Best Small Town Celebrations For Independence Day

Best Small Town Celebrations for Independence Day

Fourth of July is one of America's biggest holidays. Everyone and everywhere –  villages to mega cities – celebrate the country's founding. Fireworks, parades, games and contests are organized all over the U.S. There is something quite charming about the way a small community honors the nation's birthday. Small towns can throw big parties. What they lack in size, they make up in patriotism.

Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff hosts a series of quintessential Independence Day events. Add the town's pines, frontline spirit and proximity to the Grand Canyon, which is a favorite adventure destination in general, and you will have a hard time finding a better place to be on July 4. Its Historic Downtown parade, fireworks, free concert by the Symphony Orchestra, lights on the lawn, the arts fest, and the Fiord Classic Car Show make Flagstaff  a holiday place for every kind of patriot.

Boulder, Colorado

There will be no skiing in Boulder on Independence Day but there will be a bike rodeo. If you are looking for a pig roast, live music performances,  humungous beer gardens and the famous Ralphie's Independence Day Blast fireworks display, head out to Boulder for the long weekend. Sign up for the 2016 Louisville Slugger Softball Tournament and celebrate while playing a version of America's favorite pastime. Late night swimming, jazz shows and walking tours are other options.

New Hope, Pennsylvania

New Hope is a small town with a big city feel. It was even named one of "America's Favorite Towns" by Travel + Leisure. According to popular legends, George Washington allegedly marched through several times during the Revolutionary War. Join the festivities and participate in the Revolutionary Run in Washington Crossing. Go antique shopping or have brunch at Logan Inn, which was established in 1722.

Independence, California

This small town and little-known town has been building a reputation for living up to its name when it comes to celebrating the country's birthday. Locals hold nothing back. Blasts off the holiday with an early morning 5k/10k Walk/Run. You'll feel like part of the community as you enjoy a parade, festival of fireworks that contrast a snowy mountain in the background, and eat some of the most delicious pancakes and pies in the country.

Brunswick, Georgia

Brunswick's Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration takes place in Mary Ross Waterfront Park in Downtown Brunswick. There will be free watermelon slices for everyone, music in the air, and plenty of old-fashioned games like sack races, water balloon tossing, horseshoe tossing, and hula hoop contests, along with fun prizes for the winners. All of this is followed by a remarkable fireworks show that explodes over the East River.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Travel & Leisure Magazine ranked Chapel Hill as one of America's Top 10 Best Towns for a July Fourth Celebration. People loved it because of its bars, local fun, family-friendly vibe, and fireworks at Kenan Memorial Stadium, which begin at 9:30.

Telluride, Colorado

Locals do their best to be known for something other than one of the best ski destinations in the country. Telluride celebrates Fourth of July with running races, parade, BBQ, served by the city's firemen, family games in Town Park, airplane flybys, and fireworks. Visitors cheer for goofy costumes, homemade floats, music, and an airplane fly-over provided by volunteers from the Colorado National Guard.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Easy access to Acadia National Park is one of many reasons you should spend the holiday in Bar Harbor. The show starts in early morning and goes on long after the sun has gone down. Start the day right with an outdoor blueberry pancake breakfast and end it with fireworks over Frenchman's Bay. Until then, see the town's parade, try delicious food at the seafood festival, listen to live music, and see a lobster race.

Bristol, Rhode Island

Festivities in Bristol are the oldest known continuous celebration in the U.S., established in 1785. The Parade, the Military, Civic and Firemen's Parade, is believed to have begun in the early 1800's. Maybe this is why Bristol is sometimes called "the most patriotic town in the country." Events start on June 14, Flag Day, and continue through Independence Day. There are many concerts, carnivals and fireworks shows all over town.

Saratoga, New York

Saratoga marks the holiday with its annual All-American Celebration, which those of you who love history will appreciate very much. Kids get to "meet" Ben Franklin and other important figures from the past, and learn about the town that was the side of a major battle during the American Revolution. You'll see the All-American Parade & Patriotic Pooches down Broadway, cool cars at the Classic Car Show, enjoy All-American BBQ & Dessert Fest, and listen to a live reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Natchitoches, Louisiana

As is the case with many things in Louisiana, expect a show Cajun-style. The day begins around 10 a.m. with children's activities, barbecues, and live musical entertainment from local bands at 6 p.m. with a spectacular firework show  at 9 p.m. over the Cane River Lake in historic Downtown Natchitoches, the oldest town in the state.

St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine is thought to be America's oldest city, having been founded by the Spanish in 1565. The small town hosts one of the largest firework shows on the East coast, featuring 5,000 individual shells exploding as high as 2,000 feet and as low as 100 feet. It is choreographed to sync with a soundtrack of patriotic music that carries over the entire Bayfront area. A free two-hour concert will precede the show.

Ilwaco, Washington

Ilwaco celebrates in a local, community-oriented style with the Old Fashioned 4th of July Parade at Ocean Park, where about 300 people gather, and with a fireworks show on Long Beach, one of the best shows around, set off in front of the boardwalk. Hours of spectacular pre and post-show fireworks can be seen up and down the length of their 28 miles of beach.

Seguin, Texas

This is where the "Biggest Small Town Fourth of July Parade in Texas" takes places. The weekend long celebration of our independence kicks off on Saturday with Freedom Fiesta, held in Central Park in downtown Seguin. It features live performances, a kids parade led by Uncle Sam, and vendors selling delicious foods. The following day, the San Antonio Symphonic Band will play a medley of patriotic tunes.

Seward, Nebraska

Seward is "America's Fourth of July City – Small Town USA!" It has hosted a celebration honoring the country's founding since 1868. The observance is unique in that the major leadership is provided by high school students who organize a parade, clogging, and various contests. The event adds new attractions each year.