The Best 4th of July Parades in the USA

If you think back on the best 4th of July celebrations youíve attended, itís likely that the more memorable parades are brilliantly decorated in red, white, and blue. Whether itís the Grand Olí Flag gently blowing in the wind or streamers, banners, and even bunting, towns and individuals all over the country love to celebrate their pride in our nation with unique holiday decorations. The colors of the flag come to life on this day in many forms.

One way we celebrate our nationís pride at Independence Bunting is by ensuring all our products and supplies are made right here in the USA. Read on to learn about the best 4th of July parades in the country.

The Best Big Parades

All over the nation, cities big and small dedicate countless hours to hosting massive celebrations and parades to honor the holiday. Public and private buildings alike are covered in decorations as dozens of floats drive through seas of participants and spectators. There are many spectacular parades hosted across the country, but here are just a few of the best.

Bristol, Rhode Island

Despite its size, this small New England port town manages to compete with the big parades. It is home to the oldest known 4th of July celebration, founded in 1785. All of that history has earned it national recognition and massive crowds from all over New England, to match. The festivities start a full three weeks before the 4th on June 14th, Flag day, making it one of the longest continual celebrations of national pride anywhere in the country.

Washington, D.C.

Without question, one of the most famous 4th of July celebrations is in the nationís capital. Itís hard to compete with a city that has so much history to celebrate. Thousands of visitors travel to D.C. every year on the 4th to combine traditional 4th of July celebrations with tours of national monuments, museums, and historical sites.

Itís also hard to argue that any 4th of July celebration has as diverse of a turn out as the nationís capital. The enthusiastic audience numbering in the hundreds of thousands gathers to view the plethora of bands, military units, and floats from every state in the country. What better way to celebrate national pride than by celebrating the diversity that makes our nation great.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

If the early bird gets the worm, then Gatlinburg is onto something. This tiny mountain town tucked away at the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has the unique honor of being the first Independence Day Parade in the nation. At the stroke of midnight every July 3rd, the parade commences to the delight of the nearly one hundred thousand night-owl spectators. The show has also received much praise nationally for its entertainment and attention to military veterans.

Alameda, California

On the west coast east of San Francisco, the Alameda 4th of July parade takes the cake for being the longest Independence Day parade in the nation, and is also one of the largest. The procession traverses the nearly three-mile parade route to the delight of 60,000 spectators. With over 160 floats and 2,500 participants, including equestrian shows, dance troupes, and antique cars, this spectacle has become the central activity of the Bay Area's Fourth of July weekend. Space fills up fast, which is why locals know to arrive early, many of whom return to the same spot along the route year after year.

The Best Small Parades

Of course, size isnít the only thing that makes a parade special; there are plenty of small 4th of July celebrations showing their love for our nation in truly unique ways.

Cooperstown, New York

Less than four hours away from Boston and NYC is a picturesque American village known as Cooperstown, New York. The local Farmerís Museum celebrates the 4th with a traditional 18th-century celebration. Complete with live music, musket blasts, and a reading of the Declaration of Independence on the village green. For authenticity, era-appropriate trades are demonstrated, such as blacksmithing, printing, and open-hearth cooking. Visitors can see the sites with a horse-drawn wagon tour, ride on a carousel, or enjoy a taste of local flavor with beer from one of the four nearby breweries.

Sonoma, California

On the other side of the country, a beautiful Northern California town also keeps history alive with the Annual Sonoma Valley Old Fashioned Fourth of July Parade & Celebration. Visitors and locals alike honor the holiday after the parade in an old fashioned carnival with live music and costume contests. Local charities run game booths and sell home cooked snacks for good causes. Sonoma understands that one of the best ways to show pride in our nation is by giving back.

Bisbee, Arizona

This Southwest mining town celebrates the 4th of July by honoring local tradition. With ceremonies dating back to 1914, Bisbee has mastered the small town 4th of July festivities. Teenagers are eligible to compete in an exciting downhill derby on a one and a half mile course surrounded by spectators. Other mining themed activities include a drilling contest and a mucking competition. Of course, no 4th of July celebration would be complete without a parade and fireworks display!

Keep It Local

If you live in or near a small town, your favorite 4th of July parade is probably the one in your own home town. You and your neighbors come together to celebrate the holiday and show appreciation to local celebrities including youth sports teams, veterans, volunteer groups, community leaders and school bands. Hometown parades are at their best when everyone is included in the fun and showing their festive spirit with patriotic flags and decorations.


Whether youíre planning or participating in a 4th of July parade or just making your home festive, you need decorations to go with the fireworks. Independence Bunting offers quality 4th of July decorations in various styles and sizes, as well as beautiful material for other holidays year round. As always, all Independence Bunting products are proudly made in the USA! Explore our website or give us a call directly 1-800-995-9129 for any questions or to place an order