Every Independence Day, people across the country gather to watch fireworks light up the night sky. While a drought has forced the cancellation of the private use of fireworks in many places this year, it hasn't put a damper on America's greatest shows.
Click through for a look at 12 of the best Fourth of July fireworks displays in America.
Boston Pops Firework Spectacular
For four decades, the Boston Pops Orchestra has headlined the city's Independence Day fireworks spectacular. This year's show will go on as scheduled, despite the bombings that shook the city in April. More than half a million spectators are expected to crowd the banks of the Charles River to watch the 20-minute show, which will includes 16,000 fireworks shot from three barges. Among the highlights, as always, military cannons will be fired in sync with Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture." In response to the bombings, this year's display will include enhanced security; backpacks will be banned from the festivities.
Macy's Ignite the Night
New York City, New York
Each year, 3 million people in New York and New Jersey line the banks of the Hudson River to watch Macy's annual fireworks extravaganza. More than 40,000 fireworks are set off from barges anchored between Manhattan's 24th and 42nd streets. This year's show will include a few new state-of-the-art fireworks, including a winking happy face, an exploding jellyfish and several bursting butterflies. The 25-minute show will be accompanied by a soundtrack created by Grammy-award winning musician Usher.
Lights on the Lake
Lake Tahoe, Calif.
South Lake Tahoe will sparkle this Fourth of July as 3,500 shells are fired from three barges on the lake. Between 75,000 and 100,000 people turn out to watch the annual display. For the best views, spectators take to the water on paddlewheelers like the MS Dixie II and the Tahoe Queen. In the days following the show a specially outfitted boat will scan the water to recover surface debris while divers collect refuse from the bottom of the lake.
Seafair Summer Fourth
In April of this year, officials announced that Seattle's annual fireworks show would be cancelled due to lack of funds. Fortunately, the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and production company Seafair rallied in support of the beloved event and saved the show. A fireworks company will be producing a less costly 20-minute display this year, and although it will be a little different than in previous years, an official promises that it will be "just as good."
A Capitol Fourth
Where better to celebrate Independence Day than the nation's capital? Every Fourth, the National Symphony Orchestra performs during a 20-minute fireworks show on the National Mall. Hundreds of thousands of spectators gather among the monuments to celebrate. This year's show will include a performance by Barry Manilow before the fireworks even begin.
Navy Pier Fireworks
Throughout the summer, Chicago's Navy Pier launches fireworks over Lake Michigan, but the crowning display is a 15-minute show on the Fourth of July. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to the hundred-year-old pier and surrounding shoreline to watch the Windy City light up.
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. The most popular viewing spot is Addison Circle Park, but the show can be seen from all over town. On Independence Day, apparently everything really is bigger in Texas.
Let Freedom Sing!
Music City will launch more than 26,000 fireworks this year in Nashville's largest Fourth of July celebration yet. That's 1,000 fireworks more than last year's show, which cost an estimated $500,000. The half-hour pyrotechnic display will conclude a night of live music, including performances by The Band Perry, Keb' Mo' and the Grammy-winning Nashville Symphony Orchestra.
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 visible from both sides of the river. This year's show features a new kind of firework: pyrotechnics that will land in the water, creating a fountain of colorful sparks.
Philly 4th of July Jam & Grand Finale Fireworks
The City of Brotherly Love puts on a week-long 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, John Mayer, Demi Lovato, Jill Scott and Ne-Yo.
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. This year, Trace Adkins will headline the festivities on the fourth, and the fair will continue July 5 and 6 with two more days of concerts and fireworks displays.
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City of San Francisco Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza
San Francisco, Calif.
The City of San Francisco puts on a breathtaking fireworks show over the bay each Fourth of July. Pyrotechnics are shot from the Municipal Pier as well as barges north of Pier 39, lighting up the sky and sea.