The Best Fireworks Displays in Every State
Happy birthday, America! Find out where to see the most incredible 4th of July fireworks across the country to celebrate Independence Day this year.
Find the most spectacular fireworks near you
The 4th of July and fireworks go hand in hand, just like America and apple pie. This tradition started in Philadelphia in 1777, and today, nearly every big city and tiny town will be launching fireworks on the big day (not to mention your neighbors in the states where fireworks are legal, much to your dog’s dismay). So, which ones are worth checking out? We’re so glad you asked! We rounded up the best fireworks displays of 2022 in every state—including yours.
Even better, many of these fireworks shows are the culmination of an entire day’s worth of 4th of July fun. Some of their accompanying festivals include parades, live music, car shows, kid-friendly activities, food trucks, and 5K runs, and one even includes a lobster race (in Maine, of course). No matter what your ideal Independence Day celebration looks like, there’s something here for you—and this list may even inspire you to plan a last-minute 4th of July weekend. So, grab a lawn chair and your favorite people, and get ready for a truly spectacular night.
Vulcan Park and Museum in Birmingham, Alabama, hosts Thunder on the Mountain, one of the best fireworks shows in the country. The park and museum close at 6 p.m., and the free program starts at 9 p.m. The fireworks will be set to a combination of popular and patriotic music, and there will also be a photo competition, so make sure to bookmark these 4th of July captions so you’re ready to post your pics!
Nineteen hours of daylight in the summer doesn’t stop Anchorage from setting off a fantastic fireworks display after the sun briefly clocks out for the night. (That will be around 11:30 p.m., by the way.) Anchorage’s Independence Day celebrations also include a pancake breakfast, a festival at Downtown’s Delaney Park Strip, curbside food carts with local chefs serving up reindeer sausage and fresh seafood, a parade, and an Alaska Baseball League doubleheader between the Anchorage Glacier Pilots and Anchorage Bucs. Even though the sun will be out nearly the entire day, make sure to check this list of which stores will be open on the 4th of July.
Scottsdale’s 4th of July Celebration at WestWorld is the best in the state, in part because the brilliant and bright fireworks display set against the McDowell Mountains is just the nightcap on a fun, family-filled day. Check out a bull-riding rodeo, the dog show The Canine Stars Stunt Dog Show (which was featured on America’s Got Talent), 4th of July games, live performances of Encanto songs, old-fashioned cake walks, and more.
While the Pops on the River in Little Rock is the largest 4th of July celebration in the state of Arkansas, some things are just better on a boat—like watching the Ventris Trail’s End Resort’s fireworks display in Northwest Arkansas. To be fair, you can enjoy the show from shore, but it was designed to be viewed on the water. Apparently, there’s just something about the way the bursts of light and color reflect on the waves of Beaver Lake, one of the prettiest lakes in the country, that will make this experience truly amazing. Sounds like an excellent excuse to do a little research on that if you ask us!
Anyone who has experienced New Year’s Eve at Legoland knows that the popular family resort can throw an amazing all-ages party, and the 4th of July is equally fabulous. Legoland’s Red, White, and BOOM! 4th of July fireworks display is set to patriotic music that can be enjoyed from a variety of viewing spots throughout the park, so you don’t have to worry about crazy crowds. During the day, kids of all ages can enjoy performances, meet their favorite Lego characters, and of course, check out the amusement park’s rides. Bonus: All the 4th of July activities at Legoland’s Carlsbad location are included in the cost of admission to the park.
Colorado is famous for incredible vistas, but on the 4th of July, some of the best views in the whole state will be in the sky above the city of Sterling. The magnificent fireworks display will take place in Pioneer Park, and the softball fields nearby are the perfect place to spread out your blanket as you “oooh” and “aaah” over blasts of color exploding above your head. The fireworks will last 30 to 45 minutes, and they’ll be preceded by live music. If you don’t have a barbecue planned for earlier in the day, make things easy by grabbing a bite at one of these restaurants open on the 4th of July.
While New London’s Sailfest will send fireworks into the air on July 9th, the biggest 4th of July fireworks display in the tiny state of Connecticut will be found in New Haven—and enjoyed on land or water. Starting just after sunset, the fireworks show is best watched from Wilbur Cross High School, but it will be visible from any point in the city or from a cruise, as well as broadcast live on local television. Attend the festivities in East Rock Park in person, though, and you’ll be treated to food tastings and a live concert.
