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Top 5 Fireworks Shows

The 4th of July is arguably the best holiday: You don’t have to stress about selecting and purchasing gifts and you’re less likely to over-indulge (although we can’t speak for over-imbibing). And yet, it does all hinge on the fireworks show. Here are five great ones:

1. All American Birthday Party Fireworks

Sawyer Point is a nice place to hang out in the summertime, regardless of the date, but it’s even better with the fireworks lighting the night sky above and reflecting off the river’s surface below. Celebrating our nation’s birthday in style with live music starting at 6 p.m. July 4, 10 p.m., Sawyer Point and Yeatman’s Cove, downtown, free.

2. Red White and Blue Ash Fireworks

Though Summit Park is planning a facelift, that shouldn’t stop fireworks fans from peppering the park with lawn chairs as they settle in for the evening’s performance. The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. when Midnight Special kicks things off with music from the ’70s and ’80s, followed by the band Foreigner. July 4, 10:35 p.m., Blue Ash, Summit Park, free, blueashevents.com.

3. Ault Park Independence Day Fireworks

Though Ault Park’s pavilion is an already desirable destination on a sultry summer evening, the Independence Day Fireworks will steal the spotlight this July 4. Arrive at 6 p.m. to fuel up on concessions—the park offers everything from ice cream to Cajun food—or come at 8 p.m. to hear local band Blue Stone Ivory warm up the crowd for the night ahead. July 4, 10 p.m., Mount Lookout, Ault Park, free, aultparkac.org.

4. LaRosa’s Balloon Glow at Coney Island

Coney Island’s Independence Day bash does involve fireworks, but that’s just the icing on the cake. Visit the park’s Moonlight Square to watch stilt walkers and jugglers at 6 p.m., or swing by a bit later to listen to the Bearcat Band Jazz Ensemble and the Anderson Township Symphony Orchestra. Watch the hot air balloons fill the night sky at 8 p.m. before the grand finale: fireworks over Lake Como. July 3, 10 p.m., East End, Coney Island, free, coneyislandpark.com.

5. Hamilton’s 4th of July Fireworks

Hamilton’s quaint downtown area will transport you to a simpler time. Spread a picnic blanket on the courthouse lawn and settle in for Cincinnati’s own Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks over the Great Miami River. Arrive at 10 a.m. to grab a bite from A Taste of Hamilton and watch the parade, or just make an evening of it with a live music series beginning at 4 p.m. July 4, 10 p.m., downtown Hamilton, free, hamilton-city.org.