The Fourth of July is a big holiday, but in some places it’s celebrated in bigger ways than others. If you’ve seen too many small-town fireworks shows, and want to experience a bigger party, you may want to hop on a plane to see one of these three, over-the-top displays.
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
What could be better than celebrating the Fourth on the largest military base in America, nay, in the world? The show at Fort Bragg is put on for soldiers, but is open to the public, so often there are big names performing in support of the troops. This year the playbill features Randy Houser, Patten and Goff, and Easton Corbin, as well as the 82d Division All-American Chorus and Band. Between acts the Black Daggers, Special Operation Command’s demonstration parachute team, puts on a free-fall parachute show that you simply can’t see anywhere else, even in the bigger cities. The power of the flag ceremony can’t be paralleled. It will make you want to thank a veteran (or hundred,) as you well should.
Early in the day kids’ events open up, along with food vendors. As with all of these popular shows, you’ll want to get there early if you want to get a decent spot, but you’ll also want to schedule some extra time as your vehicle will have to be checked as you enter the base. The festivities are worth the wait, as is the spectacular fireworks show at the end of the night.
Boston Pops Firework Spectacular
Boston has been a patriotic city since before day one, so it’s no surprise that their Independence Day celebration is at the top of the list. Harborfest, the celebration before the fireworks, starts a full three days before July 4. Opening ceremonies will be happening tomorrow, and will kick off four days of festivities including historical reenactments, tours, kids’ activities, and concerts. On the Fourth, it’s a great way to spend the day before the big show.
The fireworks concert starts at 8:30 PM. That’s right. A concert. It starts with the Star-Spangled Banner and a flyover, and culminates with The Boston Pops playing the 1812 Overture. The fireworks show starts at 10:30 PM, but this is another one you’ll want to be extremely early for if you don’t want to be stuck watching it on TV.
The National Mall, Washington, DC
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the festivities at our nation’s capitol. The events start at 11:45 with the National Parade, complete with floats, military units, and marching bands. If you’re planning on staying until the fireworks, arriving early for the parade is a good idea as you’ll be able to snag a good spot on the National Mall.
If you dare to leave your seat, you can take a walk around the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. This year’s festival is featuring Peruvian culture, dance, language, crafts, and food. Just be sure to make your way back to your spot before the crowds start filtering in for the big firework show behind the Washington Monument at 9:10, which is accompanied by live music.
If you’re on the East Coast, it’s likely that at least one of these shows will be a day-trip away. However, if you’re traveling a bit further or simply don’t want to deal with the hassle that is Fourth of July traffic, Priceline has some great travel deals going on right now, for both flights and hotels. Think 50% off last minute flights, 35% off Budget rental cars, an extra 7% off Name Your Own Price savings, and up to $500 off when you book your flight and hotel together.
As if you didn’t have enough to celebrate this weekend.