Washington DC vs. New York’s July 4th fireworks

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The Independent Online

Every July 4th in America, city waterfronts across the country alight with fireworks displays celebrating Independence Day, from Boston Harbor to Chicago's Navy Pier to the San Francisco Bay. If not watching in person, television networks broadcast the biggest spectacles from Washington DC and Manhattan.

The nation's capital offers a series of day-long events starting with a parade along Constitution Avenue at 11:45 a.m., with marching bands and floats. The White House and the National Archives host birthday parties, musical performances fill The National Mall and the Capitol Fourth Concert at 8 p.m. leads into the fireworks over the Washington Monument at 9:15 p.m., free to the public.

2010 marks the 30th anniversary of the tradition, hosted this year by Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Jimmy Smits. Grammy winning performers include R&B singer Gladys Knight, Chinese classical pianist sensation Lang Lang with the National Symphony Orchestra, American Idol winner David Archuleta, country music superstar Reba McEntire, and more.

The July 4th fireworks finale features Tchaikovsky's '1812 Overture,' with the Army Herald Trumpets and Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.

Perhaps the largest display happens in New York City for the Macy's July 4th fireworks, celebrating its 53rd year, this time over the Hudson River.

The televised live show from the Norwegian cruise liner Epic includes Canadian teen singing sensation, Justin Bieber along with Broadway performers. Other musical accompaniment includes choral ensembles, the New York Pops orchestra, and famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

The fireworks show features more than 40,000 shell explosions at a rate of more than 1,500 per minute, reaching heights of 1,000 feet in the air for millions to view. The 26-minute "showstopping pyrotechnics" features the trademark "Golden Mile," a sparkling shower stretching a mile long. http://social.macys.com/fireworks