Independence Day is a day to celebrate the birth of our great nation. Across the United States, people partake in patriotic festivities marked by parades, cookouts, parties and, of course, extravagant firework displays.
Fireworks have been a part of the Independence Day tradition since July 4th, 1777. Since then, towns across America have celebrated this great national holiday with giant, colorful explosions in the sky. As the country’s birthday and fireworks displays get more and more elaborate, so does the work that goes into the planning. We spoke with Mike Collins, Executive Director of Columbus’ Red White & Boom celebration on what goes into a successful Independence Day Celebration.
“Planning is year-round. Our board of directors meets eleven months out of the year to make sure things run smoothly,” said Collins. “It’s a coordinated effort that employs over 3,000 people for a day. It takes a lot to make this thing go, but it’s worth it for the 400,000 or so people who will come downtown to enjoy the day. It’s about a lot more than just fireworks.”
Every city has a celebration, but only one can reign supreme. It’s time throw out the hot dogs, face paint and parades, and answer the question, “Who’s got the best fireworks celebration in Ohio?”
We asked and you responded to TechOhio’s 4th of July fireworks ranking! The voting took place from June 12th to June 23rd, and was promoted via our Facebook and Twitter pages to hear from people all across the state.
Do you agree with the rankings? Check out the list below and let us know! And if we’ve missed any other great celebrations, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Star-Spangled Spectacular (Cleveland): 24%
Public Square, June 30th at 9 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra, an internationally ranked top 10 orchestra, is hosting a free concert in Downtown Cleveland’s newly-renovated, green Public Square. Thousands gather each year to hear the renowned group and see a spectacular firework display light up the urban, skyscraper-laden backdrop.
Red, White & BOOM! (Columbus): 21%
Downtown, July 3rd at 10 p.m.
Red, White & BOOM! is the largest fireworks display in Ohio and an excellent way to get in the Fourth of July spirit. The event draws over 400,000 downtown each year, so you’ll want to get there early to grab a good spot. The fireworks aren’t the only attraction, though—it’s a whole day of fun. There’s a parade at 6pm, kids activities at Columbia Gas’ Children’s Park from noon-8 p.m., and The Arena District’s ‘Taste of BOOM.’ Fireworks start at 10pm!
Rib, White & Blue Festival (Akron): 14%
July 4th at 9:45 p.m.
Nothing says America quite like watching fireworks on the 4th of July with a plate of BBQ. Chow down on ribs from Ohio, Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas and Toronto at this year’s festival, and enjoy the sounds of Freedom Brass Band and The Akron Symphony Orchestra.
Star-Spangled Spectacular (Lima): 12%
Faurot Park, July 4th at 10 p.m.
Lima’s 4th of July is a day-long celebration jam-packed with a 5K Freedom Run, rides, food vendors and live entertainment. The city’s fireworks are as advertised—spectacular! The show is put on by one of the oldest and largest fireworks companies in the country, Zambelli Fireworks, which also produce Independence Day shows in Denver, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Mount Rushmore, Saint Louis and Baltimore.
Red, White & KaBOOM (Toledo): 10%
Marina District, July 4th at 10 p.m.
Toledo’s take on Independence Day fireworks takes place in the Marina District, located on the east side of the Maumee River. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m., but get downtown sooner because festivities will be live from 4 p.m. on, with music from The Jamm Band featuring Bruce Sims, Rodney Parker and Liberty Beach, and The Together Band.
LaRosa’s Balloon Glow (Cincinnati): 7%
Coney Island, July 3rd at 10 p.m.
Cincinnati starts off with all the fun of a typical summer evening—rides, water park fun, live music and food at Coney Island. But then add a hot air balloon display and booming fireworks to the mix! Live music from local acts begins at 6 p.m., colorful hot air balloons fill the sky at 8 p.m., and Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks display light up the night over the waters of Lake Como at 10 p.m.
Thunder in the Valley (Nelsonville): 6%
Hocking College, July 4th at 8 p.m.
Thunder in the Valley takes place at Hocking College in Athens County and affords visitors the opportunity to combine the natural beauties of Hocking Hills with fireworks. This is southeast Ohio’s top fireworks display. Add to your experience by parking at the Nelsonville Depot and taking the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway to the celebration.
Light in Flight Fireworks (Dayton): 6%
Downtown, July 3rd at 10 p.m.
Dayton’s Independence Day show has something for everyone at RiverScape MetroPark. There’s the traditional food and drink you’ll find at other displays, but what’s unique about this show is the diverse live entertainment. Light in Flight’s lineup has DJ SKNO playing a mix, Kellen Williams Trio with the Blues, Erin Coburn for the Rock n’ Roll, Son Del Caribe playing Latin and finally, the DFunk Allstars holding it down with the Funk.