On the heels of the historic Supreme Court decision granting same-sex couples the right to marry, LGBT Americans no doubt feel a bit more patriotic this year. To join in on the Independence Day festivities, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best celebrations nationwide.
BOSTON POPS FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR
The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular has been a Beantown tradition for more than four decades. Performances from the orchestra begin at 8:30 p.m. at the Hatch Shell, on the Charles River Esplanade, and continue through the 10:30 p.m. firework display, which lasts about half an hour and finishes with Tchaikovsky's “1812 Overture,” including real cannon fire and church bells.
AON SUMMER FIREWORKS AT NAVY PIER
Attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators, the Aon Summer Fireworks at Navy Pier uses the waters of Lake Michigan as its launching pad, spanning two miles of Grant Park down to the Adler Planetarium.
INVASION OF THE PINES
Fire Island Pines, NY
Undoubtedly the biggest weekend of the season, the Invasion of the Pines (below) traces its roots back to an incident in 1976 when Grove resident Terry Warren, dressed in drag, was refused service in the then-conservative neighboring community of the Pines. Fast-forward to the Fourth of July that same year, Warren’s friends dressed in drag and sailed by ferry to “raid” the Pines. This time, however, they were received with glee and an annual event was born. This year’s “Parade to the Boats” begins at noon from the Ice Palace with a flotilla of two ferries invading the Pines around 2pm. Expanding the Sip 'n Twirl tradition, every bar in the Pines will observe Dress in Drag, Drink for Free, from 2 to 4:00. And the ‘Best in Drag’ Contest, takes place poolside at 5:00.
LAS VEGAS FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS
Las Vegas, Nev.
Who would think you could cram any more light onto the Strip? And, yet, they somehow manage during Sin City’s Fourth of July fireworks show. No matter where you are, you'll likely see multiple displays: just on the Strip alone, Mandalay Bay, Caesar’s Palace and the Stratosphere all launch their own shows.
4TH OF JULY AMERICAFEST AT THE ROSE BOWL
Billing itself as Southern California’s largest fireworks show, the 4th of July AmericaFest at the Rose Bowl offers spectators a motorcycle stunt show, a performance by the Ultimate Beatles Experience, and an Elvis tribute prior to the main attraction: pyrotechnics exploding in the sky above the Rose Bowl.
39TH ANNUAL MACY'S 4TH OF JULY FIREWORKS
New York, NY
If “go big or go home” is your mantra, then the 39th Annual Macy's 4th of July Fireworks may be for you: it’s the country’s largest Independence Day fireworks display. Four barges stationed near Midtown and another south of the Brooklyn Bridge ensure that viewers in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn will all get to see the massive pyrotechnic display. Kelly Clarkson, Flo Rida, and Meghan Trainor will also perform throughout the evening.
WALT DISNEY WORLD
The happiest place on earth, in the over-the-top Disney tradition, celebrates the Fourth with three separate spectacles: Disney's Celebrate America! – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky (9pm) in the Magic Kingdom; Illuminations: Reflections of Earth on Fourth of July (10pm) in EPCOT Center; and a Rockin’ Fourth of July Celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (10:15pm).
FOURTH OF JULY PARADE AND FIREWORKS
The Independence Day parade - complete with floats and marching bands - kicks off at 11am from the Harbor Hotel and proceeds along Commercial Street. Later that night, around 9pm, fireworks will illuminate the sky over Provincetown Harbor.
NATIONAL MALL INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION
He may write the songs the whole world sings, but Barry Manilow himself will perform the Fourth of July festivities at the National Mall that also includes the National Symphony Orchestra and nearly 20 minutes of fireworks.