From The Editors Travel

Eight Great Destinations for the Best 4th of July Experience – 2017

According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, last year, an unimaginable 24.5 million pounds of fireworks were consumed by an estimated 14000 displays all through the country. Needless to say, the country is obsessed with colorful explosions in the night sky – and rightly so, as you just can’t get tired of the awesome spectacle – it is, indeed, a sight to behold!

And something the entire nation waits for in earnest anticipation, year after year – kids and grownups alike.

Although every city and town in the country go all out to organize the finest of pyrotechnics show and overall celebrations, with a touch of local culture, there are some places that stand out from the rest and merit a special mention. We have selected 8 such locations where July 4 celebrations should be experienced firsthand at least once in a lifetime. Check out below what these cities have in store for you this year.

Atlanta, Georgia



Bike Parade – 5 p.m. from Chamblee Middle School

Children have the chance to decorate their bicycles, tricycles, wagons, etc. in a patriotic manner. All those wishing to show their decorated mode of transportation will meet at Chamblee Middle School on Sexton Woods Drive just before 5 p.m. A Chamblee police officer will be onsite to lead the parade the 1/4 mile distance from the middle school to the event stage at Keswick Park. Once the parade has arrived at Keswick Park each contestant will receive a participation prize.

Train Rides – from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

A mini locomotive will be onsite offering free train rides on the park property to those attending the event. Parents and children are welcome to ride.

Corn Hole Tournament – 5:30 p.m

This tournament will be open to the first eight teams that register. There will be an elimination bracket and prizes awarded to the top competitors. Prizes may include anything from a VIP Table at the August 22nd Yacht Rock Schooner Concert to gift certificates to local restaurants. Rules will be available for those that sign up to participate. There is no cost to participate in the tournament.

Fireworks Show

The Chamblee fireworks show at Keswick Park has been known to compete with Atlanta fireworks displays as well known as Lenox. This show is about a 20 to 25-minute show that features a wide variety of fireworks. No need to compete with the Atlanta traffic to be able to see a phenomenal fireworks display.


  • The Mad Italian – Cheesesteaks
  • Frosty Caboose – Ice Cream
  • Cop-N-Stuff Non-profit – Hot dogs, Hamburgers, Snacks
  • Island Chef Food Truck

Attendees may bring in personal food and beverages (excluding alcoholic beverages).


Boston, Massachusetts


Artists / Program (2017)

The traditional fighter jet military flyover in coordination with the “Star Spangled Banner,” will open the evening’s Boston Pops program, and a spectacular 20-minute fireworks show designed by Grucci Fireworks, and accompanied by the music of the Boston Pops and other popular music of the past and present, will bring the celebration to an end. Alan Menken and Jack Feldman are composing a new work, “The Sum of Us,” for soloist, chorus, and orchestra, to receive its world premiere during the celebration. The program will also spotlight musical selections from the Boston Pops’s recently released album, “Lights, Camera…Music! Six Decades of John Williams.”


Nashville, Tennessee


Chris Young to Headline the 2017 Music City July 4th Celebration
The lineup also includes Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Johnny P, The Sisterhood, and the Nashville Symphony will play a FREE day and night of music on the 4th of July in downtown Music City.

Add to it a full day of family and an incredible fireworks show and you’ve got Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th presented by Dr. Pepper Cherry.

Two Stages for Double The Fun

We changed the layout of this year’s fun. A massive stage will host Chris Young, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Johnny P, and The Sisterhood at 5th & Broadway. During the firework spectacular, the Nashville Symphony will play at Ascend Amphitheater stage. And there will be large screens in both areas showing the performances so no one misses any of the action.



Miami, Florida


Hours and Times

Bayfront Park is the most picturesque park in South Florida and open to the public every day. For the 4th of July festivities, America’s Birthday Bash, the hours are as follows.

  • 10:00 am – Park Opens
  • 2:00 pm – Budweiser Beer Garden Opens
  • 2:00 pm – Live Music Begins
  • 3:00 pm – Family Fun Zone Opens
  • 9:00 pm – FIREWORKS!

Do’s and Don’ts

Safety is our number one priority, so there are a few rules and regulations all visitors must follow when attending America’s Birthday Bash.


  • No coolers allowed
  • No large bags
  • No bottles or cans
  • No personal fireworks


  • Arrive Early – Easier Parking, Better Spots
  • Bring Your Cameras

Getting Here & Parking

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: get here early to find good parking. MetroRail/MetroMover are other great options with stations within a few feet from Bayfront Park.


New Orleans, Louisiana


5:00 PM

Free Live Performances in Crescent Park in the French Market District

At 5:00 p.m. in Crescent Park the French Market District will feature free live performances by Category 6, Revival, DJs Eagle and Majik Mike and the Pan Vibrations leading up to the 9:00 p.m. Dueling Barges Fireworks Show. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own chairs to enjoy the show. (Coolers, glass, and tents are not allowed.)

Visit for schedule details.

