No other holiday is more American than the 4th of July. The parade, fireworks, classic barbeques, and stars and stripes everywhere—patriotism is in the air on this day.
Travis 4th of July Parade
If you want to take part in a parade with the atmosphere of a small town, head to Travis on Staten Island. The nostalgic arching bands and colorful floats start their procession at 12:30 p.m. from P.S. 26 and Showplace Entertainment Center (141 East Service Road). Take into account that all access roads into the island will be closed at 11:30 am, including the Victory Blvd exit off Route 440.
The town which traces its history to the colonial days before the Declaration of Independence has been holding this parade rain or shine since 1911. So it could be the oldest 4th of July parade in the U.S.
Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks
Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks near the Brooklyn Bridge is the most impressive pyrotechnic event in the country. More than 60,000 fireworks are launched for 30 minutes making sure you get the best experience of this patriotic holiday. The show starts at around 9:20 pm. You can watch it from any place along the lower part of the East River with an unobstructed view of the sky or from below the bridge. It can actually get especially romantic if you bring a blanket and a picnic basket to enjoy the night out.
Other 4th of July traditions
New York offers more than the parade and fireworks. Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is an old city tradition annually attended by more than 40,000 spectators. The Revolutionary New York Walking Tour hits some of the city's historically important landmarks.
The Independence Day Barbecue
Also, you can always take a walk in the park and watch American families having barbeque picnics or have your own. The Independence Day barbecue has a long history. Right after the Revolution, the celebrations included public dinners that later turned into open-air barbeques, open to everybody. The meals are often made of produce donated by the local farmers. Toasts to liberty and democratic ideas are an integral part of such barbeques.