Delaware offers one of the most unique 4th of July fireworks displays on the East Coast. If you set up your chair beachside on the northern end of Dewey Beach, between Silver Lake and Bellevue Street, and if the night sky is clear, you’ll be able to see not just one fireworks display but light shows from four different sets of fireworks, blasting off from Lewes, Bethany, Dewey, and Cape May! Generally speaking, a few of these beaches are dog-friendly, but you’ll want to leave your pup home for this noisy nighttime event.
St. Augustine is home to some of the most stunning historic buildings and most gorgeous beaches in Florida, but on July 4th, all eyes will be trained on the explosions of color bursting above the waterfront. The fireworks will illuminate the sky over Matanzas Bay, in full view of the Castillos de San Marcos and the Bridge of Lions. Visitors are invited to stand along the streets or on the bridge to take in the fireworks show, which will be preceded by a two-hour program of live big band music played by a local orchestra.
For more than 60 years, idyllic St. Simons Island has hosted a family-friendly 4th of July. This year, the annual St. Simons Island Sunshine Festival will once again descend on Pier Village. A 5K and one-mile fun run kick off the free event that also includes live music and an arts and crafts fair. And the day will come to a close with fireworks at Neptune Park, which start at 9 p.m. Don’t forget to BYOB—as in, bring your own beach chairs!
There are many Independence Day celebrations happening across the Hawaiian islands, but the best might entail enjoying a sunset in Maui followed by a local fireworks display from a luxury ship. A three-hour trip from Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Adventures departs from historic Lahaina Harbor and includes live entertainment, premium appetizers, dessert, and drinks while you watch the show from the sea. This 4th of July party is intimate, memorable, and will take your breath away.
For the best fireworks display in Idaho, head to Idaho Falls—specifically, the Riverfest at Snake River Landing. This free event runs from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., includes plenty to eat at the many different food booths, live music on the event stage, bounce houses and other activities in the Kids Zone, an Iron Horse RV display, helicopter rides, demonstration areas, and if you can believe it, loads more. You’ll also have the perfect view of the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration fireworks, which start at 10 p.m. If you’re traveling cross-country this summer, overnight RV parking is available on 4th of July weekend too.
Celebrating Independence Day in what was once voted America’s Best City just makes sense—and Chicago has more to offer than just deep-dish pizza and the Cubs. Its Navy Pier features the best view of the 15-minute fireworks show over Lake Michigan, especially if you hop aboard the 196-foot Ferris wheel just before the 9:30 p.m. launch! Plus, the Pier was originally built to honor Navy veterans, so it’s really the perfect patriotic place to spend your holiday.
The lovely suburban town of Carmel, just north of Indianapolis, is home to a two-day July 4th celebration called CarmelFest. The festival will offer live musical performances, an outdoor street fair, and a parade. Fireworks will take place on both July 4th and 5th, on both the east and west sides of town, and the displays will be set to music. Spectators can tune in on their radio when they watch the synchronized show.
Is there a more fitting place to celebrate Independence Day than Independence, Iowa? Thanks to the free, two-day Celebrate Indee festival, the answer may be no! July 4, 2022, marks the 21st anniversary of the event being held in Riverwalk Parks in the tiny town, and this year, revelers will get to enjoy an array of live music, dance shows, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, loads of delicious 4th of July food and beverages, and Iowa’s most awesome and awe-inspiring fireworks display happening over the Wapsipinicon River. The name of this town alone will make you want to learn some new 4th of July trivia!
While Kansas City might be best known for having the largest fireworks show in the Midwest, you’ll still want to show up early to KC Riverfest. That’s because from the time the doors open at 4 p.m., there’s a packed lineup of musical performers of all genres (alternative, country, ragtime, and more), as well as local food trucks where you can snag a bite to eat before the 13-minute spectacular ends the night with a bang.
The Paducah Fourth of July Riverfront Festival once again will delight locals and visitors alike in the far western part of the state, with a scheduled performance by Kentucky native JD Shelburne and a spectacular closing fireworks display. The aerial show will be launched high into the night sky from the Paxton Park Golf Course and, as always, be viewable from all over the city. Food vendors in the downtown farmers market pavilion area will be serving all sorts of 4th of July food starting around 5 p.m.
Of course, New Orleans is the best place in the state to be on the 4th of July! That’s because the music will be rollicking (as always), and the barges will be in place on the Mississippi River for the annual Go 4th on the River festival to set the night sky ablaze with color above the Bayou. That fireworks display will be set to music and can be viewed from all over the city, in case the wild French Quarter crowd gets to be too much for you.
