworks shells and 10,000 pounds of explosive power.

Last year, Grammy-nominated recording artist Gavin DeGraw headlined the Independence Day festival.

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