Fourth of July on the Eastern Seaboard?
June 13, 2013 8:57 AM   Subscribe

I will be on the East Coast of the US on the Fourth of July. What town or small city would be the best place to be in?

I will shortly be travelling from Ireland to the US, where I will (unexpectedly) be on the Fourth of July. I'd like to see the celebrations somewhere outside a major city but within approximately four to five hours' drive of Dulles. (I am flying home at around 17.00 on 5 July.)

I could probably stick a pin in a map and have a great time wherever I land, but if East Coast mefites have any particular recommendations for a smallish but friendly place to see flags, bunting and fireworks, I would love to hear them.
posted by Zeinab Badawi's Twenty Hotels to Travel & Transportation around United States (4 answers total)
Lititz, Pa has the longest, continuously running 4th of July Celebration in the country. It is a small town that hosts thousands of people every year. The local park is turned into a wonderland of beauty and entertainment. They line the spring with hundreds of candles, which are lit at dusk, before the fireworks. All day long they have bands and games. It is the most beautiful, safest event that I have ever been to. Also, the town smells like chocolate all the time due to Wilbur Chocolate. The chocolate factory is next to the park so plan on going in and getting a free sample of Wilbur Buds while you are there.
posted by myselfasme at 9:26 AM on June 13, 2013 [4 favorites]

If you go to Lititz you might want to visit Pearl.

Asbury Park, NJ has great fireworks on the beach. You can sit on the beach and watch them explode over your head.
posted by caddis at 9:54 AM on June 13, 2013

This MIGHT involve a bit of road-tripping, but my hometown in Connecticut has a very unique July 4th parade in the early part of the day (so you could be on your way elsewhere that afternoon). The Boom Box Parade doesn't use live bands - instead, people bring their portable radios and tune them all in to the local radio station, which broadcasts a few hours of marching music. If you're kind of adventurous, you could even JOIN the parade - there are no real "rules", you just show up at the local movie theater by 9 that morning so they can line you up. Usually the whole parade is done in a couple hours.

Willimantic is about 4 hours' drive to Asbury Park New Jersey, so you could do the parade in the morning and make it to Asbury park in plenty of time for a walk on the boardwalk before the fireworks, and the Asbury park is about 4 hours' drive to Dulles airport.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:17 AM on June 13, 2013

Gettysburg. 150 years. it'll be epic.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:32 PM on June 13, 2013

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