One of the prettiest, most idyllic, and most charming small towns in the country, Bar Harbor is the gateway to Acadia National Park. On the 4th of July, things get even better, with Maine’s best blueberry pancakes, a craft fair, a parade, and a mouthwatering seafood festival that’s capped off with actual lobster races! Music and fireworks finish off the celebration, illuminating the sky over Frenchman Bay. If you don’t live nearby, make a vacation out of it with a Great Northern road trip and a proper trip to Acadia.
It’s hard to beat celebrating Independence Day in Annapolis, home of the U.S. Naval Academy and the “Sailing Capital of the U.S.” Over the 4th of July weekend, you’ll enjoy alfresco dining downtown, Maryland’s premier art festival, and parades at sea and on land. At night, the waterways will reflect the fireworks display that will begin at 10 p.m. in Annapolis Harbor. Pro tip: Some of the best spots for viewing include public spaces Northeast of the Severn River, City Dock, and the Naval Academy Bridge.
The booms you hear during Boston’s 4th of July celebration aren’t just from the fireworks exploding overhead—there are also real cannons fired during the show, a tradition that started in 1974. Find a spot among the half million people gathered on the banks of the Charles River and listen as the Boston Pops Orchestra, which will be back after a three-year hiatus, accompanies the spectacular light show. If you’re looking for a last-minute East Coast getaway, we recommend trying this Atlantic Coast road trip, which features Boston as one of its prime pit stops.
For the best and most quaint fireworks display in the state, head to the Biggest Little Town Parade in Curtis, way up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Each year, more than 16,000 people gather to celebrate the 4th of July here with a parade of marching bands, bagpipe performances, floats, and kid-friendly activities. There’s also a beer tent, barbecue, arts and crafts, and live music. The day is capped off with a memorable fireworks show that’s best viewed from Erickson Center Park.
Duluth’s Fourth Fest will be the literal nightcap to a long weekend of free entertainment at Bayfront Park. Craft food and beverage vendors will be on hand to keep you busy and your belly full as you get ready to enjoy the upper Midwest’s largest 4th of July fireworks display. On the big day, there will be an eclectic mix of live music—including hip-hop, a Tom Petty cover band, musical theater (the cast of Footloose), classical tunes from the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, and country music. And the amazing fireworks display that we mentioned? That will start at 10:10 p.m.
The Annual 4th of July Celebrate Your Independence Fireworks Festival in Olive Branch, Mississippi, is being held on Friday, July 1st, because locals apparently just can’t wait till Monday to celebrate their independence! The free event kicks off at 4 p.m., with food vendors and a kids zone, music scheduled to start at 6 p.m., and a fireworks display booming and bursting overhead at 9 p.m. in Olive Branch City Park. If you need to entertain little ones over the long weekend, these 4th of July crafts will keep them happily occupied.
It isn’t called “America’s biggest birthday party” for nothing. The Fair Saint Louis—which is free for all attendees—is a three-day extravaganza at Gateway Arch National Park, arguably the most popular tourist attraction in the state. You’ll find the acrobatic pups of the Purina Pro Plan Performance Team, live music, cooking demonstrations, games, and more before fireworks are launched from three barges over the Mississippi River. The stunning backdrop? The arch itself, of course.
Whitefish Lake, Montana, is not only a gorgeous part of the country—it’s also home to a magnificent celebration of American independence. Each 4th of July weekend, residents and lucky visitors alike are treated to activities, parties, and great food. This year, there’s a two-mile fun run, a boat float parade, an arts parade, a “lighting of the flares” party, and a big fireworks display over the water. Onlookers can watch from land or in a boat. If you’re visiting the area, you’ll want to check out this guide to a Glacier National Park road trip, since that’s most likely on your agenda as well.
The people of Seward, Nebraska, will once again Rally Around the Flag on the 4th. A dedication of new exhibits at the Nebraska National Guard Museum at 9 a.m. starts the July 4th festivities, but there’s also a car show, a parade, live music, dancers and cloggers, and a craft show, all building up to the 10 p.m. fireworks display at Plum Creek Park.
If you’re in the area, Lights on the Lake in South Tahoe is the place to be. And with the beautiful backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains and the glittering bursts of light reflecting off the water, they may be right. You can watch the show—which is synchronized to patriotic tunes like the Star Spangled Banner—from the shore on Nevada Beach or Timber Cover Marina, though the best views are from up high, on top of Mount Tallac or Van Sickle Bi-State Park, each accessible via a short hike.
The city of Gorham’s 4th of July Spectacular is one of New Hampshire’s longest-running parties to celebrate America’s independence. Four full days of events are scheduled each year, featuring antique cars, cooking competitions, live music, horse-drawn wagon rides, a festival, and a parade, and culminating with an epic fireworks display at 10 p.m. on the 4th. Get in the mood for the big day, no matter where you celebrate, with these patriotic 4th of July quotes.
