Best July 4th Fireworks
Washington, D.C.: A Capitol Fourth
The whole Mall is a stage on the Fourth of July, and its live audience one of the country’s biggest—for good reason. The show, which takes a week to set up, uses predominantly large shells, with the splendor of the capital’s monuments as a backdrop. Central to the production’s drama is the illusion that the fireworks are exploding above the Lincoln Memorial or the Washington Monument, instead of over the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool where they’re launched. Two soundtracks accompany the sights: one is a prerecorded score for the on-site crowd, and the other—played live by the National Symphony Orchestra on the West Lawn of the Capitol—accompanies PBS’s broadcast of the fireworks.
Where to View: If it’s your first time, get into the thick of it and claim a spot on the Mall. Arrive as early as possible.