As long as we are living in New York, I never want to stay in New York City for Independence Day ever again. The crowds and the wait times to see sub-par fireworks is pretty ridiculous. In New York, you have to wait for almost everything that is even remotely good, and the older I get, the less and less exciting that sounds to me.
Last Fourth of July, we were in Charleston and originally arrived at the park about four hours before the fireworks were slated to begin, and there was no one except people there sun-bathing and wandering around to wander around, not to stake out their fireworks viewing spot, so we left and came back. This year, we are spending the long holiday weekend in the Pittsburgh area and saw the fireworks along the Allegheny River here. We arrived about an hour before the fireworks were to begin, and we got a perfect spot right along the river between two of the bridges — no insane wait time, and no ridiculous crowds pushing us from all sides. According to an article I read, Pittsburgh was rated one of the top ten places to see Independence Day fireworks (not sure what their source was, though). After watching it tonight, I was really impressed and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a good length, had a large variety of different types of fireworks, colors, and effects, and they even provided an introduction and background music that blared all along the river. They even started on time at 9:35pm! It was so nice to not wait that long, have enough space, and just enjoy the fireworks. This is when I really appreciate being in other parts of the country (or even world) on this nation’s birthday.