The best 4th of July fireworks include Washington, DC, St. Louis, NYC

As cities and households across the country prepare to celebrate the 246th anniversary of the United States of America, some shows promise to stage fireworks bigger and better than ever.

For many Americans today, fireworks are often accompanied by a day of other July 4 related activities, but the tradition of sending flares into the sky has been around since the very first Day of the Year. Independence in 1776, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA).

“Early American settlers brought their love of fireworks with them…a tradition that continues every 4th of July when we celebrate as John Adams had hoped, ‘with pomp, parade…bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other,’” states the APA website.

Of all the dazzling fireworks in the country, here are 10 of the most spectacular.

AAA predicts:Record number of people expected to take road trips for 4th of July weekend

St. Louis, Missouri

Framed by the iconic Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular – dubbed “America’s Greatest Birthday Party” – features a “world-class” show, typically lasting 20 30 minutes away, on the Mississippi River.

Officials say this year’s show will be the biggest display in the fair’s history. Other activities include concerts, food vendors and more.

washington d.c.

Fireworks launched from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool light up the sky behind the Capitol and the Washington Monument in one of the nation’s most patriotic fireworks displays, which draws an estimated 700,000 people each year.

Fireworks explode over the Lincoln Memorial during July 4th celebrations in Washington, DC on July 4, 2019.
Fireworks explode above the National Mall as the United States Capitol and the Washington Monument are seen on July 4, 2017 in Washington, DC

Celebrations are held throughout the day throughout the city, beginning with a parade down Constitution Avenue.

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Celebrating its 29th anniversary, the Melaleuca Freedom Festival is the largest Independence Day fireworks show west of the Mississippi River, according to the event’s website.

It has twice appeared on the American Pyrotechnics Association’s list of “must see fireworks for Independence Day”.

More than 18,000 shells will be fired this year on the banks of the Snake River in honor of Founding Fathers, veterans and American servicemen.

Overhead fireworks erupt over the Snake River in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

New York City

The 46th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Party in New York City is the nation’s largest fireworks display.

“Expect a succession of rapid explosions from each of the East River barges, creating a two-hour (show) with round after round of rocking fun,” Macy’s website says.

Viewers can expect to see unique designs including a hissing jellyfish, snakes, winking smiley face, and swimming chrysanthemums.

A view of the fireworks during the Edge at Hudson Yard 4th of July celebration at Edge at Hudson Yards on July 4, 2021 in New York City.
Fireworks light up the sky over the Brooklyn Bridge during the 2019 Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Show in New York City.

San Francisco

The San Francisco fireworks can be seen along the waterfront with the city’s dramatic skyline in the background. Fireworks are launched from a barge off Pier 39 and the Municipal Pier.

Fisherman’s Wharf tourist attraction hosts a number of local groups ahead of the celebration.

The San Francisco July 4 fireworks display is seen across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Calif., Thursday, July 4, 2013.


Music City’s annual 4th of July celebration: Let Freedom Sing in Nashville, the region’s largest fireworks show, will hold its longest-ever show in Nashville this year.

There will be over 1,000 floating flares, 40,000 pounds of explosives and 200 miles of wire used.

Fireworks light up the skies of Broadway during Let Freedom Sing!  Music City's 4th of July event in Nashville, Tennessee on July 4, 2021.

Viewers can expect to hear a symphony playing patriotic tunes and popular new music, including hits from Star Wars.

Addison, TX

Kaboom Town, a premier Independence Day festival with food vendors, entertainment and an air show, hosts a dazzling 25-minute fireworks display every year.

Addison has a population of just 16,000, but the event draws more than 500,000 guests from across the country, according to the event’s website.

Alachua, Florida

A child sits on a jungle gym near the Hal Brady Leisure Center and watches the fireworks display dubbed "The largest small town fireworks display in America," at the 4th of July celebration in Alachua, Florida on July 4, 2019.

Dubbed “America’s Biggest Small Town Fireworks Display,” thousands of people will flock to Alachua, Florida for the 22nd annual 4th of July celebration. This free event has a positive impact on local businesses, according to the city’s website.

Amazing fireworks celebrationsin Florida

philadelphia cream

Independence Day fireworks erupt over the Philadelphia Art Museum on July 4, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

What better way 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 largest fireworks displays in the country as part of the Wawa Welcome America festival.

Pasadena, California

Rose Bowl Stadium is renowned as the venue for one of the nation’s largest and oldest Independence Day spectacles.

Fireworks explode over the Rose Bowl during the 4th of July Taste of America.

The 96th annual AmericaFest celebration includes musical performances, a motocross show and other family-friendly activities.

Camille Fine is a Trending Visual Producer on USA TODAY’s NOW Team. She loves monochromatic outfits, baking pizza and spoiling her beloved cat Pearl. You can see more of her work at

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