Jun 21 2008

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Top Fourth of July fireworks displays

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Fireworksjuly4 Whether you’re on the road or staying close to home, it just ain’t American to miss fireworks on the Fourth. So to help you fulfill your patriotic duty, here’s a look at some of biggest and best fireworks extravaganzas across the United States.

Washington, D.C.: What could be more patriotic than celebrating Independence Day in the nation’s capital? A parade kicks off at 11:45 a.m. at Constitution Avenue and 7th Street NW. The National Archives
celebrates all day, with appearances by historical characters including
George Washington, and much more. Then head to the West Lawn of the  Capitol at 8 p.m. for a concert featuring Huey Lewis & the
News, Hayley Westenra and more. The fireworks show over the Washington Monument begins around 9:20 p.m.

New York City:
Macy’s calls its July 4 fireworks display the biggest in the United
States, with more than 120,000 bursts soaring as high as 1,000 feet
over the East River after sundown. FDR Drive is closed from 14th to 42nd streets for
public viewing.

Boston: The renowned Boston Pops help celebrate the Fourth with a concert starting at 8 p.m. at Hatch Shell at The Esplanade. Fireworks start around 10:30. (Note that if you’re watching the concert from the Oval, you won’t have a good view of the fireworks. The docks at Community Boating are the recommended spot for fireworks viewing.)

Philadelphia: The city celebrates the Fourth all day long with Party on the Parkway, a parade, and the
Sunoco Sweet Sounds of Liberty Concert & Fireworks
at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Chicago: The city’s main celebration — in conjunction with Taste of Chicago — is July 3 in Grant Park. The Grant Park Orchestra kicks things off with a concert at 8 p.m.; then the fireworks display over Monroe Harbor starts around 9:30. On July 4, Taste of Chicago will put on another fireworks display simultaneously with a display set off from Navy Pier.

San Francisco: Head to Fisherman’s Wharf to enjoy food, music, kids’ activities and more leading up to the fireworks, which launch from the foot of Municipal Pier and barges north of Pier 39. Prime waterfront viewing spots include the Cannery, Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39.

Atlanta: Centennial Olympic
Park
is the top spot for watching fireworks In downtown Atlanta, while the other big show is in Buckhead, home to
the 49th annual 4th of July at Lenox Square. MARTA public transit offers easy access to
both events.

New Orleans: You would expect great food and great music in this town, and that’s what you’ll get on the Fourth of July. Musicians perform at four different locations along the Mississippi River, and many restaurants and merchants will offer special discounts. The fireworks show over the river is choreographed to patriotic music and starts at 9 p.m.

Orlando: Downtown Orlando puts on a fireworks and laser light show around Lake Eola. And if you’re planning a Disney World vacation, the resort has fireworks displays at Downtown Disney (11 p.m.), Epcot Center (10 p.m.), the Magic Kingdom (9 p.m.) and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (9 p.m.).

San Diego: The best spots for viewing the fireworks over north San Diego Bay include Shelter Island and Harbor Island. The show starts at 9 p.m. SeaWorld and LEGOLAND also put on their own displays. Or you can enjoy the fireworks at the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar.

Seattle: The WaMu Family 4th starts at noon at Gas Works Park with food and activities. The fireworks — described as one of the top fireworks displays in the country — start around 10 p.m.

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