5 Of The Best 4th of July Fireworks Celebrations On Rivers

Some of the best 4th of July Fireworks in the country are hosted on the water. Grab a lawn chair or hop on the boat and get ready for the ultimate fireworks celebrations with these five 4th of July shows on rivers around the USA.

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Photo by Melaleuca

The Best Fireworks Show: Snake River (Idaho Falls)

Best For Grandest Event Performance and Display
If the fireworks are your favorite part of any Independence Day celebration, then the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration in Idaho Falls might be the perfect place to spend your Fourth of July. Innovative pyrotechnics, a moving soundtrack, and a state of the art fireworks display await those who head out to the Snake River for the fourth. Sitting on the banks of the Snake River or out on the river in a boat is the best way to watch the show and get the best view. Surrounded by rugged mountains, the show vividly paints the night sky and reflects off of the river for a dramatic, breathtaking experience. Beginning at 10 pm on July 3 at Snake River Landing, you can watch over 18,000 fireworks burst into the sky in honor of America and in salute to veterans and service members.

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The Best Fireworks Show: Cedar River (Cedar Rapids)

Best For Most Traditional Fireworks Show
The Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival offers a great fireworks show each year, often considered one of the largest 4th of July displays in the state of Iowa. Their main focus is the fireworks show over the Cedar River and they aim to put on one of the best shows around. This means they don’t offer a lot of extra frills, except for food and drink vendors, but the main event is always well choreographed with a variety of music playing for all to enjoy. With the display being shot off the 1st Avenue Bridge, the 2nd Avenue Bridge offers the best seats in the house with entry beginning at 7 pm on a first come, first serve basis. The show is on the 4th of July from 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm and you’ll need to purchase a Freedom Festival button before heading in to enjoy the show, which is available at the entry gate.

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The Best Fireworks Show: Mississippi River (La Crosse)

Best For Multiple Spots For Viewing
La Crosse’s Riverfest 4th of July celebration is one of the most popular fireworks shows to attend in the city with plenty of options around the area for great seating. Riverfest offers one of the largest fireworks shows and 4th of July celebrations in region with 5 days of local and national musical acts, events, family-friendly activities, food and drink vendors, and of course fireworks to top off the festival. You can enjoy activities offered by the event including live entertainment, food and drink, and other performances by purchasing an event button at the gate. The event begins at 4:00 pm on June 30th with opening ceremonies and runs until the fireworks starting at 10:00 pm at Riverside Park on July 4th. You can watch the show from several locations in the area including on the Cass Street Bridge and from a boat on the Mississippi River, but some of the best are found at Riverside Park if you show up early enough to snag a spot.

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The Best Fireworks Show: Delaware River (Philadelphia)

Best For Free Fireworks Display
Wawa Welcome America is Philadelphia’s 16 day Independence Day celebration, the longest July Fourth fest ever. The fest features free concerts, museum days, movie screenings, and Juneteenth commemorations along with plenty of other celebrations and events celebrating freedom and liberty in America’s birthplace. Wawa Welcome America ends annually on July 4th with a legendary concert and a spectacular, free fireworks display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Delaware River at 9:45 pm. Popular spots to watch the fireworks include Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Schuylkill Banks and Boardwalk, Lemon Hill, Sister Cities Park, and many other locations.

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The Best Fireworks Show: Cumberland River (Nashville)

Best For Combined Concert and Fireworks Show
The Let Freedom Sing Independence Day celebration in Downtown Nashville is a great combination of music and entertainment for those who like to celebrate with a big event and crowd. This free Music City July 4th event features a concert by top names in music each year, before the fireworks display accompanied by the Nashville Symphony who will be playing at the Ascend Amphitheatre. You can head to the event site at 12 pm for food trucks, scavenger hunts, and more throughout Downtown Nashville, before heading to the concert at an outdoor stage on First Avenue and Broadway. From there you can watch the fireworks, or head to any spot around the area for a great view of the show, which will come from four different major positions to cover a larger air space above the Cumberland River.

Content Writer and Social Media Coordinator. I paint, listen to music, and play with my dogs a lot. When I’m not doing all that, I love to read and try new things.

Maeve Miller

Writer, River Travel Magazine