July 3, 2018


Fireworks and Freedom: How to Spend the Fourth in These Cities

By: Cindy Cerquitella

It’s Tuesday, July 3, and if you’re like me, decision fatigue is already setting in. With the Fourth of July taking place on a Wednesday, it’s hard to decide how best to celebrate the birth of our nation, our Declaration of Independence, and an American future we hope is filled with even greater freedom. But, never fear, AF’s chapter leaders across the country have come to your rescue! Below, find a selection of recommended festivities in a city near you.

Chicago, IL: Eric Kohn
“Chicago’s big Independence Day celebration is on the evening of the fourth with a huge fireworks display over Navy Pier. People will come in from all parts of the city and the suburbs to grab a seat on the beaches that line Lake Michigan to take in the spectacle.

But I’m not a big fan of crowds. And I discovered a much better way, by accident, several years ago to get your fill of fireworks.

I had an apartment on the top floor of a six-floor building, and my roommate’s room opened up onto the building’s roof. You could see everything from the south and west of the city. Starting around dusk on July Fourth, you can see every suburban community’s local fireworks display going on simultaneously. It’s a 180-degree view of nothing but fireworks, and it’s amazing. So, if you can, find a friend in the city with a building that allows you see out towards the south and west suburbs for the best fireworks display ever.”

New Orleans, LA: Aly Rau
“The best way is to enjoy some fireworks is along the banks of the Mississippi. The French quarter backs up to the river and it’s beautiful!“

Philadelphia, PA: Bob Dick
“Our nation’s birthplace has no shortage of great celebrations including: the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony and Independence Day Parade, the July Fourth picnic at Valley Forge, and the Independence Day Celebration at Franklin Square.”

Columbus, OH: Esther Bardo
“Ohio’s biggest fireworks display, ‘Red, White and Boom,’ in downtown Columbus.”

Indianapolis, IN: Chloe Anagnos
“Personally, I’m going to watch the fireworks from my balcony downtown!”

And if you happen to be in Washington, DC, and not headed to the National Mall or the Capitol lawn, I recommend bringing a picnic to the Cardoza high school lawn and enjoy the show–just try not to get hit by an errant neighborhood firework, Columbia Heights knows how to party.

Happy Fourth of July to us all, may we continue to strive for toward “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”