Sure you can celebrate the Fourth of July in a big city, where the fireworks may be splashier and the crowds definitely more prolific. But why not escape to the country instead, and experience America’s birthday in a small town, the kind of place where everyone still knows each other in real life, and not just on social media. From a rodeo in Wyoming to canoe races in West Virginia, here are nine small towns that go all out for the Fourth of July.
Head to the Blue Ridge Mountain town of Asheville for multiple fireworks show options – there are no less than three fireworks shows in town itself, and more in the surrounding western North Carolina region. In downtown Asheville, the main event is held in Park Square Park with family activities and entertainment that start at 2 p.m. and include a picnic in the park with food trucks before the big fireworks extravaganza begins at 9.30 p.m. Another option in town is to check out the minor league baseball team, the Asheville Tourists, play on their home turf and then watch fireworks from the stadium after.
Virginia City, Nev.
Head to Virginia City, Nev., a small, historic mining town home to less than 900 people, located just 35 minutes outside of Reno, for a wild west-style birthday celebration. The population swells on July Fourth with revelers coming for the patriotic parade, a hilarious cowboy gun show, food, and plenty of sweets. It’s a fun family event, as you can tour the mine and museums, shop for antiques or cool down with an ice cream cones in shops decorated in red, white and blue during the day. The main event happens after dark, though, when the region’s longest fireworks show takes place. What’s cool about these fireworks is they are launched from the canyon below street level, so the dazzling display of pyrotechnics is right at eye level. The sound of the explosions echoing off the surrounding mountains also adds an extra fun element.