Rain prevented fireworks in Boston
4th July is the official holiday in America for those who are new to it, here is a history rewind. In the United States, Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, picnics, baseball games, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States.
Neither rain nor clouds could stop America’s founding fathers, and the weather should not interfere with the fireworks celebration tonight in Boston.
The stubborn showers that rumbled through the region this morning should be gone by the time the Boston Pops take the stage this evening at the Hatch Shell, according to Bill Simpson, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Taunton.
“It will be mostly cloudy, but the fireworks should come off,” Simpson said. “The clouds should be high enough not to restrict any fireworks display.”
There is a 30 percent chance of rain, however, so revelers heading to the Esplanade should pack umbrellas and ponchos, Simpson said.
Last year rain drenched the crowd at the Hatch Shell, forcing Pops conductor Keith Lockhart to wear a florescent yellow Boston EMS rain coat over his tuxedo. The downpour slowed to a drizzle just before the fireworks started at 10:30 p.m.
Officials on the Esplanade are preparing for the concert, which is expected to draw 500,000 people and is broadcast on national television. Even if it does rain, the show will go ahead as planned.
“It would take a great deal of rain to cancel the concert,” said Kathleen Drohan, a spokeswoman for the Pops. “For the most part, it’s rain or shine.”
This year’s musical lineup for the “Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular” includes not one but two “American Idol” alums, and executive producer Robin Hall couldn’t think of a more perfect venue for them to show off their talent.
Jordin Sparks and Katherine McPhee “wanted their opportunity [to shine],” and that’s the basis of this country, Hall said. “And they’ve thrived and they’ve grown and done great things, just like this century has in a lot of ways.”
“They’re living the American dream,” added “Spectacular” co-host Tiki Barber.
Barber, along with NBC “Today” national correspondent Natalie Morales, will host the country’s 232nd birthday extravaganza tomorrow at 9 p.m. on WNBC/Ch. 4. In addition to Sparks and McPhee, the night’s musical lineup includes country music star Kenny Chesney, Gavin DeGraw and Natasha Bedingfield.
The fireworks show will include 35,000 shells on six barges. That’s 75,000 pounds worth of explosive material.
“Macy’s has always been known to be the big store with the huge sense of standard,” said Hall. “It’s expected of Macy’s. … They have to shop all over the world for this material and we’re always looking for new shells and new effects that you have never seen before.”
Additionally, the show will be shot against the NYC skyline as opposed to the backdrop of Queens as it’s been shot in recent years.
This will be Barber’s second time hosting the event.
“What I learned last year is that our role, Natalie and myself, is to usher it along with the heightened energy leading up to this spectacular fireworks display.”
Morales agrees, and suggests that this year may be even more fun, thanks to the fact that the holiday falls on a Friday.
“It makes it much more festive,” Morales said. “It kind of sets up the nice, long weekend for a lot of people. It’s the perfect way to get the party going.”
“Our fireworks end at 9:50 or so, so the night is still young for those who choose to celebrate the Fourth in other ways,” added Barber.
Though watching fireworks on the small screen may not be as appealing as seeing them live, Morales, Barber and Hall all acknowledge that the “Macy’s Spectacular” is one of kind, and that some people might not be fortunate enough to watch it out their windows.
“Our troops overseas may want to be a part of our country’s celebration but because of their jobs and their commitments are not able to do so,” said Barber.
But they can feel a part of it “because we present something to them and we give them great entertainment. New York City is a city in America that everybody can relate to.”
Pittsburgh is known for its large crowds of people that watch the city’s fireworks display every year on the Fourth of July.
Of course, the traditional favorites like downtown’s Point State Park, the North Shore or Mount Washington are always jammed with spectators.
But WTAE Channel 4’s Janelle Hall reported that other places offer amazing views too, even though they’re not as well known.
Uptown: The upper lot of Mellon Arena is a good vantage point. (But remember, the HOV lanes to northbound Interstate 279 won’t be open after the show.)
North Side: Fineview Park is a great spot, tucked away in a tiny neighborhood on a hillside above and behind Allegheny General Hospital. Observatory Hill is another option.
Oakland: Schenley Park, the oval, Flagstaff Hill and the Schenley golf course are all good spots. There’s also a park on Bigelow Boulevard that connects Schenley Park with the Golden Triangle downtown.
Video: Watch Janelle Hall’s Report live fireworks video
NEW YORK Fireworks
Hannah Wernher holds the 13-star, American flag, as the Mountain Fife & Drums from lake Arrowhead, Calif., warm up in the fog before the annual Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach, Calif., Friday, July 4, 2008. (AP Photo/Mark Avery)
Hundreds of thousands of people gathered to watch the nation’s largest fireworks display along New York’s East River, moved south this year so onlookers would get a better view of the city skyline.
This year’s show, broadcast on NBC, included new nautical fireworks that float on the water. Other new shells went through multiple transformations after they launched, providing four different effects.
Near Cincinnati, a daredevil walked 2,000 feet across a cable suspended high off the ground in an amusement park. Rick Wallenda is the grandson of Karl Wallenda, patriarch of the “Flying Wallendas” high-wire act, who fell to his death trying to walk a cable in Puerto Rico in 1974.
Rick Wallenda, 53, completed the feat using a balancing pole and without a safety net or harness.
“I think my granddad would be proud,” Wallenda said moments after the walk.
On the 232nd anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Boy Scouts in Hartford, Conn., rang a replica of the Liberty Bell, while organizers of the annual New York fireworks display promised the rockets’ red glare would be better than ever.
