You don’t want to miss these Independence Day fireworks shows
February 22, 2017
| Updated June 27, 2019
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Grab your blanket and head to Gas Works Park for live music and lots of grassy space from which to watch the sky light up. The 8,500 pounds of fireworks are choreographed to the Seafair Summer 4th musical score. Want a less crowded view? Reserve a front row seat at the park or buy a ticket for the Space Needle’s observation deck. If you can swing it, opt for a cruise to see the fireworks illuminate the Space Needle from the water.
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Forget having to choose between celebrating at home and going to the big fireworks show. The Independence Eve Celebration lights up Civic Center Park on July 3 starting at 8pm. Be sure to get there early–the lawn fills up quickly and you won’t want to miss the family-friendly concert and light show before the main event starts.
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Lake Tahoe, CA
Sweeping music synchronized with fireworks light up the lake in several locations. Tune into 93.9 FM or 1490 AM to get the full effect. Head to one of South Shore’s beaches, like Timber Cove Marina or Lakeview Commons, or dip into Nevada to settle in on Nevada Beach to get the best vantage point.
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The Ala Moana Center plays host to live concerts every July 1 through the 4th before firing off showstoppers at Ala Moana Beach Park on the big day. The pyrotechnics are launched from three barges out on the ocean, making it one of the biggest of its kind in Hawaii. Bring a radio so you can tune in to 92.3 FM for the live soundtrack that accompanies the show. Parking fills up quickly, so get there early or plan on walking or taking the bus to the park. You’ll have to get there early in the morning to get the best spots–some spectators even camp out on the beach the night before to claim prime real estate.
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San Diego, CA
The Big Bay Boom is the largest Independence Day show on the West Coast. It may only last 18 minutes, but the sheer number of fireworks exploding at once rivals many other displays. A whopping 500,000 people are estimated to come out to watch from the four viewing locations. Take one of the free shuttles or public transit to avoid congested parking lots.
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Stumptown goes big with a fireworks show over the Willamette River that can be seen from all around. Look for a spot along the bank of the river (the east side and Tom McCall Waterfront Park have the best views) or a bridge like Morrison or Burnside. Another plus to viewing the show from Tom McCall Waterfront Park: the five-day music festival, Waterfront Blues, which spans the holiday.
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Mountain View, CA
Less than an hour south of San Francisco, where the fog often muddles the explosives that take off in the city, the Shoreline Amphitheatre features the San Francisco Symphony playing beneath this suburb’s impressive fireworks show. Past programs have included songs from Star Wars, Harry Potter, and E.T., as well as patriotic classics. Tickets go on sale in early May, but you can also buy them at the door.