There’s no better place to watch a spectacular fireworks display light up the summer sky then from your boat! Your Cruising Editor has scoured the net to bring you this comprehensive list of firework celebrations that can be viewed by boat (Keep in mind that all of these displays are weather dependent -just like boating!).
Also, please take a look at the end of the list for some important safety tips to having a safe Fourth on the water. Enjoy!
New York Fireworks
Fireworks at Coney Island | When: 9:30 every Friday night during the summer season. Where: The Cyclone Roller Coaster and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park sponsor fireworks. Fireworks generally start the last weekend in June and conclude the Friday before Labor Day. Note: View by boat off the beach in the ocean. For specific questions about the fireworks, please contact The Cyclone (718-265-2100) or Deno’s (718-449-8836) directly.
July 1 & 3
North Sea Fire Department Fireworks Carnival & Celebration |When: Dusk | Where: 149 Noyac Road, Southampton, 631-283-3629 By Bay Fireworks | Note: Anchor in Little Peconic Bay.
July 3 – City of Glen Cove July 4th Spectacular | When: Dusk | Where: Morgan Park, end of McCaughlin Street, Glen Cove, 516-676-2006 | Note: Anchor in Hempstead Harbor.
Peconic Riverfront Park Fireworks | When: 9:00 pm | Where: Peconic Riverfront Park, behind Main Street. Sponsored by Riverhead B.I.D. Management Association, 631-727-0048 | Note: Boaters are permitted to tie up at the Riverhead waterfront all day without a permit. To spend the evening, a permit must be purchased at the Recreation Department.
Go 4th On The Bay | When: Dusk | Where: Point O’ Woods, Fire Island. Fireworks by Grucci | Note: Good viewing from most of the Fire Island bay fronts and shorelines of the bay from Smith Point to Bay Shore.
Stars over Montauk | When: 9:00 pm | Where: Umbrella Beach, Montauk, 631-668-2428 www.montaukchamber.com Fireworks by Grucci | Note: Anchor in Fort Pond Bay.
Go 4th On The Bay | When: Dusk | Where: Patchogue, 631-286-0088 Fireworks by Grucci | Note: Good viewing from most of the Fire Island bay fronts and shorelines of the bay from Smith Point to Bay Shore.
Asharoken Village Fireworks | Where: Good viewing from LI Sound east and west of Asharoken and from Northport Bay, 631-261-7098
Macy’s 4th of July Spectacular | When: 9:00 pm | Where: Hudson River between 24th and 50th Streets, 212-494-4495 | Note: Anchorage varies; contact USCG Sector New York 718-354-403.
Hollywood – When: 9:00pm and 9:30pm | Where: The City of Hollywood 4th of July Celebration Fireworks will be held July 4, 2011, in the Atlantic Ocean offshore of Hollywood Beach. Fireworks are launched from a barge.
Key Biscayne – When: 4th of July, 2011, 8:30pm and 9:30pm | Where: The Village of Key Biscayne in Miami, Fl on the ocean off Key Biscayne Beach front.
Key Largo – When: Monday, July 4, at 9 p.m. | Where: Blackwater Sound, fitting its name, provides the perfect nighttime mirror-like surface to make the annual fireworks display seem like a 3D viewing experience designed to dazzle, either by land or sea. | Note: The best seating is at Sundowners and Senior Frijoles Restaurants, Caribbean Club and Marriott Key Largo Bay Resort, all located around mile marker (MM) 104 bayside. Reservations are suggested because seating fills up early. www.keylargofireworks.com.
Palm Beach – Where: The new West Palm Beach waterfront – the bike path along Palm Beach – and the southern causeway park on Palm Beach.
Stuart – When: starting at 4 pm. | Where: Flagler Park ‘Family Fun with Live Country Music Children’s activity area, vendors, plenty of good All American food. Stuart Community Band will be performing patriotic music beginning around 7 pm. Fireworks begin At 9 pm. Note: Boaters can view the fireworks while anchored in the river or dock at the City of Stuart courtesy dock and enjoy the activities in Flagler Park. More: July 4th Celebration & Fireworks. Local Information: It is on the St. Lucie River downstream from the Roosevelt bridge just off the hospital. Many boats usually show up for the display.
West Palm Beach – 4th on Flagler boasts the region’s biggest and best 4th of July celebration and features three stages of non-stop entertainment, a kid’s area, food and refreshments, the unfurling of a giant American Flag, the Firefighters’ Splash and Dash and a spectacular fireworks extravaganza. Residents and visitors can enjoy the fireworks, food, concerts and much more along our City’s stunning waterfront. 4th on Flagler will be held on Monday, July 4th from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. along Flagler Drive in Downtown West Palm Beach, with the National City Fireworks Show taking place at 9:00 p.m. This FREE event is produced by the City of West Palm Beach Mayor’s Office, Division of Community Events. For more information on the event, visit wpb.org/4th or call 561-822-2222.
