4th of July Celebrations Around the Country

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The 4th of July, a celebration commemorating our nation’s independence, has become synonymous with BBQs, family get-togethers and summer fun. But many cities across the country have developed their own unique traditions on this holiday—some of them inspirational, and some of them whacky.

Here’s a list of the most unique, dazzling and unforgettable places to celebrate the 4th of July.

Bristol, Rhode Island: The small town of Bristol attracts people from all over the country for its annual celebration, which began in 1785, making it the oldest celebration in in the U.S.  Those looking for an old-fashioned time can enjoy a traditional parade, a fireworks display (what 4th of July would be complete without a fireworks display?) and a 4th of July ball.

Park City, Utah: From its humble beginnings as a small, ski-resort town to its current reputation as host to Sundance Film Festival and the Olympics, Park City has been able to retain its reputation as being the best place in the state to celebrate the 4th of July. After the parade, spectators gather in the city park to imbibe (typically-stern police have been known to turn their backs on this day), celebrate and watch a game of rugby. Everyone reconvenes at the base of Park City Ski Resort to watch a striking fireworks display.

Ocean Beach/San Diego, California: One of the strangest 4th of July traditions happens in Ocean Beach, a counterculture beach community in San Diego. For years, residents from all over trek out to the ocean to take part in a massive marshmallow fight once the fireworks are over. However, the fight has gotten so out of hand that city officials have encouraged people to not take part—a sticky situation, indeed. The gooey, sugary tradition will probably never fully die, but it’s definitely toned down from what it used to be.

Chicago, Illinois: For much of the year, the upper Midwestern climate is too extreme for those looking for a temperate getaway. But during July, the weather is perfect—and there are few better places to celebrate the 4th than on Chicago’s historic navy pier. Each year, an estimated four million people gather along the shoreline of Lake Michigan for attractions that include an old-fashioned carousel, Ferris wheel and live music. The night ends with a romantic and dazzling firework display over the lake.

Pismo Beach, California: Pismo Beach—located just a couple miles south of San Louis Obisbo—features one of the last beaches that allow motorized vehicles on the sand (in designated spots). It also provides lots of beach camping and a fantastic fireworks display on the 4th of July. For a low-key beach destination, it’s a good alternative to the insanely crowded Southern California beaches.

If you’re thinking of taking a quick trip to a new location to celebrate the Fourth, consider one of the fun locations above and don’t forget the Motioneaze.


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