The Best 4th of July Celebrations in America
Are you planning to head to a 4th of July festival this year? Letting someone else put on the fireworks show and cook the food for a change? If you live in Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, or Wisconsin, we’ve done the work for you and scoured the internet to find the best Independence Day celebrations in every state. Check out our top picks below.
4th of July at Navy Pier
Celebrating the 4th of July in Chicago is synonymous with the Independence Day fireworks at Navy Pier. Remember to get there early, as Navy Pier usually closes early when they reach capacity on the 4th of July. There’s plenty of activities to keep you busy during the day, including the famous Navy Pier Centennial Wheel, amusement park rides, gardens, lake views, shopping, and plenty of bars and restaurants. Claim a spot on the pier early and take turns staking it out to get the best view. The impressive Navy Pier fireworks display starts after dark, usually around 9:30 p.m. This is by far the most famous 4th of July celebration in Chicago. If you miss the fireworks on the 4th of July, don’t worry. Navy Pier puts on an equally spectacular fireworks show every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the summer.
Evanston 4th of July
Every year, the Chicago suburb of Evanston throws a 4th of July extravaganza, complete with an Independence Day Parade, kids’ fun run, and fireworks. There are plenty of 4th of July activities to keep the whole family busy all day, so be sure to head to Evanston early. You can enjoy the festivities, sightsee at the nearby Baha’i Temple, lay on one of Evanston’s many beaches, and dine at any one of Evanston’s plethora of bars and restaurants. Grab a spot along the shoreline to watch the fireworks go off over Lake Michigan around 9:15 p.m.
Red, White, and Boom in Peoria, Illinois
Do you live in central Illinois? The Red, White, and Boom 4th of July event in Peoria is not to be missed. For three days, both sides of the Illinois River come to life with live music, vendors, kids’ activities, and other live entertainment. This event is free to visit, though the riverfront concerts may have an additional ticket charge. Make sure you bring chairs and blankets to set up your spot to watch central Illinois’ biggest fireworks display go off after dark over the Illinois River.
For residents of Kansas City, Missouri, the KC Riverfest is a don’t-miss annual 4th of July tradition. The KC Riverfest will take place from 4-10 p.m. on Independence Day at Berkley Riverfront Park. There’s plenty of activities for the whole family, including live music, food vendors, and kids’ activity stations so everyone can relax and get in a festive mood for the 4th of July. Everyone gathers along the Missouri River to watch the fireworks show after dark.
Fair St. Louis
Fair St. Louis in Missouri is always a spectacular 4th of July event. However, this year, it’s even more special as 2018 marks the festival’s return to the grounds of the Gateway Arch. This much-anticipated event stretches over three days and features live music, food, family activities, an air show, and this year, highlights of the new and improved Gateway Arch grounds and museum. There’s an Independence Day fireworks show every night of the festival, so you won’t feel pressured to join the crowds on the 4th of July.
4th of July in Las Vegas
The party atmosphere always present in Las Vegas, Nevada is kicked up a notch in the weeks surrounding the 4th of July. The partying usually starts the weekend before the actual holiday, and nearly every casino and hotel has its own set of events, drink specials, and patriotic parties. If you’re planning to celebrate the 4th of July in Las Vegas, make sure to plan early and book reservations in advance. If you don’t want to pay to head to a 4th of July event put on by Caesar’s Palace, Bellagio, Venetian, or one of the major resorts, get creative and head to your room to watch the fireworks go off all around the city. For a more relaxed 4th of July option, visit Fremont St. on the far north side of Las Vegas.
Freedom 4th in Albuquerque
Want to see the largest 4th of July fireworks display in the state of New Mexico? Head to Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque for live music, local food, a local Microwbrew beer garden, and a huge fireworks show. The event is fun for adults and kids alike with face painting, two climbing walls, and jumpers for those little ones with a ton of energy. The event is free to attend, but make sure to remember to bring your chairs and blankets to claim a good spot to watch the Independence Day fireworks show.
Baseball and Fireworks in Salt Lake City
There’s no better way to celebrate America than with two American classics – baseball and fireworks. Head down to Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City, Utah to watch the Salt Lake Bees take on the El Paso Chihuahuas in their 4th of July game. Then, stick around for the fireworks show afterward.
Fireworks at the Lakefront
If you live in Milwaukee, avoid the 4th of July crowds when you watch the downtown Milwaukee fireworks on July 3rd. Head out early to set up your viewing spot and enjoy dinner and drinks at one of Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s many breweries, bars, and restaurants. The fireworks start just after it gets dark.
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