|Celebrating Independence Day in the United States brings a lot of images to mind. Backyard barbeques, parades and enjoying the warm weather are all staples of the big day, but there is no doubt that the thing everyone looks forward to the most are the fireworks! Why do Americans use fireworks to celebrate the big day? Because John Adams wanted them to! In a letter to Abigail Adams on July 3, 1776, he wrote that the occasion should be commemorated “with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.” In the spirit of Mr. Adams, we’ve put together a list of some of the best and most patriotic firework spectacles the United States has to offer.
The first time fireworks were ever used to celebrate Independence Day happened all the way back on July 4, 1777 in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love still pulls out all the stops for its annual Fourth of July celebration each year which is topped off by the largest free concert in the country—the Philly 4th of July Jam. The fireworks show itself is a 15-minute, 15,000-shell+ display and is attended by more than 500,000 people each summer.
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If you like your fireworks show with something extra, the show in Boston may be for you. This historic American city’s show is renowned for its accompaniment—live music performed by the legendary Boston Pops Orchestra, culminating in Tchaikovsky’s resounding 1812 Overture. If that isn’t enough of a reason to come, the overture features real cannon fire and the fireworks are shot from seven barges in the Charles River. It’s safe to say that if your city had such a large part in the forming of our nation, Independence Day is a party that holds high regard.
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For some, bigger is better in a fireworks show. If that sounds like you, they don’t come much bigger than the celebration in Nashville. The show is a 31-minute blowout that uses more than 55,000 shells! The fireworks are the end to an all-day festival with music, food and more. To make the impressive show even bigger, The Nashville Symphony Orchestra accompanies the main event marathon.
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Why not celebrate Independence Day in the nation’s capital? The National Mall Fourth of July Celebration stands as one of the country’s largest fireworks displays. The National Mall is filled to maximum capacity each year, where the fireworks are shot skyward from the Reflecting Pool. The 17.5-minute firework show lights up the D.C. skyline, illuminating the Capitol, the White House, and the Washington Monument. Both the concert (The National Symphony Orchestra performs) and fireworks are broadcast throughout the country but this is one show that needs to be seen in person to truly appreciate.
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