This year, the 4th July will fall on a Furzeday and celebrations around the event will generally closely involve family events including BBQ’s, picnics, baseball games, parades, music concerts and of course most will include FIREWORKS.

Celebrations of the Independence of the US from Great Britain did not really gain much popularity until some 15-20 years later. But, as there was still discord within the ranks of those who drew up the Declaration of Independence back in 1776 which was to continue throughout the Civil War. The Democratic-Republicans supported Thomas Jefferson and the wording of the DOI but, opposing factions, including the Federalist Party, though it was too French and very anti-British. By 1812, following the Civil War, the Federalist party had all but gone and the deaths on 4th July 1826 of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams re-enforced the idea of celebrating Independence Day as a national holiday.

Today, Independence Day is commemorated across the states with all manner of events. Over in Los Angeles, the 4th July event is a seasonal highlight back with family and child-friendly pursuits.

Each City has their own spin on what the locals will best enjoy. For example, in downtown LA, there is a HUGE block party in Grand Park featuring stacks of food, drink, live music and of course fabulous fireworks – even dogs are permitted to go!

Of course, being American, each City/State/Town likes to think that theirs is the biggest event with the best firework display, however, there are some which are categorized as super events due to the number of people who attend:


This 25-minute firework event includes over 6000 explosions. Macy’s have been funding the event since 1976 when the US celebrated the bicentennial of the signing of the DOI. For over 30-years, Pyro Spectaculars by Souza (one of the first Italian firework families) have carefully positioned 5-barges on the Hudson River and let rip with every effect imaginable. This event is viewed by almost 3 million people live and a further 10 million-plus on TV or online media.


President Trump has gone all out on this one. More than 70,000 people gather for the fireworks in the nation’s capital to watch the incredible display over the Washington Monument annually. This is an all-day event which of course includes parades, festivals, live music and as night falls, FIREWORKS. The display is fired and choreographed by the pro-team from Garden State Fireworks which was established in 1890.


This event is also the responsibility of firework supremo’s Pyro Spectacular by Souza. The fireworks can be viewed from a huge number of locations around San Diego Bay in California and the pyro is carefully set up on 4 barges within the Bay area. 50,000 spectators regularly line the area so be prepared. Of course, the fireworks are not due to begin until nightfall which will be around 9pm so there is plenty of time to take in the sights and visit Legoland or Seaworld during the daytime, keeping the whole of the family happy.


Philadelphia is seen as the birthplace of the USA as this was where the DOI was signed on 2nd August 1776. The City is known to be a brilliant family-friendly place and the 4th July events reflect this. There will be outdoor screenings of some brilliant movies like ‘Rocky’, ‘Rogue One – A Star Wars Movie, and the delightful Despicable Me which will be brilliant for the family or indeed visits to local Museums at no cost. The people of Philadelphia are also rather keen on what is essentially a ‘sub’ roll called a Hoagie. These are a delicious sandwich which may contain either hot or cold meats with salads and cheeses.  Of course, the best known of them is the ‘Philly Cheese Steak’ which has layers of super-thin sandwich steaks with onions and melted cheese over (yeah baby ….).

Philly has held fireworks for over 100 years. The pyro in Philadelphia is the responsibility of Pyrotechnico who annually thrill the 500,000 spectators with their 18- minute display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 4 barges. Here in Philadelphia, a 3-day festival accompanies the 4th July celebrations so there is plenty to do if you wish to make a longer trip of it.


This has been running for 43 years and culminates in a display fired over the Charles River. The pyro is the responsibility of another of the original Italian Firework families; Fireworks by Grucci. This team won international acclaim back on NYE 2013 when they provided the fireworks and technical expertise to enable the UAE to achieve a Guinness World Record for the biggest firework display ever with 479,651 fireworks. This family has been in the business since 1850 and now the company employs the 6th generation with no sign of their love of pyro ebbing away. The Boston Pops is a fantastic orchestral concert which culminates in a huge 23-minute firework display following a free concert which is on a first-come-first-served basis.

With a population in the USA of 325 million, they will also eat and drink their way through a staggering amount of food and beverages for their private events, BBQ’s and picnics:

  • $388 million on steaks and beef products
  • $389 million on chicken
  • $37 million on corn on the cob
  • $114 million on salads/slaws and potato salads
  • $25 million on bratwurst for those hot-dogs
  • $318 million on crisps (chips over there)
  • $100 million on sauces, marinades and condiments
  • $2.9 BILLION on alcohol

Unfortunately, here in the UK, we do not celebrate the event other than a very select smattering of food outlets and restaurants showing their support with ‘American themed’ foods.

Wherever you are, we would like to say HAPPY 4TH JULY 🙂