Sarasota/Manatee – Where: Longboat Key’s “Boom-Boom on the Bay” fireworks show | When: July 2nd just after dark, around 9pm. Boom-Boom On The Bay is sponsored by: The Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Pub, Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant, the Longboat Observer, Cannons Marina, Longboat Key Club and the Longbeach Village Association. Note: Cannons Marina co-sponsors the fireworks event on July 2nd that will be displayed over North Sarasota Bay just after dark. For those in the boating community, this presents an excellent opportunity to have a BOAT-A-BRATION! Anchor your boat around the Intercoastal Waterway’s mile marker 39 and watch the sky light up! Seeing the colors dazzle over the water is a stunning experience you won’t want to miss.
Note: Check your current charts, and get there early to ensure a good spot to anchor. As you’ll obviously be enjoying these displays after the sun goes down, make sure you are comfortable operating your vessel at night. Keep a keen eye out for other boaters, stay at least ¼ mile away and up-wind from where the fireworks are being discharged, don’t anchor in a channel, and keep clear of any Coast Guard designated security/safety zones. Be safe and enjoy the show!
Maryland Fireworks and Notice to Mariners
Baltimore, Md. — Mariners are advised that the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Baltimore has received notice of the following fireworks displays, scheduled to occur on or near navigable waters during the 2011 Independence Day holiday period:
4. Miles River, St. Michaels, Maryland, within a 200-yard radius of the fireworks barge in approximate position 38°47′41″ N, 076°12′53″ W, located on a point of land at the mouth of Long Haul Creek on July 3, 2011 (rain date of July 4, 2011) for a fireworks display scheduled for 9 p.m. Chart 12263.
5. Patuxent River, Golden Beach/Patuxent Knolls Civic Association, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 200 yards from the fireworks discharge site located on shore near Long Point on June 25, 2011 (rain date of June 26, 2011) for a display scheduled at 9 p.m. Chart 12284.
6. Potomac River, Town of Colonial Beach, Virginia, mariners are urged to remain at least 150 yards from the fireworks discharge site located at the end of the Town Pier on July 4, 2011 (rain date of July 9, 2011) for a display scheduled at 9:30 p.m. Chart 12286.
7. Rock Hall Harbor, Rock Hall, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 150 yards from the fireworks discharge site located on shore on July 3, 2011 (rain date of July 4, 2011) for a display scheduled at 9 p.m. Chart 12278.
8. Sassafras River, Georgetown, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 150 yards from the fireworks discharge site located on shore west of the mouth of Dyer Creek on July 4, 2011 (no rain date) for a display scheduled at 9:15 p.m. Chart 12274
9. Severn River, Sherwood Forest, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 150 yards from the fireworks discharge site located at the end of the Sherwood Forest Club’s Main Pier on July 3, 2011 (rain date of July 9, 2011) for a display scheduled at 9 p.m. Chart 12282.
10. Severn River, Epping Forest, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 100 yards from the fireworks discharge barge located at the mouth of Clements Creek on July 2, 2011 (no rain date) for a display scheduled at 9 p.m. Chart 12282.
11. Somers Cove, Crisfield, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 100 yards from the fireworks discharge site located on shore at Jersey Island on July 3, 2011 (no rain date) for a display scheduled at 9:15 p.m. Chart 12231
12. Susquehanna River, Havre de Grace, Maryland, mariners are urged to remain at least 300 yards from the fireworks discharge site located on shore at Park Island on July 3, 2011 (no rain date) for a display scheduled at 9:30 p.m. Chart 12277
Mariners are urged to transit these areas with caution, to keep a sharp lookout for other watercraft in these areas, and are reminded to heed the directions of patrolling law enforcement and public safety officials. Absent specific guidance, mariners should remain 300 yards from any fireworks discharge site. For any comments or questions, contact Coast Guard Sector Baltimore Waterways Management Division at telephone number (410) 576-2674, (410) 576-2693 or email Ronald.L.Houck@uscg.mil.
From: Chesapeake Maritime News
Other Firework Festivities for Boaters Around the Country:
- Boston – Charles River Boston Pops Esplanade
- Bainbridge Island, WA – Fireworks start at dusk on Eagle Harbor. Boaters are advised to be mindful of rocks and sandbar at the harbor entrance. Low tide is at 11 p.m. July 4. During the day, the island hosts its Bainbridge Grand Old Fourth of July from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a street fair, live music, an antique car show and a parade. All events are in Winslow, a short walk from Eagle Harbor Marina and The Harbour Marina.
