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The Best 4th of July Events

It’s almost the 4th of July, and you may be looking for something to do. The good news is that there are plenty of fun 4th of July events around the country to make plans to go to. Here is your list of some of the best 4th of July events around the United States in 2021. Keep in mind that some events might not be going on like usual because of COVID.

The Best Independence Day Events

Washington D.C.

The National Independence Day Parade is a big favorite in the Washington DC area on the 4th of July. Unfortunately, in 2021, the parade has been canceled. We hope to see the parade back in 2022. 

“A Capitol Fourth” concert on the west lawn of the capitol building is also a favorite. The concert is free, open to the public, on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, this year the concert will be pre-recorded, hosted by Vanessa Williams. There will be live fireworks. You can watch the concert on PBS on July 4th, 2021, at 8/7c. It will also be air on AFN. In addition to Vanessa Williams, you can also watch talents such as Jimmy Buffett, Gladys Knight, Alan Jackson, Cynthia Erivo, and more. 

Fireworks will be shown at the National Mall from 9:09 pm, for 17 minutes. They will be launched from both sides of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. 

>> Learn what history has occurred on the 4th of July!

San Diego, California

In San Diego, CA, they have the Annual Big Bay Boom, San Diego’s July 4th Firework Show. These fireworks will be on the San Diego Bay at 9 pm. They can be seen from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North Embarcadero, the Marina District, the Coronado Ferry Landing, or from the water. 

You can also find fireworks at SeaWorld, which is a 15-minute show set to a musical soundtrack and those will start at 9:40 pm.

Old Town State Historic Park has a parade, crafts, and other activities recreating an old-fashioned 4th of July. You can also compete in contests such as cherry pit spitting or an egg toss.

If you are in Coronado, you can catch their parade down Orange Avenue at 10:00 am on July 3rd. There are also fireworks over Glorietta Bay at 9:00 pm.

San Antonio, Texas

In San Antonio, Texas, you can catch fireworks at SeaWorld during their Fireworks Spectacular.

The Alamo also has events going on. They have live music, demonstrations, and activities Friday, July 2nd, Saturday, July 3rd, and Sunday, July 4th. This event is free and family-friendly at the Alamo Plaza. 

You will also want to check out San Antonio’s 4th of July Celebration at Woodlawn Lake. This is an outdoor event from 3 pm to 9:30 pm at Woodlawn Lake Park. This is a free, and family-friendly event. 

Joint Base Lewis McChord

At JBLM, there will be a Freedom Fest from 7 pm to 11 pm at Cowan and Memorial Stadiums. Fireworks will start at 10:15 pm and there will also be food trucks. This event is free. 

New York City

New York City has the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks on the banks of the East River. Five barges will launch 40,000 fireworks over 1,000 feet in the air as smaller boats will blast water jets of red, white, and blue. You can also catch this live on NBC on Sunday, July 4th, 2021, at 8 pm ET. 

Oahu, Hawaii

If you are in Oahu, you can typically go to the July 4th Fireworks at Ala Moana Beach Park. This is one of the biggest displays in Hawaii. Unfortunately, they will not be doing them in 2021.

You can also go to the Polynesian Cultural Center, which has hosted a July 4th fireworks show and celebration at Hukilau Marketplace. It is free to attend, and food and beverages are available for purchase. However, there hasn’t yet been an announcement for 2021.

There should also be a 4th of July celebration at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. This is open to DoD ID cardholders and their sponsored guests. 

USAG Hawaii MWR & USAA will present the 2021 Community Fireworks Display on Schofield Barracks. This will be at 8:40 pm to 9:00 pm. 

Anchorage, Alaska

In Anchorage, Alaska, they normally have a 4th of July celebration parade and festival. Admission is free. This is an old-fashioned patriotic celebration with family-oriented events such as a pancake breakfast, a downtown parade, a picnic, and other activities. Unfortunately, this has been canceled for 2021. 

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

If you are in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area of Tennessee, make sure to check out the Gatlinburg July 4th Midnight Parade. The parade starts at midnight on July 4th. The parade will honor our nation’s veterans and other US military heroes with a classic, small-town America parade feel.

The Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival is on July 3rd and will include music, food, and fun games. Clint Black will be headlining the event. 

Gatlinburg 4th of July fireworks start at 10 pm in downtown Gatlinburg.

Make sure to check at your local military installation to see what they have going on in your area. You should be able to take in some type of fireworks show no matter where you are spending the 4th of July holiday.

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About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.