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The Best Small-Town Fireworks for Fourth of July Celebrations in 2024

Exciting fireworks shows have a magical way of uniting communities, especially in small towns where the celebrations can be just as grand as what you might find in the big cities. If you’re looking to celebrate the Fourth of July in a small-town sort of way, consider these great options. From the lush landscapes of Boyne, Michigan, to the rugged Snake River in Idaho Falls, Idaho, these small towns can really light up the sky in honor of America's independence, offering some of the most exciting fireworks shows you'll ever see.

Small-Town Fireworks

Melaleuca Freedom Celebration—Idaho Falls

Fireworks in Idaho Falls (photo courtesy of Melaleuca Freedom Celebration).
Melaleuca Freedom Celebration

In Idaho Falls, fireworks take on a whole new meaning with the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration. This is the only show on this list that is completely privately funded. The fireworks in Idaho Falls each Fourth of July are paid for and overseen by consumer goods company Melaleuca, headquartered in the town. What started as a childhood passion for Melaleuca’s executive chairman, Frank VanderSloot, has evolved into an enormous spectacle that pays homage to America's heroes.

A parade through the middle of town in the morning leads to Riverfest in the afternoon, a fun-filled time at the Snake River with food trucks, live entertainment, and even helicopter rides. At around 10 p.m., more than 18,000 fireworks are launched from the banks of the Snake River, making this also the biggest fireworks show on this list (and also one of the biggest fireworks shows in the whole country). No wonder Melaleuca calls it the “biggest fireworks show west of the Mississippi.”

Custer, South Dakota

This area is where patriotism and natural beauty collide. During the day, enjoy a parade and festival, with fireworks in the evening. The next day (or the day before), head to Keystone, home of the legendary Mount Rushmore. Nestled in the Black Hills, Keystone is a beacon of American history and celebration.

Enjoy hiking among the breathtaking landscapes and diving into the region’s rich presidential and Native American history. Visitors can also enjoy horseback riding adventures and savor local wine tasting, making Keystone a quintessential patriotic destination. Why watch the fireworks in Custer? Because, with the exception of 2020, the National Park Service doesn’t allow pyrotechnics at the Mount Rushmore Memorial. But you can still enjoy the monument!

Best 4th in the North—Boyne City, Michigan

Michigan's Boyne City proudly boasts the Best 4th in the North, and rightfully so. The festivities span two days, offering a medley of events and entertainment for everyone. The day kicks off with an Independence Day Run, followed by a delicious breakfast and multiple parades showcasing the town’s vibrant Midwest spirit.

The highlight, of course, is the spectacular fireworks show that illuminates the night sky over Lake Charlevoix (pronounced like “sharlavoy”). The culmination of community spirit and small-town celebrations makes Boyne City a must-visit for a memorable Fourth of July experience.

4th of July in Big Bear Lake, California

Big Bear Lake in July (photo: Kahar Erbol).
Big Bear Lake in July (photo: Kahar Erbol)

There’s nothing quite like watching fireworks over a lake surrounded by mountains. In the very small town of Big Bear Lake, California, the 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular is a sight to behold. Watch on the lake in a boat, watch in a comfortable chair on the shore, or find a special spot along a mountain trail that gives you just the right view. Wherever you watch the fireworks, the display is sure to create quite an ambiance in this tiny mountain town.

For those seeking an elevated experience, figuratively and literally, the Above the Boom fireworks viewing party at Snow Summit offers panoramic views and a DJ, taking your Fourth of July celebration to new heights.

Small Towns, Big Fireworks

While it can be great to experience Independence Day in a big city with orchestras, big-name celebrities, and endless food trucks, nothing quite beats the spirit of a small town, with its unique charm and local celebrations. The spirit of Independence Day often shines the brightest in the hearts of these communities across America, and sometimes, they also host the best fireworks!

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This story is published in partnership with Melaleuca Freedom Celebration.

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