July 4th parades and fireworks 2024: How to watch live

Parades and fireworks are the highlight of the day today as Americans celebrate Independence Day, and you can watch it all right here.

July 4th parades 2024

The festivities start at 11 a.m. ET with the Highland Park Parade in Illinois. Then, the focus moves to our nation’s capital for the National Independence Day Parade. 

After that, we’ll get coverage from the West Coast when the Alameda, California parade kicks off before returning to Galveston, Texas.

July 4th fireworks 2024

In New York, the massive fireworks display will launch from the Hudson River – rather than the East River – for the first time in 10 years.

A number of other shows are on the schedule, from Florida to Minnesota and out to California – and, of course, the big fireworks show in Washington, DC.

File: Thousands of spectators watch the annual fireworks display on the National Mall in Washington, DC on Independence Day, July 4, 2023. (Photo by Craig Hudson for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Here’s a look at the streaming schedule for LiveNOW from FOX, pending breaking news coverage. You can watch in the live player above.

Note: We may not take each event in full, especially while simultaneous events are under way. And of course, each event is dependent on local weather.

Live parade and fireworks schedule

  • 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT: Highland Park, IL: Highland Park Parade
  • 11: 45 a.m. ET / 8:45 a.m. PT: Washington, DC: National Independence Day Parade
  • 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT: Alameda, CA: Fourth of July Parade
  • 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT: Galveston, TX: Fourth of July Parade
  • 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT: New York, NY: Fireworks over Hudson River
  • 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT: St. Petersburg, FL: St. Pete Pier fireworks
  • 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT: Washington, DC: Fireworks on the National Mall
  • 9:10 p.m. ET / 6:10 p.m. PT: Orlando, FL: Downtown Orlando fireworks
  • 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT: Minneapolis, MN: Minneapolis fireworks
  • 10:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. PT: Fort Worth, TX: Fort Worth’s Fourth fireworks
  • 12 a.m. ET / 9 p.m. PT: San Diego, CA: The Big Bay Boom fireworks
  • 1:15 a.m. ET / 10:15 p.m. PT: Seattle, WA: Seafair fireworks

What is Independence Day?

Independence Day, informally called July 4th, marks America’s independence from England. It was on July 4, 1776 that the Declaration of Independence was signed, announcing the United States of America as its own country – no longer 13 British colonies.

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The Revolutionary War followed, culminating with Lord Cornwallis's surrender at the siege of Yorktown in 1781, and Britain formally recognized the independence of the United States via the Treaties of Paris in 1782 and 1783.

Are personal fireworks legal in my state?

In addition to the large civic displays, many Americans like to fire off their own fireworks to celebrate Independence Day. 

While they are mesmerizing to watch and just downright fun to light up, they can also be very dangerous, so some states have limited their use. For example, in New York state, only sparkling devices (or sparklers) are legal for residents to use, however they are not legal in New York City or on Long Island. 

In California, depending on the city or county in which you reside, fireworks could be illegal, especially since there is a risk of sparking a wildfire.

RELATED: Are fireworks legal in your state?

Check your local town and state’s ordinances, and be sure to follow fireworks safety tips.

This story was reported from Tampa, Fla. Catherine Stoddard contributed.