Time is ticking down to the Fourth of July and planning something special for the big birthday bash is a must. While many stick to their tried and true traditional celebrations, here are a few hot spots across the country to mix up how you celebrate your red, white and BOOM!
Recently rated one of the top small towns of USA, this quaint but fashionable lakeside town has a main street that ends at the shores of beautiful Lake Minnetonka at the Port of Excelsior. The historic port and the Excelsior Commons together comprise a 13-acre park including open recreation areas and beaches providing the ideal place to enjoy the Lake Minnetonka 4th of July Celebration. The all-day event dates back 135 years and the fun starts with the annual Firecracker Run, followed by a kids parade, popsicle social, sand sculpting contest, free live music in the bandshell and the national anthem followed by fireworks at dusk shot high above all from a barge in Excelsior Bay. Arrive early to get your grassy spot on the commons or boat space on the lake; it gets packed!
Fifty pounds of explosives shot out of a cannon at 6am from the Smuggler Mine signals the start to Independence Day and Aspen’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration. With the early wake up, revelers can head straight to the 8am Boogies 5-mile fun run. Next on tap includes kids’ bike decorating, a carnival in the park, and a town parade complete with the roar of hundreds of Harley motorcycles and squirt gun attacks from the floats as they pass by. Afternoon activities include a town picnic, free concert courtesy of the Aspen Music School and dancing in the streets on the mall before the 9pm firework extravaganza over Aspen Mountain. Late night enthusiasts can try for tickets to Thievery Corporation playing at the Belly Up.
Bristol, Rhode Island
The longest continuous Independence Day celebration in the country at 232 years strong, Bristol’s festivities began when a local Revolutionary War veteran began holding patriotic exercises in the First Congregational Church in 1785. Today the celebration starts on Flag Day and ramps up until the 4th. Activities include a half marathon, firefighting demonstrations, free concerts, drum & bugle corps competition, a service people parade, and a fabulous Fourth of July Ball.
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
The Lights on the Lake celebration over the aquamarine waters of South Lake Tahoe is an unbeatable experience offering numerous places to see the show. Partiers can board the M.S Dixie II, a Mississippi-style paddle wheel boat offering excellent viewing to live music, or book a catered dinner booze cruise aboard the Safari Rose. Nevada Beach is the perfect place to set up camp and barbecue by the beach with epic views of both the fireworks and the Desolation Wilderness. Hiking up Mount Tallac provides a unique aspect from above but a headlamp will most certainly be required for the trip down.
Deemed the mountain town that has it all, the creative Bend Park & Recreation District’s Old Fashioned July 4th Festival certainly has something for everyone, even the four-legged crowd. Festivities start with a pancake breakfast and the infamous pet parade where dogs, cats, horses, llamas, covered-wagons and the like get gussied up patriot-style for a 1.5-mile stroll around town. From 11-4pm, live music, pie-eating contests and old-fashioned kids’ activities are available in Drake Park. Sack races, a water-balloon toss, a three-legged race, watermelon-eating contests, helicopter landings and more are offered. Souvenirs can be found at the over 100 community and crafts tents around the park. Events conclude with the Bend July 4th Fireworks Spectacular at 10pm.
Fair, St Louis, Ohio
Touted as America’s biggest birthday party, Fair St. Louis attracts hundreds of thousands of Independence Day devotees every year from July 1-4th. Starting with the 135th VP Parade on Market Street, the big bash is free of admission and party-goers can enjoy live music, hands on activities in the festival zone, investigating new products in the interactive zone, or shopping the cultural artisan art space in the fairway area. Other events include a slackline, human sling-shot and other carnival style rides (for a small fee). From July 2-4th, each night is topped off with a nationally recognized firework display.
*All content provided in this blog is supplied by Lyndsay Meyer and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.
Image credit: iStockphoto
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