July 4, the United States’ Independence Day, is celebrated in many ways all across the country. New York City offers a mix of classic all-American events and modern multicultural celebrations, making it an ideal place to celebrate exactly what makes America great. However you choose to celebrate the holiday this year, these 10 local events are guaranteed to make you proud to be an American.
Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks
While Americans across the country will watch Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks display on their screens, lucky locals are granted a front-row seat to this iconic holiday tradition. Last year’s display featured more than 40,000 fireworks, and the event’s upcoming 41st installment is expected to be bigger and brighter than ever. Set up shop near New York’s famed Brooklyn Bridge to see the city lit up in red, white, and blue.
RPM Presents Tiësto
Festival-favorite Governors Island host to a celebration that’s more party than patriotic this Independence Day. Grammy-winning DJ Tiësto—supported by KSHMR, Cheat Codes, and Aazar—invites those in New York to enjoy an evening of energetic dance tracks at a birthday party befitting America.
MoMA PS1’s Warm Up
Back for a much-anticipated 21st season, MoMA PS1’s Warm Up summer concert series returns on July 1st, just in time to celebrate the nation’s birthday. Putting a cosmopolitan spin on the holiday, the first show of Warm Up 2017 will feature live performances by artists hailing from Rome, Glasgow, Bristol, London, and our own Harlem, New York.
Harlem Children’s Parade
Looking to get little ones involved in the holiday? The Harlem Children’s Parade has been providing family-friendly fun on Independence Day for more than 20 years. Taking place from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the event kicks off with a kid-friendly yoga exercise class followed by a parade led by the Fire Department of New York. Free lemonade and snacks are a welcome touch, but the festivities really take off when the fire truck unleashes its cooling spray, much to the delight of swimsuit-clad kids.
Brooklyn Grange’s “A Country of Immigrants!”
Setting out to celebrate “the original American values of diversity and inclusivity,” Brooklyn Grange’s “A Country of Immigrants!” will feature food and live music from cultures around the world at two Fourth of July parties. Brooklyn will celebrate on its flagship rooftop farm, while the Queens location will take a more local approach to the holiday, highlighting locally made brews and neighborhood businesses serving up classic American cuisine.
Lincoln Center’s Midnight Summer Swing
For a retro celebration, take to Lincoln Center’s bandshell for its Midnight Summer Swing event. The music and dance Summer series returns this June with a calendar of swing, salsa, disco, and blues entertainment. Visitors can kick off the evening with an expert-led dance class before cutting a rug to classic swing and jazz tunes, courtesy of Grammy-winning musician David Ostwald and his ensemble.
The Mermaid Inn’s New England Clambake
Not able to get away this Independence Day? East Village hot spot The Mermaid Inn has got you covered. The locally beloved chain serves up a taste of New England summer all year round. Last year, the restaurant celebrated July 4th with its popular New England Clambake: three full days of butter-smothered shrimp, lobster, and mussels, corn on the cob, Old Bay-spiced potatoes, and more.
Freedom Fest 2017
Barbecue, fireworks, and the New York City skyline: Freedom Fest promises to be a quintessentially American experience. Billing itself as “the world’s biggest fireworks show,” Freedom Fest 2017 is an ideal destination for patriotic partyers. The celebration at South Street Seaport will include an all-American BBQ buffet featuring hot dogs, wings, and pulled pork sandwiches, picture-perfect views of the Manhattan skyline, and of course, plenty of fireworks.
Since Independence Day falls on a Tuesday this year, you may want to begin your celebration a little early. Make a weekend of it at SummerStage, where live musical performances by Cali-influenced duo Bob Moses and hip hop icon DJ Premier along with a daytime party courtesy of Everyday People are slated to take place.
The Dutch’s July Fourth Luau
Don’t be fooled by the name—the cuisine at foodie-favorite The Dutch is as American (and as delicious) as it gets. Each year, the restaurant celebrates the Fourth of July with a festive, if somewhat unexpected, all-day luau. The oft-ignored Hawaii takes center-stage at this local fête, where Spam musubi, hot fried chicken and pineapple rolls, and Kalua pig are enthusiastically washed down with Polynesian-inspired cocktails.