When it comes to fireworks, I love to find some lucky spot away from the crowd. In our twenties, my friends and I used to bring a duffle bag full of cocktails (who am I kidding? Replace “cocktails” with “cans of beer”) up to my friend’s office in the Hancock building in Boston to enjoy the fireworks on the Esplanade in Boston. We’d tune into the Boston Pops on the radio to hear the patriotic tunes better. Back when my friend Alex had a loft here in midtown Atlanta, we’d catch the Centennial Park fireworks at eye-level; and we’d catch a bunch of other shows from a distance. Two years ago we could see them for the patio of a cottage on Cape Cod. Up at my aunt and uncle’s house on Stockbridge Bowl in Stockbridge, Massachusetts last year, we coud hear the John Williams music carrying over from Tanglewood as the fireworks went off over the lake. I’m spoiled!
Where do you think the best shows are? It seems like the East Coast kicks some West Coast butt when it comes to Independence Day blowouts. Here’s a guide to a some big shows across the country this Fourth of July. For those without a specific time, the time is “after dark”:
New York City: At around 9 p.m. on July 4th, Macy’s will be lighting up the sky from four barges on the Hudson River between 18th Street and 43rd Street. Wach from the West Side Highway.
Boston: The aforementioned Esplanade along the Charles River on the Boston side, unless you have a pal in a high-rise.
Washington D.C.: Another top spot in the U.S.A. to enjoy Independence Day. The National Symphony Orchestra will play a free concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building at 8:30. Fireworks on the National Mall begin at dark, usually around 9:15.
Philadelphia: Make like Rocky and head toward those Philadelphia Museum of Art steps. Philly claims to have the largest free concert, played on The Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This year they’ll have The Roots, Queen Latifah, Daryl Hall, Common and Joe Jonas, a group of performers you’ll likely never see in the same place again! Fireworks start around 10:30 p.m.
Chicago: I’m told in Chicago it’s all about and the Navy Pier these days.
Los Angeles: There are a lot of choices; I think I’d head to Long Beach and check out the fireworks from The Queen Mary.
San Francisco: Enjoy the fireworks set off from the foot of the municipal pier and barges north of Pier 39 around 9:30.
Seattle: Check out the patriotic music and fireworks at either Gas Works Park or Lake Union Park.
I know I’ve only scratched the surface here; please share your favorite shows and spots to view them from in the comments section!