Watching Fireworks

Your guide to the best cities for dinner and a show during our nation’s birthday

Restaurant recommendations from MnMo food critics Jason DeRusha and Joy Summer


Joy’s Picks:

There’s nothing like watching fireworks explode over water and taking part in the collective oooing and ahhing. I grew up on a lake where everyone boated out to catch the big show, and now I’m creating my own land-based traditions.

Duluth: Those massive, colorful explosions look even cooler showering Bayfront Park, with the Aerial Lift Bridge in the background and massive ore ships hulking in the bay. But it’s not a full Duluth experience without a Sammy’s Pizza. In business for over 60 years, Sammy’s is my favorite square cut, with super thin crust, lacy cheese, and fennel-studded sausage.

Richfield: Veterans Memorial Park is a great spot for fireworks that come with a classic car show. This year I plan on going with friends and packing some Lyn65 fried chicken in my picnic basket.

Lyn65 Fried Chicken
Lyn65 fried chicken

photo by tj turner


Jason’s Picks:

I am a sucker for fireworks: the sights and sounds make my heart swell with patriotism. For me, it’s usually going to be a brat or a burger at a picnic, but you can go fancier while watching the bombs bursting in air, too.

• Stillwater: The birthplace of Minnesota takes fireworks seriously, launching them over the St. Croix River. Eat at LoLo first for some of the best food and cocktails in town, then watch from the deck at the Freight House or Maple Island Brewing.

• Excelsior: The best place to watch these fireworks is from a friend’s pontoon on Lake Minnetonka, but you don’t need a hookup to have a great pizza or pasta from Victor’s on Water or sit on the patio of Haskell’s right by the Port.

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