July 3, 2012
Every the Fourth of July from Honolulu to Boston, Americans watch crackling fireworks light up the sky. But let's face it: Not all pyrotechnic displays are created equal. Some have history. Others are accompanied by patriotic music. Click through for the country's 12 most incredible fireworks spectaculars.
Also, tag your best fireworks photos from this Fourth of July #FireworksOnSkye on Instagram for a chance to be featured on SKYE. For more info, check out SKYE on Facebook.
Macy's Ignite the Night
Each year in New York City, Macy's sponsors a 25-minute fireworks extravaganza, setting off more than 40,000 fireworks timed to an eclectic score of patriotic standards and pop hits. The show takes place over the Hudson River, so the West Side offers the best viewing spots.
A Capitol Fourth
Where better to celebrate Independence Day than the nation's capital? Every Fourth, the National Symphony Orchestra performs during the 20-minute fireworks show on the National Mall. Hundreds of thousands of spectators gather among the monuments to celebrate.
Philly 4th of July Jam & Grand Finale Fireworks
The City of Brotherly Love puts on a weeklong Independence Day celebration culminating in a 15-minute fireworks finale over the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The display follows a free concert that locals claim is the largest in America. Among the stars taking the stage this year: The Roots, Queen Latifah and Joe Jonas.
Boston Pops Firework Spectacular
For nearly four decades, the Boston Pops Orchestra has headlined the city's Independence Day fireworks spectacular. More than half a million spectators crowd the banks of the Charles River to watch the 21-minute show, which includes 15,000 fireworks shot from seven barges. Among the highlights, military cannons are fired in sync with Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture."
Navy Pier Fireworks
Throughout the summer, Chicago's Navy Pier launches fireworks over Lake Michigan, but the crowning display is a 15-minute Fourth of July fireworks show. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to the hundred-year-old pier and the surrounding shoreline to watch the Windy City light up.
City of San Francisco Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza
San Francisco, Calif.
San Francisco takes full advantage of its waterfront to create a breathtaking fireworks show. Pyrotechnics are shot from the Municipal Pier as well as barges north of Pier 39, lighting up the city on the bay.
Let Freedom Sing!
Nashville will host its largest Fourth of July celebration yet this year, costing an estimated $500,000. Music City's 23-minute show will include more than 25,000 fireworks exploding to the tunes of the Grammy-winning Nashville Symphony Orchestra.
Fair St. Louis
St. Louis, Mo.
Every year, Fourth of July revelers crowd the grounds of the Gateway Arch to watch fireworks explode over the Mississippi River. The 20-minute show attracts upwards of 500,000 people. If you want to see the fireworks without the crowds, wait until the weekend, when the fair continues with two more days of concerts and fireworks displays.
Lights on the Lake Fireworks
Lake Tahoe, Calif.
South Lake Tahoe sparkles on the Fourth of July as fireworks are shot from several barges on the water. More than 100,000 people turn out to watch. For the best views, spectators take to the water on paddlewheelers like the MS Dixie II and the Tahoe Queen.
Go 4th on the River
New Orleans, La.
There's nothing like a little competition to make for a memorable show. In The Big Easy, dueling Mississippi River barges launch fireworks choreographed to music performed by the Navy Band. The show lasts less than 15 minutes, but it's packed with pyrotechnics: The barges shoot off about 3,000 fireworks.
Next: SKYE's Best Photo of the Day
The population of Dallas suburb Addison, Texas, grows from 15,000 to 500,000 each Fourth of July. Spectators flock to the town for the 30-minute Kaboom Town! fireworks spectacular, which follows a stunt-filled aviation air show. The festivities include over 1,500 pounds of fireworks. On Independence Day, apparently everything really is bigger in Texas.
Tag your best fireworks photos from this Fourth of July #FireworksOnSkye on Instagram for a chance to be featured on SKYE. For more info, check out SKYE on Facebook.