Here are five places in the USA that have their own unique celebrations on Independence Day.


Family barbecues and red-white-and blue Popsicles are signature parts of a festive Fourth of July. But what will this celebration look like without the live fireworks displays? 

As the country begins reopening (and re-closing) after months of coronavirus lockdowns, the world is not yet back to normal. Social distancing is still mandated, and gatherings are limited to abide by COVID-19 protocols. 

If you’re wary about fireworks in person with crowds, try watching them on TV Saturday. Scroll through our list of American favorites to stream from the comfort of your own home. 

Celebrating from home? TV’s got you covered this Fourth of July. (Photo: LPETTET, Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Fourth of July specials

‘A Capitol Fourth’

When: 8 EDT/PDT 

Where: PBS, Facebook, YouTube, NPR

This perennial special, hosted this year by John Stamos and Vanessa Williams, features live fireworks from Washington, D.C., and performances by Patti LaBelle, John Fogerty, Renée Fleming, The Temptations, Andy Grammer, Trace Adkins and the National Symphony Orchestra.

‘iHeartCountry 4th of July BBQ’

When: July 3 at 8 EDT/PDT 

Where: CW and iHeartCountry radio stations

This special, hosted by Bobby Bones, features live performances from country music artists such as Kane Brown, Lauren Alaina and Old Dominion. 

Macy’s ‘Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular’

When: 8 EDT/PDT 

Where: NBC

To allow New Yorkers to experience the fireworks without creating crowds, the annual Independence Day spectacle will instead showcase five-minute firework displays taped earlier this week throughout New York City. The event will be edited into NBC’s annual special, and features a mix of pop and patriotic anthems from some of America’s top musicians.

The streaming doesn’t stop there. Here are some other movies and TV shows to get you into Independence Day spirit – from your couch. 


When: 6 EDT/PDT  

Where: History  

How did America’s first president become one of the most iconic leaders? This docu-series explains.

‘Independence Day’

Will Smith stars in “Independence Day.” (Photo: Melissa Moseley, 20th Century Fox)

When: 7 EDT/PDT

Where: AMC

Independence Day is much more dire than fireworks and hot dog-eating contests in this 1996 film starring Will Smith. Aliens are coming to destroy the Earth, and a group of people must unite to stop this total annihilation on the Fourth of July weekend. 

‘Saving Private Ryan’

When: 4:15 EDT/PDT

Where: TNT

Tom Hanks plays a captain searching for Private James Ryan in this World War II drama. 

‘Top Gun’

When: 5 EDT/PDT

Where: Paramount Network

Tom Cruise stars as a fighter pilot sent to the rigorous Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School.

‘Flags of Our Fathers’

When: 5:40 EDT/PDT 

Where: HBO

This Clint Eastwood war film follows the World War II story of U.S. troops on the island of Iwo Jima. 

No cable? No problem! Netflix and Hulu offer some July 4-themed TV episodes to stream.

‘Parks and Recreation’: Ms. Knope goes to Washington (Season 5, Episode 1)

Where: Hulu, Netflix

If you’re looking for some laughs, follow the members of Pawnee’s Parks Department in visiting Washington, D.C., and exploring its most notable monuments.

‘The West Wing’: Jefferson lives (Season 5, Episode 3)

Where: Netflix

In this episode of the political drama, the White House celebrates the Fourth of July, but not everyone is feeling celebratory. 

‘Cupcake Wars’: Saluting the USO (Season 5, Episode 12)

Where: Hulu

Four “Cupcake Wars” champions compete to serve the best cupcake display for the 70th anniversary of the USO in this patriotic episode. 

‘Portlandia’: 4th of July (Season 5, Episode 5)

Where: Netflix

Jane Lynch guest stars in this holiday episode, as Kath and Dave attempt to host the ultimate Independence Day barbecue with the most spectacular fireworks. 


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