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Where to Road Trip for New Year's Eve Fireworks

Hail the end of 2016 the way it should be done: with illuminated potatoes..

By Jack Russillo December 22, 2016

Screen shot 2016 12 16 at 3.23.56 pm ismylw

Last year, Canada's largest New Year's Eve event attracted over 80,000 people in Vancouver.

Image: Gabriel Lam

Everything is better with fireworks, right? New Year's Eve is also a good night to leave the pyrotechnics to local professionals. Head to one of these cities for some firework shows that ring in 2017 with more than a bang:


It’s convenient that Canada’s largest New Year’s Eve event is just three hours north of Seattle. Head to Burrard Landing in downtown Vancouver to see the fireworks reflect off the water at downtown's only waterfront New Year’s celebration. Enjoy free live music and copious food trucks, and take part in the on-site radio broadcast leading up to the midnight fireworks show. 6:30pm, $25-$225


To help celebrate Boise’s first New Year’s Eve weekend event, the festivities at the fourth annual Idaho Potato Drop will start early New Year's Eve afternoon and stretch into the first day of 2017. Six different live music groups will play music for the festival, which includes a professional wrestling exhibition. More actively, there's a snow park event sanctioned by the USA Snowboard and Freeski Association and a jump rope performance by the Summerwind Skippers. The fireworks show—created by the same team who does the display at Macy’s in downtown Seattle—will commence at the stroke of midnight once the giant "glowtato" drops down. 1pm, free

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The anchor goes up at midnight at Port Townsend's First Night—east coast midnight.

Port Townsend

Early on in the mid-19th century, Port Townsend was nicknamed the “City of Dreams” and thought to be the largest harbor on the west coast. While it didn’t end up having the biggest port (oops), the historical city creates a dreamy atmosphere each New Year’s Eve when it hosts its First Night celebration. The 10th annual event at city hall offers musical performances, dancing, and short films from the city’s local film festival. The night will end with the raising of an illuminated anchor sculpture and a pyrotechnics display. 6pm, entry by donation


On the east side of the Cascades, Spokane will host its own First Night carnival for New Year’s Eve. From Sprague Ave to Riverfront Park, the streets will be blocked off for the city’s 16th annual celebration. Kid-centric activities like face painting and arts and crafts galleries will start earlier in the afternoon. After sunset, the rest of the fair starts up, complete with free hot cocoa, ice-skating, ice carving, dancing, a magician, and lots of other festive undertakings will go until the fireworks start at midnight. Free parking will be provided at the Riverpoint Campus. 3pm, $15

Mount Hood

Since Portland doesn’t offer its own fireworks bonanza, the next closest place to see explosions in the sky is on the nearby mountain. For the 29th straight year, Mount Hood’s Skibowl resort will have a New Year’s Eve extravaganza with a pair of live DJs, numerous beer gardens, a dance party, and food available until the early morning hours. Tubing under the stars will be open until midnight, which is when the fireworks are set to start. 9pm, free

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