After nearly a year and a half of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Fourth of July may finally commemorate the nation’s return to normalcy.
Officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, have said that July Fourth will serve as an unofficial kickoff to a new phase in the U.S. pandemic response.
While the U.S. has sadly amassed 600,000 deaths from the virus, cases and deaths have now dropped to levels not seen since the first days of the outbreak.
President Biden has proclaimed this summer as the “summer of freedom” as America continues to head back to life the way it was before the pandemic began.
Biden is planning a huge holiday event at the White House that will serve as a breakthrough moment in the country’s recovery. The President will be hosting a big event this coming weekend for first responders, essential workers and military servicemembers and their families on the South Lawn for a cookout. Everyone will also watch the traditional fireworks ceremony over the National Mall.
Over 1,000 guests are expected, officials said, with final arrangements still to be sorted out.
A Capitol Fourth and July 4th Fireworks show, hosted by Vanessa Williams, will also be broadcast on PBS, though it will be recorded this year out of pandemic precautions. It starts at 8 p.m.
“By July the 4th, there’s a good chance you, your families and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout and a barbeque and celebrate Independence Day,” Biden had said back in March.
After being cancelled last year, dazzling pyrotechnic shows are also back on for 2021 across the U.S. CNN Travel has found some of the top places in America to enjoy July 4th fireworks. If you cannot see them in person, many can be caught on live streams or on TV broadcasts.
Addison, Texas – Kaboom Town – Saturday, July 3
Tickets for the celebration in Addison Park Circle are sold out, but restaurants and hotels still have watch-party packages. The town will also do a live stream on its YouTube channel. A “Freedom Flyover” patriotic airshow starts at 7:30 p.m., and the fireworks start at 9:30 p.m.
Birmingham, Alabama – Thunder on the Mountain – Sunday, July 4
This fireworks show in Alabama’s biggest city is set against the backdrop of the colossal Vulcan, the world’s largest cast iron statue.
Vulcan Park and Museum will close at 6 p.m. to prepare for the show and prime viewing locations include Five Points South, Homewood, Vestavia, Mountain Brook and the UAB campus. The 9 p.m. show will also be televised.
Boston, Massachusetts – Fireworks and Pops Concert – Sunday, July 4
This beloved New England celebration will have a fireworks show at Boston Common starting at 10:30pm while the Boston Pops Independence Day concert will be held at Tanglewood in Western Massachusetts. Tickets are sold out, but the show will be broadcast from 8 to 11 p.m.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida – 4th of July Spectacular – Sunday, July 4
The Beach Boys will perform live from 7:30 to 9 p.m. and a seaside fireworks show will start immediately afterward.
Las Vegas – Las Vegas Strip Fireworks – Sunday, July 4
There will be various shows and events all over the Las Vegas area including a big display on the Strip at 11 p.m., when fireworks will be shot off simultaneously from the rooftops of Caesars Palace, The Aria, Planet Hollywood, Treasure Island, The Venetian, The STRAT and the new Resorts World.
Nashville, Tennessee – Let Freedom Sing! – Sunday, July 4
The Tenessee capital is putting on a fire works show and a country music concert with Brad Paisley as the headliner for the musical festivities. The entertainment starts at 4 p.m., and Paisley is set to take stage a little after 8 p.m. The fireworks show will be accompanied by the Nashville Symphony, and will begin at 9:30 p.m.
NYC – Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular – Sunday, July 4
Macy’s aims to provide up to two miles of public viewing space for a free fireworks show this year. Live broadcast coverage of entertainment starts at 8 p.m. Around 9:45 p.m., fireworks will be shot from barges in the East River. Entertainers include Reba McEntire.
Pasadena, California – AmericaFest – Sunday, July 4
AmericaFest is a paid event and will be held at the iconic Rose Bowl. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. with motocross shows scheduled for 6:30 and 8 p.m. The fireworks are set to go off at 9 p.m.
Whichever way you celebrate America this year and wherever you are able to catch some fireworks, this year’s 4th of July may sure to be one to remember.
“We welcome you to join us by hosting your own events to honor our freedom, salute those who have been serving on the frontlines, and celebrate our progress in fighting this pandemic,” the White House wrote in an email to state and local officials last week.
“America is headed into a summer dramatically different from last year,” the administration added. “A summer of freedom. A summer of joy. A summer of reunions and celebrations.”
The U.S. is additionally on its way to achieving its goal of having 70% of adults vaccinated. Roughly 166.5 million adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC.
“Regardless of where we are on July Fourth, we’re not shutting down shop,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said recently regarding the Administration’s push to get more Americans vaccinated.
“On July 5th, we’re going to continue to press to vaccinate more people across the country,” Psaki added.