6 of the Most Explosive Firework Displays Ever

by Erika Owen
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

There's nothing that'll get you in the Independence Day spirit quicker than the loud crack and fizz of a sky-engulfing fireworks show. The big day is almost upon us, so get your coolers, lawn chairs, spirited red/white/blue garb, and grills ready. The Fourth of July couldn't have come on a better day this year — Friday! Long weekend! — and it's safe to say we're all ready for a bit of sun-fueled relaxation. Whether you're prepping your pup for a day of parades, perfecting your apple pie recipe, or educating friends on the real reasons we should be proud to be American, it's not going to be a real 4th of July holiday without a few fireworks — makeshift (read: dangerous) displays in your tiny backyard or otherwise.

To get yourself psyched for the occasion, take some time from your busy pre-vacation agenda to brush up on the best fireworks displays the world has ever seen, from. We've wrangled up some of the more impressive explosive shows from around the world, from London's edible fireworks to Japan's "Big One," you're bound to find a few gems. Although, I can't say those crowd-pleasing smiley face fireworks made it on the list. (Darn?) Read on, watch, and starting collecting those sparklers.

1. Bompas & Parr's Edible Fireworks

From ships set in 55,000 liters of jelly to multisensory firework displays (above), London-based design duo Bompass and Parr know how to take experiential design to a whole new level. With this project, Bompas and Parr created a show that not only allowed bystanders to see the fireworks in action, they could also taste them. As the colors exploded over the sky, scented/edible clouds floated over the crowd, assaulting them with smells and tastes of apple, cherry, strawberry, peach, orange, and banana. The display took place at London's 2014 New Year's Eve celebration.

2. Dubai's 2014 New Year's Eve Celebration

Dubai's 2014 New Year's celebration not only looks fantastic, it actually broke a record for the world's largest fireworks display. Over 500,000 fireworks were used during the six-minute display, and the event drew an enormous crowd: Emirates 247 reports around 1.7 million attended the public display in 2013. I can only imagine the crowd at 2014's big show. According to NPR, the spectacle incorporated images of several local monuments — the Palm Jumeirah, World Islands, the Burj Khalifa, and Burj Al Arab.

3. Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary

Complete with a Northern Lights-esque visual show, San Francisco knows how to do fireworks the right way. The music is a nice touch, even if the playlist is a little scattered. The slow explosion of the fireworks in the sky is a nice meditative contrast to the tunes. (Bet you've never heard anyone call fireworks meditative before.)

4. 2009 Fireworks Festival in Kumano, Japan

The whole display went on for nearly two hours, but this clip is just "The Big One," detonated about 20 minutes before the display commences to warn everyone that the show is about to begin. If that's just the warning firework, I'm fascinated to see what the finale looks like.

5. 2012 Let Freedom Sing Fireworks Show in Nashville, Tennessee

As the video suggests, hold out until 2:05 for a real light show. I'm sure the camera lens doesn't do it justice, but the community cheering at the end is enough to want to throw on the flag bandana and march off to the nearest park with a pack of sparklers.

6. Firework Fail

Hey, we've gotta show some sort of firework fail to go along with all of these spectacular displays. This video shows the 15-second misfire at the 2012 San Diego "Big Bay Boom" event that features 15 minutes worth of fireworks in a few blinks of the eye. Sensory overload. For the record, we've also pulled together a bunch of firework fails for your patriotic pleasure.