Don’t get us wrong, small neighborhood fireworks shows are definitely entertaining. But can you imagine how spectacular it is when you magnify this flashing, booming display of lights about one hundred times over? We’re crazy about fireworks here at Jake’s (who would have guessed), so we’ve put together a list of our favorite firework displays from around the world. These include the best Fourth of July displays in the United States, along with some incredible New Year’s celebrations from across the pond. Of course, it’s not enough to just talk about these displays, you’ve got to see them. Each of our favorite firework displays includes at least a video recap of the action, if not the entire show. If you consider yourself a professional pyro, you may even want to schedule a vacation to these locations to witness the shows yourself.
Thunder Over Louisville; Kentucky Derby Festival
The annual kick-off event to Kentucky Derby Festival, Thunder of Louisville isheld in early April and includes an airshow and fireworks display. It boasts one ofthe the largest annual fireworks shows in North America. Ironically, it’s attended by an average of 625,000 people every year, 5 times more than the main attraction, the Kentucky Derby. Over 50,000 shells explode into the sky during the 30-minute show, with a 3 minute grand finale organizers appropriately named “Gargantuan.” The show is held on the banks of the Ohio River, giving spectators unforgettable shots of fireworks in the sky as they reflect in the water.
Washington, DC - Independence Day
What better place to view Independence Day fireworks than our nation’s capital? The city’s iconic monuments provide the perfect atmosphere for a Fourth of July celebration. The best of all vantage points is at Nation Mall, where 17-minutes of fireworks appear flanked by the Washington Monument, U.S. Capitol Building, and Lincoln Memorial. CEO of a Pyro Shows out of LaFollette, Tennessee, Lansden Hill, offers his opinion on the show: “I dare say that the Washington, D.C. show has the largest number of large caliber shells as any in the country… It’s hundreds and thousands of of 6-, 8-, and 10-inch diameter shells.”
Sydney, Australia - New Year’s Eve
The harbour in Sydney, Australia is an iconic location for any traveler. On New Year’s Eve, the city puts on a mind-boggling display of pyrotechnic power. Fireworks surround the viewer, shooting off from 7 barges in the harbour, 4 sails of the familiar Sydney Opera House, and several points across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In fact, there are two separate displays held on New Year’s: a smaller, family show held at 9:00pm for the young kids who can’t quite make it to midnight, followed by the 12-minute main event as the clock strikes twelve.
Palm Jumeirah and World Islands, and Burj Khalifa, Dubai; New Year's Eve
It doesn’t get more interesting than fireworks on man-made islands shaped like palm-trees. In 2014, 400,000 fireworks were launched during the New Year’s celebration, making the Guinness World Record for the largest fireworks display (as of 2016 held by Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) in the Philippines). The display spans over 50 miles of land, including several man-made islands along the Dubai coast. Dubai also boasts an incredible New Year’s display at the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world. At this location, fireworks light straight from the building, running up and down the half-mile high skyscraper.
London, England; New Year’s Eve
Our fellows across the pond put on a delightful New Year’s display along the River Thames, with landmarks such as Big Ben, the London Eye, and Tower Bridge all playing a part. The centerpiece of this display has to be the London Eye, with is circular shape being a focal point for some eye-catching flashes. The reflection of the fireworks in the river make this bright, exciting show one to remember.
New York City - Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular
Everything’s big in the Big Apple, and fireworks are no different. New York City holds claim to the largest show in the country, with an average 1,600 shells per minute, 3 million spectators attend the show, with a TV audience of more than 8 million. All this power costs a load of money, to the tune of around $6 million per year. Three locations are used for shooting off the fireworks: barges along the East river, Jersey City, and the Statue of Liberty. The best location for Manhattan views is the Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the (typically crowded) Brooklyn Promenade.
Reveillon Fireworks Display – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio’s New Year’s Eve festival is held along Copacabana Beach, and features a 20-minute fireworks display ringing in the new year. 24 tons of fireworks are released in this energetic celebration. Of course, one shouldn’t expect to end the party at midnight in Brazil; the festivities last all night along the beach. Party-goers dress in white, with red accessories, to signify good luck and romance.
Do you put together a fireworks display that you’re proud of? We want to see it!
Visit Jake’s Backyard Hero contest page to submit pictures and videos of your display. While you’re there, check out the best and brightest displays from our customers across the U.S.