- Anacortes, WA – Fireworks start at dusk over Fidalgo Bay. The display will be staged just south of Anacortes Marina and will be visible from there, as well as from Cap Sante Marina. The day also includes the annual Fourth of July Parade and Patriotic Program, which starts with an 11 a.m. parade, followed by kids’ games and food at Causland Memorial Park, 710 N. Ave.
- Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands, WA – Fireworks start at 10:15 p.m. over Friday Harbor Marina. Other July 4th events include a parade at 10:30 a.m., a Pig War picnic, firehall lunch, an antique fire equipment and car show and a “rock the dock” street dance.
- Lake Tahoe, California – July 4, 9:30 p.m., Edgewood and Lakeside Beach
- Dana Point 4th of July Fireworks – Monday, July 4 8:00p | Dana Point, California. Come aboard one of our beautiful boats for a special 4th of July Fireworks Display Cruise. Enjoy a unique evening of fun on the water, complete with a live Fireworks demonstration.
- San Diego – Shelter Island, Harbor Island and the North Embarcadero area – launch fireworks simultaneously for 20 minutes.
- July 4th Celebration & Themed Boat Parade /Fireworks – Green Lake, Wisconsin
- Chicago – Independence Day Fireworks 2010…a Triple Play.
This year, the City of Chicago is spreading out its fireworks spectacular. Instead of one big show at Grant Park, fireworks will be lighting up 26 miles of Chicago’s lake front with a triple play of pyrotechnics. The City has also changed the date of the celebration from July 3 to July 4.
The simultaneous shows will fire off in the following locations:
Mid-point: Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.
North side: Fireworks will be set off near Montrose Beach with best viewing from Foster to Montrose near the lakefront.
South side: Fireworks will be set off near the 63rd St. Beach with best viewing between 63rd. St. and Promontory Point.
Sunday, July 4th.
All displays will begin at 9:00p.m. and last approximately 15 minutes.
Safety Tips Courtesy of YachtPals.com
- Before heading out, make sure your running, steaming and anchor lights are working properly, and that you have all the necessary safety equipment aboard. Authorities will almost always be on the water with you at these events, so make sure you’re safe and legal. Also, pack some earplugs for the fireworks show if you are sensitive to noise.
- Leave the pets at home or with friends/family. Fireworks absolutely terrify most animals, and “S/he hates to be left out of the fun” is no excuse for torturing your beloved pet’s ears and nerves.
- Get to your desired anchorage early, upwind of the show if possible, and set your anchor well before reducing scope. You don’t want to be jockeying for a good position at the last minute, or have your anchor lose grip in the middle of the show. Make sure you are in a safe position, and are clearly outside the restricted area of the fireworks barge. Nothing worse than waiting all day and then being forced to move 15 minutes before the first mortar.
- Keep libations, at least for the skipper and vital crew, to a minimum. There will be plenty of drunks on the water, unfortunately, and you will have to keep an eye on your anchor and topsides while latecomers barrel in. Relax, have a nice dinner, and watch the comedic “bumper boats show” while you wait for the sun to go down.
- If you use your dinghy with an outboard in the anchorage, keep your wake down, as boats will be anchored or rafted closely. In most jurisdictions, you are responsible for damage you cause from your wake, even on the tender. Plus, it’s just plain rude to subject others to your need for speed. Rule of thumb: unless there’s an emergency, never motor in an anchorage faster than you can row.
- Turn off mast lights (when safe and legal), deck lights, and all bright lights inside the boat before the fireworks start, as this provides a better view for everyone. Resist the urge to add your old flares to the show, don’t let the kids/grandkids/landlubbers play with flashlights, and don’t use your spotlight to “see if that’s Bob’s boat over there.” Also turn off any music – unless of course the fireworks are set to music via the radio, and you have good speakers, in which case crank it up!
- Sit back and enjoy the show, and don’t forget to ooh and aah! Don’t watch the fireworks through a camera lens – you’ll miss it, and unless you have a lot of night-shooting experience, the photos are almost always disappointingly blurry when shot from a boat.
- Take your time leaving. Many of the boating accidents at these events happen as everyone hurries to get back to dock, often with a few beers in their bellies. Wait an hour, and you’ll usually have the water to yourself. If you’re in a protected spot, consider spending the night. Hey, you’re already out after dark, your hook is set, and the work’s all done. Why not stay out and enjoy a night under the stars?