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Five of the Most Celebrated Fourth of July Firework Displays

By Michael Kuhne, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
July 4, 2014; 10:15 AM ET

The 238th celebration of America's independence from Britain will take place this Friday, July 4.

More than a year following the start of the American Revolutionary War, John Adams spearheaded the colonial plan to declare a formal secession from Great Britain, a notion that was unanimously voted upon by the Continental Congress who approved the Declaration of Independence on July 2, 1776.

The vote against the rule of King George III occurred in the Pennsylvania State House, now known as Independence Hall, in Philadelphia. The Declaration, penned by Thomas Jefferson, would be ratified two days later, and July Fourth would eventually become the historic holiday Americans now celebrate.

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Check out the forecasts and sights of five of America's best Independence Day fireworks displays, according to Travel+Leisure's "Best July 4 Fireworks."

Philadelphia - Wawa Welcome America!

(Photo/trekandshoot/iStock/Thinkstock)

The birthplace of American Independence features an explosive array of pyrotechnics that light up the skies across the historic city every Fourth of July. Philadelphia's celebrations kicked off on June 28 and will continue until July Fourth, closing with the Philly 4th of July Jam & Grand Finale Fireworks. The display is set to begin around 10:30 p.m. EDT, near Benjamin Franklin Parkway, between 20th Street and Eakins Oval.

"It wouldn't be Independence Day without fireworks and this year there are several explosive shows happening in Philadelphia during the week of July Fourth," according to the city's website. Spectators can find the best viewing spots by checking the city's website.

Hurricane Arthur will bring early rain to the area, but the skies should clear in time for the fireworks, AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Edwards said.

New York City - Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks

(Photo/Songquan Deng/iStock/Thinkstock)

The explosive force of more than 40,000 pyrotechnic effects is scheduled to illuminate the skies above the shores of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn on Independence Day. The dazzling light show, a tradition that has spanned for nearly four decades, is America's largest firework display.

The 2014 event is scheduled to erupt at the launch site located near the lower end of New York's East River at 9:20 p.m. Spectators can find the best viewing sites by checking the organization's website.

"In addition to the fireworks launching from the bridge, three barges will be positioned on the lower East River spanning the area from the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, heading south towards the shores of the historic South St. Seaport maritime district and Brooklyn's famed park piers and promenade," according to Macy's website.

Hurricane Arthur could also bring rain to the New York City area, but drier weather will be in store at the time of the fireworks, Edwards said.

Boston - Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular

Fourth of July Fireworks in Boston(Photo/3dan3/iStock/Thinkstock)

Beginning in 1929, the first series of free outdoor concerts in the world would be hosted on Boston's Department of Conservation and Recreation Esplanade. Arthur Fiedler would pave the way to what would become one of the nation's largest outdoor concert and fireworks venues. On July 4, 1979, the Boston tradition was born with the booming sounds of howitzer cannons, church bells, and fireworks accompanying the "1812 Overture."

Since that time, more than 500,000 people have gathered along the sides of the Charles River to await the fireworks that dance to the orchestra's score.

Parking and viewing areas can be found on the organization's website.

Due Hurricane Arthur, the event has been rescheduled to July 3, according to the website.

Even with the change of date, the celebration might not be able to completely avoid threatening weather.

"Thursday will be warm and humid. There will be showers and thunderstorms around for this afternoon and this evening but it does not look like a complete washout," said AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Mark Paquette.

Washington, D.C. - National Mall Independence Day Celebration

(Photo/ National Park Service)

Each year, fiery sparks fill the skies above the Capital City and reflect off the water of the National Mall's Reflecting Pool. The fireworks are visible from several locations in Washington, D.C., and Virginia, according to the National Park Service's website.

"Viewing areas on the National Mall near the Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool will be accessible only through secure access points," the park service reports.

The fireworks are scheduled to launch at 9:10 p.m. EDT; however, spectators can celebrate the holiday with free access to many of D.C.'s museums, including the National Archives, which houses the famous signed copy of the Declaration of Independence.

The best viewing area can be found by visiting the park service's website, but includes the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, U.S. Capitol building, and the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

Weather around D.C. will follow a similar trend to New York City, with the chance of storms and rain threatening the festivities. However, chances for rain are lessened in the D.C. metropolitan area.

The chance for rain will diminish and skies will be clear in time for the celebration in D.C., Edwards said.

Addison, Texas - The Addison Kaboom Town! Fireworks Display

Nina Byers, Fort Worth, left, sits with friend Ian Jacobson, Addison, right, as they watch fireworks during the Kaboom Town fireworks show at Addison Circle Park Saturday, July 3, 2010, in Addison, Texas. (AP Photo/Cody Duty)

Each year on July 3, more than half of a million people watch as skies as historic warplanes roar overhead, celebrating into the early morning hours of Independence Day.

Spectators at watching parties, parks, restaurants and hotels can watch the colorful bursts of fireworks explode to choreographed music, which is also simulcast through the radio.

The event can be viewed from almost anywhere in the city, making it one of the Lone Star State's most spectacular celebrations of independence, according to the event's website.

The event will kick off at 5 p.m. on July 3, with the firework display scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. local time.

"In Addison, it looks like a typical summer day with high temperatures in the middle 90s and a few afternoon and evening thunderstorms around the area," Edwards said.

Where is your favorite fireworks display held? Let us know in the comments, or visit us on Facebook and Twitter!

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