Best July 4th Displays In The US: Top 5 Firework Shows, According To Experts

Independence Day is quickly approaching, and for many people it can only mean one thing: finding the most amazing fireworks display to attend near you. Yup, rather than spend the money on your own fireworks, watch the pros put on a show. And if you’re going to leave the comfort of your home to battle crowds, the display of colorful explosions better be worth it. That’s why we searched the web to find the absolute best July 4th firework shows in the U.S., according to experts, and we’ve listed them here for you.

Question, do you know who America declared its independence from in 1776? You may be surprised, but research reveals that two in three young adults have no clue. What’s more, one in three people don’t know how to spell “independence.” A poll of 1,030 Americans, commissioned by, found over a third spell independence incorrectly. Moreover, researchers add that internet searches for “how to spell independence” skyrocket by 85 percent during the July 4th holiday weekend. Researchers looked at searches to find many people spelling it “independance.” And less than 58 percent of all respondents correctly answered that America gained its freedom from Great Britain. Nearly eight percent said “Europe.” Over eight percent said “South America” and more than 12 percent chose “none of the above.” Sounds like it’s time to reopen the history books!

Leaving history behind, let’s talk something a little more futuristic. If you’re like some people, you may now associate July 4th with aliens, thanks to the movie “Independence Day.” Seriously, in a new study that polled 2000 adults in the UK, six out of ten believe an alien invasion is inevitable. Luckily, though, 80 percent of those people say they have a plan for when this happens. “Fool-proof” alien invasion plans include respondents calling their parents for help and stocking up on toilet paper. Others say they’ll flee to the countryside or simply make some tea and welcome their new alien overlords. However, in the event of a real alien invasion, one in four admit they’ll just panic and wait for the “experts” to save the day.

Back to the true excitement of the holiday: fireworks! Below is our list of the five best July 4th displays in America, according to experts. Of course, we want to hear from you. Comment below to let us know where you’ve gone to see the best fireworks show!

People watching fireworks
People watching fireworks (Photo by Arthur Chauvineau on Unsplash)

The List: Best 4th of July Firework Shows, Per Experts

1. Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, New York City

No surprise here. This is one of the few fireworks displays that is known nationally. Travel Channel writes, “Fireworks light up the Big Apple‘s West Side during the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display. The country’s largest pyrotechnic show kicks off at 9:20 p.m. from 4 barges lining the Hudson River. These barges stretch for 1.5 miles between 24th and 50th streets. The dazzling lights display, featuring more than 40,000 fireworks shells soaring up to 1,000 feet in the air, is rivaled only by the accompanying orchestration by the New York Pops Orchestra and Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Patriotic fans ooh and aah over the annual showstopper known as Macy’s Golden Mile. It’s a mile-long shower of golden sparks that makes the plunge to the Hudson River and also features mysterious Ghost Shells that flash into the air and quickly reappear in a new color.”

“This is always a stunning display and has been going on for nearly four decades now. The biggest display in the country, millions of people view this spectacular show every year. You can look forward to a rainbow of colors, bright lights and spectacular effects when you watch this fireworks display. This is always a hugely popular event and enjoys a massive turnout, so you can look forward to the excitement and vibrant atmosphere as well,” writes Attractions of America.

Town & Country writes, “The Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show has been a city-wide tradition for over four decades. Apart from the hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the display has been going strong year after year since America’s bicentennial year, 1976. For the [47th] year in a row, the iconic department store Macy’s will be wishing America a happy birthday with the nation’s largest fireworks display being launched on Monday July 4 beginning 9:25 p.m. near the East River in Midtown Manhattan.”

2. Boston Pops Concert Fireworks Spectacular, Boston

Fireworks and music? For free? Yup, that’s what you get in Boston. “The fireworks at this free event are backed by a lineup of patriotic tunes performed by the Boston Pops orchestra and culminate with a powerful rendition of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture while canons fire in the background and hundreds of fireworks illuminate the sky,” writes The Points Guy.

