Our Founding Fathers may not have been able to predict specifics about modern day society, but they knew our independence would always be something worth celebrating--and no celebration would ever be too grand, too loud or too bright.
John Adams wrote about his early expectations for future celebrations in a letter to his wife, dated July 3, 1776.We're officially at the start of summer, so hopefully this sampling of epic trails from around the U.S. will inspire some trips and treks in the coming months.
No Independence Day roundup would be complete without the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. This classic American show began in 1974 and has managed to grow while keeping with tradition. The concert preceding the fireworks display draws big crowds but for the best view of the fireworks, find a spot on either side of the Charles River.
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This tiny town with just 19,000 residents in Texas celebrates Independence Day with all the rigor of a major city (and the budget to match). The show, named Kaboom Town, has reportedly spent more than $200,000
on the 30-minute show in recent years. The show that always takes place on July 3 regularly draws half a million visitors from around the country. Due to flat land and the grand scale of the show, it can be seen for miles around. Most local restaurants host parties if you’re looking to get away from the craziness of the festival.
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The city that never sleeps is home to a huge fireworks display that you won’t want to miss. The show, hosted by Macy’s, will feature big name artists like Kelly Clarkson, Flo Rida, Brad Paisley and Ed Sheeran, among others. If you can’t make it to New York City, NBC will be hosting live, but if you can get there, fireworks will launch from four barges positioned between 23rd and 37th streets in midtown and from one double-barge positioned below the Brooklyn Bridge. The 25-minute show will be bigger than ever and there’s a public viewing area on the elevated portions of the FDR Drive, but any spot with an unobstructed view of the sky over the East River is a good viewing area, whether you’re in Brooklyn, Queens or Manhattan.
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Putting on fireworks displays since 1971, Disney World
has essentially mastered the art and their two-day Celebrate America – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky caries on the tradition. To see the show, you can go to one of the parks hosting the show (The Magic Kingdom, with a show on July 3 and 4 or Epcot and Hollywood Studios, hosting shows on July 4) or you can get creative and catch the show from nearby beaches—the beaches off the Polynesian Resort
and the Grand Floridian Resort
offer views and convenience. The show can also be seen from boats and nearby docks.
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Celebrate Independence Day in one of the most popular beach destinations in the U.S. Myrtle Beach
and the surrounding area will be hosting a handful of fireworks displays from July 2-4. With two of the biggest displays launching from the 2nd Avenue Pier in downtown Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet, there is no shortage of booming displays in this coastal destination.
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I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival...It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. Before you plan your summer vacations, check out these 20 hikes that are definitely worth your while.
While many things have certainly changed since the late 1700s, Adams was right about the elaborate celebrations that still take place. If nothing else, we've certainly kept up the grand-scale displays that light up the sky across the U.S.
These larger-than-life shows attract tourists, bring communities together and, most importantly, commemorate our independence. From the peaks of Lake Tahoe to the shores of the East River, there will be thousands of fantastic fireworks displays around the country. We've outlined 15 of the best across the U.S. and dug up some insider tips on where to watch.
- Diana Gerstacker, The Active Times