Pittsburgh's Official 4th of July Celebration will be sizzling at Point State Park (plus the North Shore!) this year with the Pittsburgh Regatta in full swing, including performances by America and the Air National Guard Band, followed by the "Flashes of Freedom" Fireworks Fantasia engineered by Pittsburgh's own Pyrotecnico.
So where are the best places to view the fireworks this year?
If you like your fireworks up close and personal, then head downtown early to stake out a lawn spot at Point State Park.
Great lawn spots are also available on the North Shore riverfront. Parking may be at a premium, so to avoid the worst of the crowds try parking in one of the downtown Pittsburgh garages and then walk over the Roberto Clemente Bridge to the North Shore.
For a true front seat view, Kayak Pittsburgh offers a special 4th of July paddle. The fun begins with a leisurely paddle upstream at 7:00 p.m., and then a float back to the Point at sunset for a gorgeous view of the fireworks. Cost is $55.00 for Venture Outdoors members and $75.00 for non-members.
There's a front row seat waiting for you at the Carnegie Science Center too. For $39.00 per person, you can enjoy a special evening of activities at the Science Center's Fireworks Blowout, plus a guaranteed spot for spectacular views of the fireworks from the lawn! For a premium, you can even stake out seats atop the U.S.S. Requim, or the roof of the Science Center.
Station Square, of course, is a great place with plenty of inexpensive parking, or an easy trip from the South Hills via the "T" - but it is usually pretty packed come fireworks time.
The West End Overlook, another popular and generally packed spot, offers one of the best views of the entire Pittsburgh skyline.
If you own a boat, then take it out on the Ohio River for a front row seat!
Mount Washington is popular too, but parking can be pretty tough to find up there unless you plan for a special dinner at one of the Mt. Washington restaurants overlooking downtown. Make a reservation for a late dinner time, if possible, and then linger a bit over your meal to enjoy the show.
Grandview Golf Course in Braddock offers excellent (but somewhat distant) views of the downtown Pittsburgh fireworks, as well as the fireworks of nearby communities.
I know some people like to drive around and then pull over on one of the Pittsburgh bridges to watch the show, but you may get a ticket if you try it. Park somewhere on the South Side and use one of the bridges with pedestrian sidewalks, such as the 10th Street Bridge instead.