“Our choice for the number one fireworks presentation in the United States is not the largest nor the one in our US capital. Instead, we chose the city that started it all with a spontaneous tea party, Boston. The Boston Pops Orchestra, renowned for its exceptional performances, takes center stage at this event. The orchestra, led by esteemed conductor Keith Lockhart, delivers a captivating musical experience that transcends genres and delights audiences of all ages. With their dynamic interpretations of classical pieces, iconic pop hits, and patriotic tunes, the Boston Pops Orchestra creates a powerful and engaging musical backdrop for the fireworks display,” says Think Fives.

10Best adds: “Fireworks displays are often choreographed to music, but not typically to a full live orchestra. The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular recaptures the spirit of the Boston Pops’ famous Bicentennial performance, with fireworks and cannon blasts as the finale. The concert and fireworks display take place at Boston’s historic Hatch Shell on the Esplanade, the ribbon-like park alongside the Charles River.”

3. Music City 4th of July Celebrations, Nashville

You know if you’re heading to Music City for the 4th, you’re going to hear music, and lots of it. “Music City hosts one of the biggest fireworks shows in the country along the Cumberland waterfront. Accompanied by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the fireworks and music start at 9:30 p.m. on July 4, 2022, and are the finale of a weekend jam-packed with entertainment and music. The main concert stage is located at Fifth Avenue and Broadway. See the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. website for the full lineup of events, which includes an Amazon Family Fun Zone and live music,” says Trip Savvy.

Plan for an all-day affair if you’re heading to Nashville to celebrate your freedom. Attractions of America explains that it’s “described as the largest fireworks show in the south, this is a wonderful entertainment and celebratory experience that everyone can enjoy. With entertainment going on all day, there is something for everyone to enjoy with family fun, events, stalls, and live music to name but a few. This is all wrapped up with an amazing fireworks display.”

“You’ll find fun for the whole family at the annual Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing celebration in Nashville, which attracts the largest Fourth of July crowd in the South. The event features daylong activities, musical performances by A-list country artists and the region’s largest fireworks show — a 27-minute spectacle choreographed to a live performance by the Grammy-winning Nashville Symphony,” writes Travel Channel.

4. National Mall Independence Day Celebration, Washington, D.C.

I mean, it’s the country’s capital, so it’s only right that the fireworks display be epic. “Our nation’s capital goes big with a fireworks display illuminating the many significant historical monuments and memorials in the area. Viewing areas include the Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials, among others. The best spot may be the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, especially if you arrive early to enjoy the live concert, A Capitol Fourth, put on by PBS,” writes Lakes Realty Group.

According to 10Best, “A bucket list destination for generations of Americans, the annual fireworks show on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. draws hundreds of thousands of spectators to the nation’s capital for a 35-minute display launched from both sides of the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Fireworks can be seen from a variety of locations, but ‘across the Potomac River or on a river boat offers the best views,’ says expert Nicky Omohundro.”

“One of the most quintessential portraits of our American celebration of freedom is the kaleidoscope of fireworks seen over the Capital and the Washington Monument in DC. This annual Independence Day fireworks celebration is hosted on the National Mall and launched from both sides of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. There are also patriotic festivities that take place in honor of Independence Day on the southeast grounds of the monument and the annual A Capitol Fourth Concert to entertain visitors,” adds Think Fives.

5. Wawa Welcome America, Philadelphia

“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,” says USA Today.

Travel Channel writes: “Celebrate America’s birthday in its birthplace of Philadelphia, surrounded by the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. The Wawa Welcome America festival is 8 days of city celebrations that can include outdoor films, all-you-can-eat ice-cream bonanzas and free museum admission. On July 4th, the patriotic scene is set with a parade of Army bands and bugle corps weaving through the historic neighborhood along 5th and Chestnut streets. The Mummers, the city’s legendary parade mainstays dressed in outrageous costumes, join in the parade, too. The Party on the Parkway kicks off at noon with food and fun on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. What’s billed as the largest free concert in the country starts at 8 and transitions into the fireworks at 10:30 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.”

“This is, of course, the perfect place for a 4th July celebration given that it’s where the Declaration of Independence was signed. The festivities last for a number of days with ceremonies, parades, entertainment, parties, and of course culminating in the stunning and elaborate Grand Finale fireworks display, which takes place on Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This is a great way to enjoy history and entertainment as well as plenty of excitement at the city of the heart of the 4th July celebrations,” adds Attractions of America.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.

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