Large Fourth of July Celebrations
The Fourth of July is a time to reflect on our nation's rich history, and Americans have perfected the art of making it fun. From fireworks shows that cost millions of dollars to multiple-day festivals, U.S. citizens go to extremes when it comes to showing pride for their country.
Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular (New York City)
America's biggest fireworks display takes place on the Hudson River in New York City. The first celebration was in 1976 and today it features 40,000 fireworks synchronized to a 25-minute score of classic standards and current pop hits. The evening also includes performances by top musical acts. More than 3 million people gather at various access points in New York each year to watch the fireworks and millions more watch the live broadcast of the show on NBC. Subway and bus service is increased before and after the Fourth of July fireworks to handle the large demand. The organizers of the event use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to make the party more interactive. There is even an official smart phone app that features up-to-the-minute transit and viewing information, details about the show's performers and hosts, subway maps, public restroom locations, and tourism guides. Users of the app can listen to the show's synchronized musical score on their phones.
A Capitol Fourth Concert And Fireworks (Washington, D.C.)
It makes sense that the nation's capital would put on one of the largest Independence Day soirees. The all-day event doesn't disappointment with performances by some of the most well-known musicians in the world. One of the beloved traditions of the night is the National Symphony Orchestra's rendition of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" complete with live cannon fire provided by the United States Army Presidential Salute Battery. The awe-inspiring fireworks display is set against a backdrop of the Washington Monument. The event is broadcast live on PBS and NPR.
Go Fourth On The River (New Orleans)
The Big Easy is well-known for its party throwing abilities and it continues to pull out all the stops for the Fourth of July. Live entertainment is provided throughout the day ending with an evening fireworks show that features a unique dueling barges display along the Mississippi River.
Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular (Boston)
Fifty thousand people from New England and around the world descend on Boston and Cambridge, Mass. each Fourth of July to view one of the nation's premiere fireworks shows along the Charles River. The Boston Pops orchestra performs a free concert and is usually joined by a celebrity guest. The one-hour show is broadcast nationwide on CBS. In 2012, Boston-based global property and casualty insurer Liberty Mutual committed to sponsoring the celebration through 2015 at a cost of US$8 million.
Welcome America! (Philadelphia)
The City of Brotherly Love can't contain its patriotism to just one day. Mid-Atlantic grocery store chain Wawa sponsors a 10-day extravaganza that includes live performances, a food festival called Taste of Philadelphia, a fireworks show, outdoor film screenings, and free educational programs for children and their parents. Wawa associates even serve a 4.5- ton hoagie to the hungry crowds. The celebration is capped off with the Philly Fourth of July Jam that includes a free concert that showcases big name performers.
From coast to coast, U.S. cities battle for bragging rights for the nation's best Fourth of July celebration. Thanks to deep-pocket corporate sponsors and endless civic pride, Independence Day has become one of the biggest parties of the year.