Independence Day is less than a week away, and millions of Americans are planning to celebrate with Fourth of July parades, backyard barbecues, and community fireworks displays. The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) estimates that across the nation, more than 16,000 fireworks displays will commemorate America’s 242nd birthday, from small towns to big city extravaganzas. Some of the most famous and fabulous fireworks displays, well known for drawing in thousands of spectators and millions of at-home viewers thanks to live televised coverage, include Boston, Chicago, Nashville, New York City, San Diego and Washington, DC.
For Americans who don’t live near a big city, there are some great pyrotechnic options a bit closer to home. Here are the APA’s recommendations for some of the most dazzling displays:
City of Watertown, SD – South Dakota’s Biggest Fireworks Show! July 3: The City of Watertown will once again host the largest fireworks display in South Dakota. The pyrotechnic spectacle takes place among the backdrop of the stunning Redlin Art Center. Lew’s Fireworks, Inc., a third generation family fireworks company with roots in Watertown dating back to over 60 years, will execute the 23-minute synchronized, pyro-musical extravaganza. The show will feature many new and exciting, never-seen effects to enhance spectator enjoyment. According to lead pyrotechnician Derek Miller, “The City of Watertown has been amazing in coordinating this event to ensure a fun, safe environment. We are expecting record breaking attendance this year, and the display is one that South Dakotans and visitors will not want to miss.”
Addison, TX – Addison Kaboom Town! July 3: Everything is bigger in Texas and that is certainly true of Addison Kaboom Town!, one of the country’s most lauded and unique Independence Day celebrations. While Addison (at only 4.4 square miles) is home to fewer than 16,000 residents, it hosts one of the nation’s biggest 4th of July celebrations. The event draws over a half-million spectators from across the country to witness the world-class patriotic display by Pyro Shows of Texas. The 30-minute fireworks show will be simulcast on 100.3 JACK-FM. New breathtaking pyrotechnic products and effects will be featured during the show and be sure to keep any eye out for the closing finale.
- City of Lake St. Louis, MO – Lake St. Louis, July 4: The community of Lake St. Louis, situated around two lakes in St. Charles County, will host one of the largest Independence Day displays in the region. The patriotic production will be fired from a dam, creating reflections of fiery illuminations dancing over the lake. Thousands of spectators take in the show from hundreds of boats on the lake while thousands of locals gather on the shoreline. This highly choreographed display, produced by Gateway Fireworks Displays, is designed to a unique soundtrack that will be broadcast on local FM radio for all spectators to enjoy. The show will feature a never-seen before “ghost” shell scene and conclude with the traditional grand fanfare of an Italian-style finale.
- Blue Ash, OH – Red, White and Blue Ash, July 4: The annual Red, White and Blue Ash fireworks display, one of the largest fireworks celebrations in the tri-state area, is hosted at Summit Park, a 130-acre park in one of the region’s most beautiful settings. The sky is the limit for this fireworks extravaganza designed by Arthur Rozzi Pyrotechnics. Featuring over 7,000 fireworks shells and 10,000 pounds of explosive power, the show is a 35-minute, non-stop pyrotechnic spectacle. This year the display will feature effects from the new Summit Park Tower.
- Idaho Falls, ID – Melaleuca Freedom Celebration, July 4: Celebrating its 26th year, you won’t find a larger Fourth of July fireworks show west of the Mississippi. This show will delight spectators with high-flying colors, cutting-edge special effects and artistic choreography during a 31-minute production. Launched over the banks of the Snake River, this fireworks show is synchronized shell-for-shell and note-for-note by the fifth-generation pyrotechnicians at Western Display Fireworks. A newly constructed fireworks amphitheater and network of more than 100 speakers were custom built for this show. With 170,000 attendees, this is Idaho’s largest event and one of the largest gatherings in the Rocky Mountains.
Additional information about the fireworks industry, facts & figures, state laws, and safety tips can be found on APA’s website.