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Photos: Tradition Bursts Back With July 4th Fireworks Across America

People gather along Main Street to watch fireworks while celebrating Independence Day on July 04, 2021 in Sweetwater, Tennessee.
People gather along Main Street to watch fireworks while celebrating Independence Day on July 04, 2021 in Sweetwater, Tennessee.

This July 4th, freedom rang a little louder than last Independence Day. Well, the fireworks did at least.

Blasts of flashy pyrotechnics across the country marked something of a return to normal, a year after the coronavirus pandemic dampened most Fourth festivities.

But on America's 245th birthday, there was perhaps even more reason to celebrate in the name of freedom. About half of Americans are fully vaccinated against the virus, lockdowns have been lifted and infections remain relatively low in the U.S.

Independence Day fireworks erupt over the Philadelphia Art Museum on July 4, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Mark Makela / Getty Images
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Independence Day fireworks erupt over the Philadelphia Art Museum on July 4, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

With masks largely shed at Sunday's fireworks displays, the awe spread across spectators' faces was that much more visible.

At the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., officials welcomed back crowds to the National Mall for a viewing of the annual fireworks show. Nearby, President Biden hosted 1,000 medical workers, first responders, essential workers and military members on the South Lawn of the White House to enjoy the same light show.

From sea to shining sea, here's a peek at some of the fireworks shows that dazzled.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Macyâs 4th of July Fireworks celebration in Long Island City of New York City, United States on July 4, 2021.
Tayfun Coskun / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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Macyâs 4th of July Fireworks celebration in Long Island City of New York City, United States on July 4, 2021.
Children watch as Independence Day fireworks erupt over the Philadelphia Art Museum on July 4, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Mark Makela / Getty Images
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Children watch as Independence Day fireworks erupt over the Philadelphia Art Museum on July 4, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Huntington Beach lifeguards watch the fireworks display over the ocean at the pier on the Fourth of July Sunday, July 4, 2021 in Huntington Beach, CA.
Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag
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Huntington Beach lifeguards watch the fireworks display over the ocean at the pier on the Fourth of July Sunday, July 4, 2021 in Huntington Beach, CA.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden view fireworks with granddaughters Finnegan Biden, second from right, and Naomi Biden during an Independence Day celebration on the South Lawn of the White House.
Patrick Semansky / AP
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President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden view fireworks with granddaughters Finnegan Biden, second from right, and Naomi Biden during an Independence Day celebration on the South Lawn of the White House.
Guests watch the fireworks during the Edge at Hudson Yard's 4th of July Celebration at Edge at Hudson Yards on July 04, 2021 in New York City.
Roy Rochlin / Getty Images for Edge at Hudson
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Guests watch the fireworks during the Edge at Hudson Yard's 4th of July Celebration at Edge at Hudson Yards on July 04, 2021 in New York City.
Spectators watch from the Queens borough of New York as fireworks are launched over the East River and the Empire State Building during the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks show, Sunday, July 4, 2021.
John Minchillo / AP
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Spectators watch from the Queens borough of New York as fireworks are launched over the East River and the Empire State Building during the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks show, Sunday, July 4, 2021.
Fireworks during the Macy's Fourth of July celebration in New York, U.S., on Sunday, July 4, 2021. Macys annual fireworks display returned to its usual grand scale over the East River this July 4.
Jeenah Moon / Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Fireworks during the Macy's Fourth of July celebration in New York, U.S., on Sunday, July 4, 2021. Macys annual fireworks display returned to its usual grand scale over the East River this July 4.
People gather on the Mexican side of the US-Mexico border to watch the Independence Day fireworks being shot on the other side on the San Diego Bay, from Playas de Tijuana, Baja California state on July 4, 2021.
Guillermo Arias / AFP via Getty Images
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People gather on the Mexican side of the US-Mexico border to watch the Independence Day fireworks being shot on the other side on the San Diego Bay, from Playas de Tijuana, Baja California state on July 4, 2021.
Spectators watch the annual Independence Day fireworks display outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia on July 4, 2021.
Ed Jones / AFP via Getty Images
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Spectators watch the annual Independence Day fireworks display outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia on July 4, 2021.
Fireworks explode over San Diego Bay as part of the Big Bay Boom Independence Day Celebration on July 04, 2021 in San Diego, California.
Daniel Knighton / Getty Images
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Fireworks explode over San Diego Bay as part of the Big Bay Boom Independence Day Celebration on July 04, 2021 in San Diego, California.