Watch a gorgeous fireworks show light up America’s iconic Statue of Liberty at the Jersey City Freedom & Fireworks Festival. Kids will love the carnival games and amusement park rides, while adults will love the variety of food-truck fare, the beer garden, and the price: free! Plus, the Manhattan skyline is a striking background for your 4th of July photos.
Spending time in Taos is always a great idea, whether as a stand-alone vacation or a pit stop on one of the best national park road trips. This year, celebrate the 4th of July in this cool desert town with a scrumptious community pancake breakfast on the Plaza, live musical performances from Los Lobos and Michael Hearne in Kit Carson Park, and fireworks exploding high in the sky after the sun goes down.
The Macy’s 4th of July fireworks display is the stuff of legend, and everyone needs to experience its big-city splendor in person at least once. It’s also a free New York City attraction, and you don’t get many of those in the Big Apple. More than 65,000 shells will be fired into the air from five barges on the East River over the course of 25 minutes. Official viewing spots are typically along East 23rd Street, East 34th Street, and East 42nd Streets, but definitive details will be released closer to the big day.
If you’re in North Carolina, Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville is the place to be on the 4th of July. While the usual accompanying festival won’t be happening this year, visitors are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets, and pack a picnic basket or order takeout from local restaurants, and then enjoy music from a DJ on stage starting at 6:30 p.m. The fireworks show starts at 9:30 and can be seen best from inside the park itself, since area buildings will block the view from other parts of downtown.
The Old West town of Medora in the North Dakota Badlands is planning another spectacular 4th of July celebration this year, complete with a patriotic parade and breathtaking fireworks display. The fireworks start at 10:30 p.m. and will launch near the Medora Campground on the west side of the Missouri River. The best seats in town will be at Chimney Park, where spectators can spread out on blankets and lawn chairs.
Start your 4th of July celebrations a day early in Columbus. Head to the beautiful new Lower.com Field for a soccer match between hometown team Columbus Crew and Philadelphia Union, and the next day, enjoy the largest single-day event in the capital city with Red, White and Boom! A community tradition for 40 years that brings together more than 400,000 attendees, it’s a free, all-ages event that features a parade, street festival, and two stages of live musical performances. While you don’t have to get dressed up for this event, you may want to get festive with these 4th of July nail ideas.
Oklahoma will always be known as the place where the wind comes sweeping down the plain, but the state is also known for some pretty fantastic Independence Day celebrations. This year, at Tulsa’s annual Freedom Fest, the community will enjoy kid-friendly activities, food trucks, live performances, and the Red Bull SkyDiving Team landing at River West Festival Park. The event will be concluded by the explosion of brightly colored fireworks spraying across the night sky.
To protect the trees, neighboring buildings, and wildlife, Portland and other cities like Cannon Beach have canceled fireworks due to the very real threat of wildfires. However, if you want to experience a classic Independence Day, try the town of Bend, which is about a three-hour drive away. There, you’ll be able to see the fireworks launched from the top of Pilot Butte at 10 p.m., and before that, you’ll get to enjoy old-fashioned 4th of July games, local food, live music, a hilarious pet parade, and more all day long.
Philadelphia is the birthplace of America, so when you celebrate the 4th of July here, you’ll almost feel like you’re in the room where it happened. Plus, the WaWa Welcome America Fireworks Spectacular in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is something even Hamilton and Burr could agree is fantastic. The show starts at 9:45 p.m., and spectators gather on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, from Eakins Oval to Logan Circle. Can’t make it there? The fireworks will also be broadcast on local weather and television stations—and afterward, you might as well watch one of these 4th of July movies too.
Head to Bristol, Rhode Island, for the oldest Independence Day celebration in the country—it’s been going on since 1785! And while they do have fireworks over the harbor and a patriotic parade on the 4th of July, the festivities actually begin on June 14th with a Flag Day ceremony and continue through the holiday weekend. One of the highlights? A drum and bugle corps competition.
After COVID caused cancellations for two years, the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum’s annual 4th of July Fireworks Blast is back for 2022. Starting at 6 p.m. on the 4th of July, you can enjoy a free party in front of the USS Yorktown, a historic World War II aircraft carrier. You’ll be treated to live music, food trucks, and of course, a fireworks show above the Charleston Harbor. To take your fireworks viewing to the next level, bring a beach chair and pay $25 to watch the show from the Yorktown’s flight deck!