Near Kissimmee, Fla., a wounded bald eagle, the national bird, was flying free after spending more than two months rehabilitating from a fight with another eagle. It was freed Thursday in Lake Tohopekaliga, the heart of Florida’s eagle country.
In Boston, the 211-year-old USS Constitution, the Navy’s oldest commissioned warship, was the backdrop Friday morning as two dozen people were sworn in as U.S. citizens.
Vice President Dick Cheney greeted the new Americans and later, in a second ceremony, administered the re-enlistment oath to a group of servicemen.
President Bush saluted new citizens at a naturalization ceremony in Charlottesville, Va., but was interrupted on several occasions by protesters calling for his impeachment.
In Fairmont, W.Va., gymnastics legend Mary Lou Retton was honored by her hometown with a parade and concert. She rode down streets in the cherry picker bucket of a fire truck, just as she did in 1984, when she was 16 and a new hometown hero.
Anearby wildfire prompted the cancellation of a fireworks display in Santa Barbara County, Calif. Communities across the parched state called off similar events because of fears that they could start fires.
Rain doused revelers on the National Mall in Washington ahead of Friday’s celebrations. The musical bill included Huey Lewis and the News and Jerry Lee Lewis.
And it wouldn’t be July Fourth without the annual hot-dog eating competition at Coney Island in New York. This year was another heartbreaker for longtime champion Takeru Kobayashi of Nagano, Japan.
He was trying to reclaim his title after a disappointing three-dog loss last year to Californian Joey Chestnut shattered his six-year winning streak. But it was not to be: Chestnut made it two wins in a row, beating Kobayashi in a tiebreaker.
18-month old Preslee Boyd sits on the shoulders of her father Ben Boyd as they watch the annual Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach, Calif., Friday, July 4, 2008. (AP Photo/Mark Avery)
The Austin Symphony Orchestra’s 32nd annual concert and fireworks show will take place Friday evening at Auditorium Shores.
An estimated 100,000 people are expected to pack Auditorium Shores as the show returns to its original location.
For the past few years, the concert and fireworks were held at Zilker Park because of ongoing construction at the Palmer Events Center and the new Long Center for the Performing Arts.
Streets around Lady Bird Lake were to be closed beginning at 10 a.m. and won’t re-open until Saturday morning. Parking on the south side of the lake will be limited, so the best advice is to park on the north side and walk across any of the bridges.
The Austin Symphony Orchestra will begin playing at 8:30 Friday evening. The fireworks begin at 9:30.
The event is free and open to the public.
Video watch fireworks online
A few scattered thunderstorms hit the edges of the Valley Friday evening, though rain hadn’t been reported at any major fireworks display sites.
By 8:15 p.m., an inch of rain had been reported northeast of the Valley at Barlett Lake. While lightning was visible from the interior of the Valley and winds picked up, no rain had been reported in Tempe, Mesa or Chandler at that time.
Fourth of July revelers were in for a cooler but stickier than expected night for fireworks. Highs topped out at 106 degrees in Phoenix on Friday, cooler than the 113 degrees that had been forecasted earlier in the week.
Those cooler temperatures came with the moist air that suddenly rolled into the state over the past few days, which has the National Weather Service keeping an eye on some storms moving into the Phoenix area from the north and east, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jessica Nolte. There was a 20 percent chance of precipitation at 5:30 p.m.
With dew points in the upper 50s, anyone at outdoor Independence Day parties probably isn’t anymore comfortable than if temperatures had stayed in the 110s, Nolte said.
“A little bit nicer in terms of high temperatures but the moisture doesn’t make it anymore comfortable. It’s probably a little more sticky,” she said.
With all the moisture in the air, this is the time of year when weather watchers would have been looking for the monsoon storms to officially start, if the definition of monsoon season hadn’t changed to reflect the calendar instead of the dew point.
Under the old definition, the monsoon was officially here when the dewpoint hit an average of 55 percent for three consecutive days.
With an average dewpoint of 55 percent on Thursday and 60 percent on Friday as of 5:30 p.m., that definition would be met if the dewpoint stays high Saturday, though Nolte was quick to point out that, starting this year, the monsoon season officially started June 15.
Monsoon definitions aside, moisture was expected to remain in the air for the rest of the weekend with a 20 percent chance of showers and highs around 105.
A warming trend is expected mid-week, with highs topping out at 111 on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Las Vegas Fourth of July Fireworks
The town of Sin City will be offering plenty to do on July 4 as Las Vegas celebrates Independence Day with a variety of events that include fireworks, concerts and parades for visitors and residents alike.
Mandalay Bay Casino will be hosting alternative rockers Vertical Horizon which will feature a pre-concert barbeque at 6:00 p.m., the concert follows at 9:00 p.m. and fireworks follow.
For those looking for a more patriotic feel the Star Spangled Spectacular at the University of Nevada Las Vegas will feature The Las Vegas Philharmonic which will perform traditional songs for Independence Day that will culminate in a large fireworks show put on by the world famous Zambelli Internationale.
Best Places to Watch Fireworks
Pittsburgh’s Official 4th of July Celebration has moved back to the North Shore with the Pittsburgh Regatta and is souped up evn more than usual this year by a laser light show to accompany the always popular Zambelli Fireworks. The Equitable Resources Foundation “Flashes of Freedom Fireworks and Laser Light Spectacular” promises to be extra good this year, as Pittsburgh salutes her 250th anniversary.
So where are the best places to view the fireworks this year?
2007 Monrovia, Ca. 4th of July Fireworks