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Indepence Day

Travel Forums North America Indepence Day

1. Posted by deadmanmoz (Full Member 92 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hey all,

Just wondering what effect Independence Day has on the states.
This year i do believe it falls on a Friday?
Is travelling (driving a rental car) a bad idea anytime over that weekend coz of the volume of people? or is driving the day prior to it worse than the day and weekend itself?

trying to plan my trip and time spent driving/in each city and want to filter in things like Independence Day as that falls in the middle of my trip.


2. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hey Moz!

Do you have a bit of an idea what part of the country you will be traveling through about that time? That info may help a bit with replies as each major city - though similar in their celebrations - will vary some as to which day they conduct the fireworks, etc.

With July 4th falling on a Friday, I can only summize that more people will be traveling because it will be a 3-day weekend. I can say that for the Chicago area, the big fireworks display will be held on Thursday night (July 3rd). The expressways will be quite "thick" with traffic starting around noon and then again around 10pm. Downtown traffic will be a zoo but with patience, you'll get where you want to be. Again, because of the long weekend, the highways out of the city will also be a bit heavier with those deciding to "escape".

Taste of Chicago will also still be ongoing during that weekend so you will have the suburban traffic coming into the city for that event. Basically, the whole weekend will see heavier traffic but it is manageable if you work around peak hours. Taste starts at 11am (if I remember correctly).

3. Posted by Ham Radio (Respected Member 285 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

You need to figure out where in the USA you will be on July 4. Post it and we can probably help you out.

4. Posted by jadeverell (Respected Member 255 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!


I will also be in the US on the 4th July (30th june - 5th July) and will be based in New York.

Can anyone recommend any decent places to hang-out at and take in the activites?



5. Posted by deadmanmoz (Full Member 92 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I'm not 100% sure of my itinary, trying to work it out now but it's a nightmare, have a list of where i'm going and what date im starting and finishing but trying to work out how long ecah part of the journey will take, how long to give myself in each city, will i have time to do anything when i arrive in each city each day or just write that day off and start again the next day.!

Anywho, i THINK i'll be either in Chicago or Cleveland for Indepence weekend but thats a big THINK :-(

6. Posted by Cool Paul (Travel Guru 611 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

if it does fall on a friday you can be sure that thursday afternoon will be ridiculous as far as traffic goes...everybody and their grandmother will be heading towards the shores.

I'm in Philly so it gets pretty crazy around here, being the birthplace of our independence and all... everyone leaves or heads into the city to party.

7. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

People head for the beach (the shores as Cool Paul put it) or a public park on that day. Lots of public parks put on evening firework displays for free (I'd say at least 30% of cities across the US probably do this). People hang out at the parks and have picnics and start up their own impromptu baseball games, have people playing frisbee, some playing soccer, some walking their dogs. I remember a park in a prosperous area just east of LA where my family would go every year where the soccer games, baseball games and football games all ended crossing over each other as the games went on--and then there were dogs running across the field chasing frisbees in the middle of it--and I mean about 40% of each game was on the same field (since there were so many people there and about 7 of each kind of game going on at the same time).

You'd think people would get mad--but everyone just kept going on with their game and tried to avoid messing up each others' game. Kind of surreal--but that's Independence Day--people are all there to celebrate and enjoy the time to kick back and go crazy.

As far as large celebrations, probably the best known are the one on Washington Mall (between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial) in Washington, D.C., the East River in New York City, down by the river in Nashville, near Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and in the state of Washington there is a gigantic one in Tacoma. Here in California, most of the celebrations are all up and down the coast and they shoot off the fireworks over the water.
Thus, it will be a bit crowded at these places early in the day--and totally packed just before the fireworks display starts. Some popular beaches will be packed all day.

Most newspapers put out a list of the fireworks celebration spots the week before Independence Day. Just pick up a paper or check out the local signs on the streets that tell you where the celebrations are. If you want to go to a paid celebration, those are usually at the local football stadiums (such as the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California or Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan) and the fees are around $15 to $20 per person or so.


8. Posted by jadeverell (Respected Member 255 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Cheers Calcruzer for the info. Can i expect to see a decent a firework display in Central Park (NY)? Think i am gonna take you advice and spend the whole day just chilling in the parks and taking in the 'vibe'.


9. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I don't think they do a fireworks display in Central Park because of the problems they would have with crowd control, distractions with traffic and too many things in the area being flammable.

Like I said, usually the big display is on the East River (just about six blocks east of Central Park). You could hang out in Central Park or another NY park in the afternoon and then just "mosey" over to the East River about 5 PM to get a spot to check out the fireworks.

Since I don't live in NY, maybe a local NYer could fill in the details for deadmanmoz and jadeverall.

(Like, will there be a concert in Central Park on July 4th this year?--there very often is).