Happy Birthday USA

Happy Birthday USA

Let’s say you’re not in NYC, Boston, Washington D. C. or Chicago for the 4th of July.  Not a problem! Great celebrations will be taking place across the USA from small communities to large cities.

Let’s begin with the East Coast and work our way across America:

Atlantic City, N.J.

What could be finer than fireworks over the Atlantic? First, it’s free (some firework events aren’t). Approximately 250,000 people show up to watch from beaches, hotel casino venues, boardwalks and Steel Pier. The fireworks explode from three locations, two barges and a marina platform. Wow!  Bring your umbrella…Arthur is on the way.

Amelia Island, Fl.

Never heard of it? Think…close to Jacksonville. You have a plethora of things to select from to celebrate the 4th. Take in a free concert, watch a Civil War reenactment at Fort Clinch. Then, relax in one of the first class B&B’s on this barrier island. Finding that hidden gem is part of the fun of travel.  Now that I’ve given away the secret, go ahead and book your weekend!

Moving South:

Nashville, Tn.

How could you possibly go wrong in Music City? Partake of music from the Grand ‘Ol Opry to Riverfront Park. Get ready to oooh and ahhh as 30,000 shells explode in a 27 minute program.

On to the Mid-West:

St. Louis, Mo.

The Arch has never looked so lovely as when she is dressed in St. Louis fireworks. Live performances by Miranda Lambert and Gavin DeGraw. St. Louis will be celebrating the 4th two ways:  When Thomas Jefferson signed the Louisiana Purchase, it forever changed the direction of St. Louis from French to American; and, second, of course, our nation’s birthday.  This year’s celebration has been moved to Forest Park.

Drop down to Texas, a country all its own:

Kaboom Town, Addison, Tx.

Addison, a suburb of Dallas, will kick-off this year’s celebration with an air show, followed by a 30 minute display of spectacular fireworks choreographed to pop music. This community of 15,000 folks draws a crowd of over 500,000 people for this birthday celebration.  Now that’s pull power.

Off to the Southwest

Flagstaff, Az.

Begin the day with a 100+ float parade, a fun run, a Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra concert and Flagstaff Art in the Park. That’s a lot of fun. But, there’s more. Load up the picnic cooler and head to Continental Country Club for the fireworks display.

Boulder, Co.

Sure, Denver will have the skies lighted, but head over to Boulder for more fun. Have you ever been to a bike rodeo? Presented by My Parenting Place, the kids will parade their favorite bikes from 10:00-noon. Since Colorado is the “fittest” State in the Union, there must be a fun run followed by adult beverages at the beer garden. The fireworks, known as Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast (Ralphie is a buffalo) take place at Colorado University stadium. Grab a burger at The Sink…you deserve it!

Head West, young man

Lake Tahoe, Ca.

OK, this is what I want to do…watch fireworks while floating on a paddle-board on the lake. I’m serious. If I had my choice of places to watch the 4th fireworks, it would be Lake Tahoe. Approximately 100,000 visitors gather at the lake for Lights on the Lake. The show lasts 23 minutes and sends up 5,000 fireworks for your viewing pleasure. All this happens from a barge in the middle of the lake.

Sonoma, Ca.

Wonder why this is a favorite? How could you go wrong with a couple of bottles of great wine, feeling happy and sitting on the Plaza while fireworks blaze across the California sky. Bring a sweater since the temp cools in the evening. As a Texan, I love this part. Texas won’t see cool temps again until January of next year!!!  Good for you, Sonoma.

Whatever your location, be proud you are in the USA. We get more things right than wrong. We try harder and never give up. If your community isn’t sponsoring a 4th fireworks extravaganza, buy a few kaboomers and sparklers at one of those fireworks stands and make your own noise.  Some of my fondest memories are of friends, lighting firecrackers, sending Roman Candles skyward (we lived in the country) and being totally amazed at the beautiful lights.

Happy Birthday, USA.