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It’s a pretty important day for our mates over in the States – it’s their big ol’ birthday (as Brits, we’ll just glaze over the…other bit). And just like in all aspects of life, it’s all go hard or go home when it comes to partying like the 4th of July.

We’ve whipped up some of what we think are the very, very best spots across the USA to celebrate, from major cities to make-believe towns (think Beamish but with more Benjamin Franklin).

New York

There’s 4th of July events scattered all around New York City’s five boroughs. There’s Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog-Eating Contest at Coney Island in Brooklyn (plus an evening fireworks show.), whilst there’s a historic parade dating back to 1911 in Staten Island.

But the big event is always Macy’s Fourth of July Spectacular – one of the country’s biggest shindigs. Starting at 9.30pm, fireworks launch from five barges on the Hudson River – 26 minutes all in all. A trademark of the show is the “Golden Mile” which showers golden sparkles along a mile-wide stretch across the river.

A good spot to watch the show is Pier 81, over on Manhattan’s west side.

Cheap flights to New York

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

You can really get in a Founding Father mood by rocking up to Colonial Williamsburg over in Virginia. If the name hadn’t given it away, Colonial Williamsburg is the country’s biggest living museum based on an authentic 18th-century town to give you a shot of Revolution era American colonial life.

The site is full of both restored and reconstructed buildings like the Governor’s Palace and the Capitol – all with period-appropriate décor.  But what – quite literally – brings this place to life are the re-enactors who take on the roles of residents, from craftsmen to politicians to bog standard citizens.

This is a place where in the morning you can listen to Thomas Jefferson read the Declaration of Independence, spend the afternoon on the Freedom’s Paradox tour to investigate the contradiction of American liberation and slavery, and then round off the evening with a proper knees up with George Frideric Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks paired up with some actual fireworks.

Cheap flights to Virginia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

You can’t really get anywhere more 4th of July than Philly. It’s literally where the country’s forefathers put pen to the document that Nicholas Cage would go on to steal in National Treasure 2 – AKA the Declaration of Independence.

One day ain’t enough for these guys (can’t blame em, really), so they stage events for weeks before, including free entry days for 40 museums and attractions, outdoors films, live performances, a Freedom Day block party outside the African American Museum of Philadelphia, and their beloved annual Wawa Hoagie Day on Independence Mall.

And that’s all before the big holiday weekend itself!

The actual 4th of July sees the ‘Salute to Independence Day Parade’ from 11am, whilst at 7pm Ne-Yo and Kesha take to the stage at the Parkway, followed by lots and lots of fireworks (obvs.)

Cheap flights to Pennsylvania 

Addison, Texas

They go big in Texas. In a small suburb just north of Dallas you’ll find one of the country’s best firework displays – Kaboom Town in Addison.

Actually held on July 3rd instead of the 4th, Kaboom Town puts on music performances during the afternoon until 7.30pm when it’s time to start craning your head upwards for the first spectacle in the sky – skydivers, historic warbirds, and aerobatic planes. The Red River Skydivers kick it all off with a choreographed skydive (complete with giant flag, because this is ‘Merica), followed by a display of historic planes like B-25s, P-40s and P-51s (for the plane nerds) and aerobatic stunts by renowned pilots – oo-er.

Then comes the sparkly stuff: a famed 25-minute pyrotechnic masterpiece so beloved hundreds of hotels and restaurants host dedicated watching parties right across the area. We recommend doing some neck exercises beforehand.

Cheap flights to Texas

Boston, Massachusetts 

Since they had that whole Boston Tea party thing ages ago, Boston celebrates 4th of July with Harborfest – a weeklong event and one of the country’s largest. From July 1st – 7th you’ll wanna hang out along the Inner Harbor come night to see the fireworks launch from a barge at Boston’s Long Wharf. But there’s also Chowderfest, where you can try different versions of the classic dish as well as listen to live music at Downtown Crossing. You can even meet re-enactors and staff from the USS Constitution (the world’s oldest floating ship).

And because they love a parade over there, on July 4th itself you can follow one from City Hall Plaza to the Old State House for a reading of the Declaration of Independence, with the day ending with the Boston Pops’ annual Fourth of July Spectacular on the Charles River Esplanade – a rousing rendition of the 1812 Overture will ring out as cannons and fireworks lights up the sky.

Nothing too loud, then.

Cheap flights to Boston

Bristol, Rhode Island 

Other places may claim the splashiest celebrations, but nowhere can nab the title of the longest – apart from a small town of 22,000 people called Bristol on Rhode Island. They got in on the party spirit centuries ago, pretty much whilst the ink was still drying on the Declaration of Independence.

Since 1785 they’ve held a parade here, and now it’s the longest continuing Independence Day celebration in the country – and it’s a weeks-long event. The party actually starts on June 14th with a Flag Day Ceremony – replete with town-crier – and concludes with their famous parade on the 4th of July. Expect summer concerts and a Fourth of July Ball too.

Cheap flights to Rhode Island

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