Head to Hot Springs for Custer’s Old Time Country Fourth of July Celebration. Fireworks will be set off around 9:30 p.m. from the top of Pageant Hills. Set up camp on Washington Street by the Custer Chamber and the school campus for prime viewing spots, but come early to enjoy a patriotic parade, old-fashioned games, arts and crafts, sack races, and live musical performances.
Nashville is going all-out this Independence Day with the Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th celebration. And, of course, there will be tons of great patriotic music to go along with the stunning fireworks display, including performances by reggae artist Gramps Morgan, country-pop-punk singer-songwriter Cassadee Pope, and country music’s Levi Hummon, plus a massive headliner, all performing downtown during this free 4th of July celebration. Even cooler, the fireworks display will be synchronized to a live performance by the Nashville Symphony.
Although the celebration takes place on July 3rd, the Addison Kaboom Town Independence Day, just north of Dallas, still found its way onto our list. It’s one of the most iconic 4th of July fireworks displays in the country, drawing almost 400,000 annual visitors to gaze at more than 1,500 pounds of fireworks exploding in the sky. The fireworks can be watched throughout the city, including at watch parties hosted by many of the area’s restaurants. The event traditionally features a concert and air show, and this year, organizers say the air show will include flyovers across town.
Sandy, Utah’s annual 4th of July celebration is back in 2022, with a 5K at 8 a.m., local bands performing throughout the day, a show from the local police K9 unit, a colorful parade, and vendors serving up all sorts of 4th of July eats. This year, there will also be a Spikeball tournament and BMX bike stunt show, though the highlight, of course, will be the 30-minute fireworks display that starts at 10 p.m.
Fodor’s named Stowe’s old-fashioned Independence Day party one of America’s 15 Best Small-Town Fourth of July Celebrations, and it’s easy to see why. It includes a classic patriotic parade down Main Street, live music performances all day and night, local food vendors, and at 9:30 p.m., a big, bright, and bold fireworks display that will rise high above the lush green mountains. On the 4th or not, Stowe is one of the most charming small towns in the country.
The 4th of July is an all-day event in historic Yorktown, Virginia, a great town for history buffs. The day starts early with runs and walks at 8 a.m., followed by a parade along Water and Main Streets. Throughout the day, visitors are encouraged to wear red, white, and blue as they hang out on the beach, visit shops, or listen to live music. The capstone of the evening will be a concert followed by an awe-inspiring fireworks display.
The city of Everett’s 4th of July festivities return this year with the legendary Thunder on the Bay fireworks display over Port Gardner Bay. Because this is a waterfront city, you’ll have plenty of options for great viewing spots, including Legion Memorial and Grand Avenue Parks. To complete the experience, munch on local bites from food trucks, enjoy adult beverages, and bring the kiddos to enjoy the all-ages entertainment. When the fireworks begin, set your radio to KXA FM 101.1 or AM 1520 for the show’s musical soundtrack.
Ripley, West Virginia, has what many consider to be the best (and biggest) small-town Independence Day celebration in the entire country. And this shindig isn’t new—Ripley’s 4th of July party dates back to the late 1800s, and it boasts the oldest parade and oldest Independence Day celebration in the state. This year’s festivities, which take place over a full seven days, will include live musical entertainment from the stage on the Jackson County Courthouse Lawn, a carnival, a grand parade, and lots of food that will combine to make this slice of “Almost Heaven” smell remarkable! Of course, no 4th of July would be complete without a fireworks display, and Ripley’s starts at 10 p.m.
Close your eyes and picture this: waking up to a pancake breakfast and fresh cinnamon rolls, rolling into midday with live music, arts and crafts while munching on popcorn and frozen custard, checking out vintage cars, watching the kids get their faces painted, and then checking out the stunning 4th of July fireworks display over Bailey’s Harbor. All this can be yours over Independence Day weekend in Door County, one of the Midwest’s best vacation spots.
Lander, Wyoming, hosts one of the Wild West’s most iconic small-town 4th of July celebrations. The oldest paid rodeo in the world, Lander Pioneer Days predates Pioneer Days in Cheyenne by a few years. This year, you’ll enjoy a half-marathon, parade, rodeo (of course), and relay races, along with a fabulous fireworks display.
It doesn’t get much more patriotic than celebrating the 4th of July in the nation’s capital. The fireworks display on the National Mall will be visible throughout the District, but the best places to roll out your blanket and set up camp are President’s Park, the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, Columbia Island, Gravelly Point, and the Washington Sailing Marina. In Northern Virginia, the fireworks display will also be visible along the North Potomac River.
Additional reporting by Tamara Gane.