For centuries, people have greeted the new year with fireworks and explosions. Traditionally, they were seen as a way to scare off evil spirits and bring good luck, but now New Year’s Eve fireworks are an excuse for a final holiday season blowout. The feeling is much different from a Fourth of July show, but just as appealing, says Calvin Iverson of TravelPirates.com, a curated travel deals site/app. “It’s a unique time of year. People are feeling togetherness, and want to go out and celebrate.” He shares some favorites with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.
The state’s largest city has big plans to welcome 2019 with street performers and 3D light projections, culminating with fireworks at 8 p.m. local time, just when the new year reaches the East Coast. “New Year’s is when Anchorage really shines,” Iverson says. anchorage.net
Meredith, New Hampshire
New Englanders love Lake Winnipesaukee as a popular summer getaway – late-night host Jimmy Fallon even named his daughter Winne after the spot – but they also come out for the holidays too. The small town of Meredith launches fireworks from a lake barge between 10:30 and 11 p.m. “The whole town gets in on the festivities,” Iverson says. meredithareachamber.com
The Crescent City may party all year long, but New Year’s is special. Crowds gather on the riverfront to see the city symbol, a fleur-de-lis, drop at midnight. And then fireworks launch over the Mississippi River. One favored viewing spot is aboard the historic Steamboat Natchez. “There are so many places to watch over the river, but being in a steamboat is really cool – a New Orleans experience,” Iverson says. neworleans.com