The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate America, hang out with family and friends, gaze at pictures of eagles, and watch fireworks.

For years, the Empire State Plaza has hosted a huge fireworks display in Albany to celebrate the Fourth of July. The popular event is attended by tens of thousands of visitors that flock to the city each year.

But if watching the fireworks at the Plaza with what feels like a million people is not your thing, you can also check out the fireworks from different spots around the city or even go to different fireworks shows within driving distance of the Capitol. Here are some lesser-known firework displays that are just as great and will not have you battling thousands for a seat.

  • July 4th Celebration at Clifton Common In Clifton Park NY

    This event kicks off at noon on Friday, July 4.  The full-day event features live music, food, and even a parade. The parade starts at noon at Shenendehowa High School and finishes at Clifton Common, where the other activities are taking place. For more information check out the event page here.

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  • Saratoga's All-American Celebration 2014

    Head to Saratoga Springs for your Fourth of July plans and get more than just fireworks. On July 4, bring the family, or just yourself, to downtown Saratoga to see a parade, car show, and enjoy a BBQ and Dessert Festival in addition to the pyrotechnics. The best place to watch the fireworks is Congress Park, so start planning your perfect blanket/chair set-up now. More information on the festivities can be found on their website here.

  • Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra Concert & Fireworks

    Granted, a little more of a drive but this event in Glens Falls offers something a little different for those looking for a more musical Fourth of July. The Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra will be hosting their 13th Annual Summer Pops Concert at Crandall Park. What is even better than music and fireworks is the fact that the event is free! Bring your friends and check out the event starting at 7:30 p.m. More information about the concert and fireworks can be found here.

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  • Old Forge, NY: Independence Day Celebration

    Live closer to the Adirondacks? Dont worry, we have you covered. Check out this event that is displayed over the water and between mountains. The night features a free concert at 7 p.m. on the Old Forge Lakefront. As this event is more low key, it is a relaxing option that lends itself to a waterside picnic. You can find more details here.

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  • Greenwich Elks Lodge Fireworks

    This annual event is taking place the Saturday after The Fourth (July 5). There will be activities and games for the kids before the fireworks show that occurs around 9 p.m. If you are into softball, this event at the Elks Lodge features a game as well. Call 518-692-2061 for more information about this free event.

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