The 4th July is a federal holiday that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on 4th July 1776, an event which brought about the ‘birth’ United States of America and its independence from the UK.
Independence Day is a day of parties, picnics, barbeques, parades and fireworks, when people are proud to fly the American flag. Being in the US for Independence Day will give you a great insight into American culture, and a great chance to party!
Celebrations take place all over America, but these places will offer some of the best festivities. Taking an English course in one of these cities at the start of July will mean that you’re right at the heart of the action – it will be an unforgettable experience.
New York is a city that many people consider the cultural capital of the US, and as such is home to some of the biggest Independence Day celebrations in the country. The renowned Macy’s fireworks display is usually held over the East River in New York City and has been televised nationwide on NBC since 1976. In 2009, the fireworks display was returned to the Hudson River for the first time since 2000 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s exploration of that river, and in 2010 the display will once again be held over the Hudson.
In addition to the fireworks display, there are also numerous street fairs, historical re-enactments, outdoor concerts and plays to go and see. More information can be found on the About.com website.
More than 200 events make up a week packed with activities during the annual Boston Harborfest, which begins in late June and continues through to Independence Day. Celebrations centre around the city’s strong maritime and colonial heritage, and therefore take place on the Harbor Islands, and in historic downtown. Some of the festival’s main events include the Boston Chowderfest, when some 12,000 participants choose the best chowder from Boston-area restaurants, and the reading of the Declaration of Independence from the balcony of the Old State House.
The Boston Pops Concert and Fireworks Display is also one of the festival’s main attractions, and is completely free.
Independence Day in San Diego is always party central. The shores of Mission and Pacific beaches are buzzing with people all day long .You can head to one of the many carnivals complete with fairground rides, the Freedom Days Parade or the San Diego County Fair on the Del Mar Fairgrounds, to name a few. The real action starts after dark though with the superb Big Bay celebration fireworks display.
There’s lots going on for Independence Day in San Francisco, but an undisputed hub of entertainment will be Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, where you’ll find music, dancing and a spectacular view of the fireworks. As you’d expect, the Golden Gate Park is also a great place to head to, where there’ll be a music extravaganza to celebrate the day.
Probably the biggest 4th July celebration in Seattle is the ‘Family 4th’ that takes place at Gas Works Park with the stunning backdrop of Lake Union. It has been labeled as one of the top 5 fireworks displays in the country and is well-known for being a particularly innovative display.
Another Independence Day attraction in the Seattle area is the Tacoma Freedom Fair on the Ruston Way waterfront. Throughout the day visitors can enjoy music, an air show, the International Marketplace, and, fo course, a firework display at the end.
If you’re in Denver over the 4th July you definitely won’t be short of things to do! The celebrations kick off with a new event at the Civic Centre Park on 3rd July – a free community concert featuring patriotic favorites performed by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by an innovative light show and fireworks display. From 3rd-5th you’ll also have the chance to visit the Cherry Creek Arts Festival – an outdoor event which attracts more than 350,000 visitors who come to see the range of performing arts and exhibits.
On 4th July itself the Four Mile Park in Denver plays host to a true ‘old-Fashioned’ 4th of July Celebration, with festivities including visits from Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Uncle Sam; the reading of the Declaration of Independence and performances by the Denver Concert Band and other local musicians.