The French Market District will also present the second annual Fireworks Photography Workshop with Zack Smith Photography in Crescent Park. Participants are guaranteed a VIP riverfront viewing area to photograph the 9:00 p.m. fireworks show and learn about unique techniques to get the best photos ever! Register at

9:00 PM

Free Dueling Barges Fireworks Display along the historic New Orleans Riverfront

This unique salute to America’s Independence will feature a fireworks display from two barges over the Mighty Mississippi (between Gov. Nichols St. Wharf and Canal St. Dock) and can be seen from both banks of the river.



Chicago, Illinois


Fireworks at Navy Pier

FREE · 600 E. Grand Ave.

Enjoy a spectacular show of pyrotechnics with a special holiday fireworks display along the downtown lakefront. At Navy Pier beginning at 9:30 pm on Tuesday, July 4, colorful fireworks will light up the sky with a mix of patriotic music in the background. Don’t forget, also at Navy Pier all summer long, catch the free fireworks on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.

Grant Park Music Festival: Independence Day Salute

FREE · Millennium Park · 201 E. Randolph St.

On Tuesday, July 4 from 6:30-8:00 pm, the Grant Park Music Festival presents its annual holiday concert. Bring your family and friends and celebrate the Fourth of July under the stars in Millennium Park at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion with an evening of patriotic favorites, including Stars and Stripes Forever, the 1812 Overture and more. An encore performance will be held on Wednesday, July 5 at 6:30 PM at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive.

Freedom Fest 2017 at Navy Pier

Tickets from $39 · 600 E. Grand Ave.

The 4th Annual Freedom Fest is a July 4th event like no other. You are going to celebrate this national holiday on the Navy Pier’s 27,000 square foot rooftop all night long. This event is good for all ages so make sure you bring along the family to really enjoy the night! Enjoy amazing views of Chicago, Lake Michigan, and all of Chicago’s best sights from the Navy Pier’s rooftop. This event is going to feature delicious BBQ food items to satisfy your July 4th cravings. As you view Chicago with your loved ones, you are going to enjoy this year’s top hits provided by your live DJ. Dance and celebrate all night long to your live DJ as you celebrate the most memorable Chicago July 4th night.

Live on the Lake! Feat. Wedding Banned and guests

FREE · 600 E. Grand Ave.

2:00 – 3:30 pm, Andrew Leahey & the Homestead make music for city highways and open horizons, for pop fans and roots rockers, for the heart as well as the heartland.

4:30 – 7:00 pm, The PriSSillas is a multi-talented and entertaining female cover band that promises full rich sound and high energy performances with unmatched professionalism and PriSSision. The PriSSillas offer a PriSStine mix of favorite hits spanning from the beginning of rock and roll through today’s popular music… Pop to Rock to Classic Rock to Country and more.

Finally, from 8:00 – 10:00 pm, “The Greatest Wedding Banned on Earth.” Wedding Banned plays 80’s and 90’s music along with other guilty pleasures that take you back to great times in your life.

Wedding Banned selects a bride and groom to get “married” on stage at most shows. Best of all, you’re invited to the reception! Hailing from Chicago, via Gas City Indiana, Wedding Banned has a unique show that combines music, audience interaction, and comedy.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


The annual Firecracker 4K and 4M races provide the perfect start to our day long Central PA 4thFest celebration. Now is the time to register for this year’s event. Runners and walkers of all skill levels and ages are encouraged to participate.

The Parade of Heroes celebrates our community and its people – emergency services, community groups, the arts, military, and much more. It is also the platform utilized to publicly thank and recognize the heroes of Central Pennsylvania.

Enjoy a day of fun together with the Firecracker 4K & 4Mile, Parade of Heroes, entertainment, children’s’ activities & crafts, food vendors, the carnival midway, special features, and more!

The Central PA 4thFest Fireworks Show has been rated among the best 4th of July fireworks shows in the nation. There is no cost to enjoy the spectacular fireworks display.

TIP: Consider purchasing VIP Viewing tickets for the sensation of the VIP Experience!


San Diego, California


Annual Big Bay Boom July 4 Fireworks Show

Location: Multiple Locations along San Diego Bay

Time: 9:00 PM

Take in the largest display in the county. With fireworks launched from four barges strategically placed around North San Diego Bay, they can be seen from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, the Embarcadero area and Seaport Village/Coronado Landing, and the score is simulcast live on THE MIGHTY 1090 AM and MAX FM 105.7. Just find a place along the bay and you will not be disappointed.

Seaworld San Diego 4th of July Fireworks

Location: SeaWorld San Diego – 500 SeaWorld Dr, San Diego, CA 92109

Time: Fireworks at 9:40 PM

SeaWorld will celebrate Independence Day with a 15-minute display of fireworks set to a musical soundtrack, starting at 9:40 PM on July 4. Park hours on the Fourth will be 10 AM to 11 PM.

Ocean Beach July 4th Celebration

Location: Ocean Beach Pier at the end of Newport Ave.

Time: 9:00 PM

Spend the day picnicking, swimming in the ocean, walking and playing in the sand and shopping along Newport Ave. Then bundle up as the sun sets and pull up a blanket for a really spectacular fireworks show launched from the OB Pier.