Jun 25, 2012

Breaking From The Usual On The Fourth Of July

By Elijah Bates - June 25, 2012 - CBS

(Photo Credit: Steve Grayson/WireImage)


Basking beneath a collective glimmer of starlight and moon, a crowd begins to gather around the Cayocos Pier. Each person waits patiently for the celebration to begin. Young and old, they peer into the sky, scanning anxiously for the first sight of fire, as seaweed laps up along the shoreline and touches their toes. Then suddenly — KABOOM!

Every year, hundreds of onlookers, tourist and local alike, make their way to this tiny spot on the Central Coast of California for a chance to live out a classic Fourth of July moment. Many are coming for the first time; others have sat in that same spot 50 times before. It's an experience not altogether different countywide, whether over a football field in Odessa, or high in the misty skies of Nantucket.

And that's nothing to sell short either. After all, fireworks on the Fourth is about as American as it gets. Seeing the night sky light up with color as though the heavens were raining down has been, and hopefully always will be, a spectacle worth scaling nearby rooftops and gathering in extremely crowded public places to see.

But make no mistake, the local fireworks show will happen next year, and the year after. So rather than relying on the old standard yet again, perhaps this can be the year to break out from the comfort zone, step over the county line and seek out another great city's Independence Day celebration. From sea to shining sea, the United States is full of them.


Pasadena, California

Americafest. By the name alone, this Southern California specialty sounds about as infused with red, white and blue as an event can get, albeit a little predictable. Even so, on the Fourth of July, predictability isn't necessarily a bad thing; sometimes, giant-sized sparklers are all people really need. And there's no better place to experience such an American classic than at “America's Stadium.” The Rose Bowl in Pasadena lauds itself as having the area's biggest fireworks show. Given its proximity to Disneyland, Orange County and the Santa Monica Coastline, it's a bold statement to make, one Americafest has strived to live up to for 86 years and running