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Great American Celebrations

June 28, 2017
Fireworks at the National Mall

For some, July 4th means grilling in the back yard, getting together with family and friends, and watching the big celebrations in Washington D.C. and elsewhere on television. But at Mitch-Stuart, we think that the Fourth of July is one of the best holidays of the year for themed travel. A federal holiday, in the summer with kids out of school? It’s no wonder that AAA rates July 4th as one of the largest travel holidays of the year; more people often hit the road in early July than do for Memorial Day!

We’re big proponents of traveling for a specific reason, whether it’s a tremendous wine tour in Italy or a Broadway show in New York. And while many of these Fourth of July celebrations are travel-worthy on their own, some are add-ons to already-fantastic events. Consider it a two-for-one Independence Day Sale: Your donors can go to an event and get a party at the same time.

For those looking to combine a patriotic display with an attraction in one of our favorite destinations, these celebrations are ones to watch.

There are fireworks displays in and around Los Angeles too numerous to count. A favorite for decades, though, has been the July 4th show at the Hollywood Bowl. Often headlined by a legendary music act (Smokey Robinson played the 2016 edition) and always with a patriotic medley performed by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, it’s a quintessential summer evening in L.A. Pair it with a pre-show picnic (outside food and drink are allowed at the Bowl), and a donor will have a unique story to tell about a trip to the City of Angels.

The biggest Fourth of July celebration in some destinations is tied to a local sports team. In San Francisco and Atlanta, for instance, fireworks follow the baseball games of the Giants and Braves, respectively. Cities with minor league baseball squads often light the skies over their stadiums, as well. The best-kept secret, though, may be in Denver, where Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids throw an all-day affair, called 4th Fest. Since the team’s inception, it’s been the one of, if not the, biggest celebration in the state’s capital city.

Of course, considering the historical import of the day, it is not surprising that museums often do a great job of celebrating July 4th. In cities like Boston (at the Museum of Science), San Diego (USS Midway and Maritime Museums), and Chicago (Chicago History Museum) revelers can spend the day splitting time between picnics and exhibits. And of course, the biggest museum-adjacent celebration is also the nation’s most famous, as the National Mall (which is lined with different Smithsonian museums) welcomes as many as a million people for a concert and fireworks show.