Firework displays and rules in Madison, WI

If you get them to spell out 608today, your next coffee’s on us. | Photo by @natevomhof

Unless you love bonding over a cul-de-sac cleanup, it’s nice to let someone else handle the Independence Day spectacle. Plus, local orgs are pros at showing off some incredible displays. 🎆

Consider us your one-stop firework shop. Read on for public firework displays, the best vantages to watch the lights, and tips to DIY. Bonus: If your pup is sensitive to sound, we’ve got some spots for you, too.

Public firework displays

  • Festival Foods Lights the Isthmus | Sat., July 2 | 5-10 p.m. | Held at Breese Stevens Field, jam out to local bands, snack on tailgate fare + watch the family-friendly fireworks show.
  • Monona Community Festival | Sat., July 2-Mon., July 4 | Times vary | A weekend-long fare with a carnival, drinks, cornhole + kid-friendly activities. See the fireworks at 9:20 p.m. on Monday.
  • Madison Mallards Independence Day Fireworks Show | Sun., July 3 | 5:05 p.m. | Northwoods League baseball followed by a post-game fireworks display.
  • Shorewood Hills Fireworks | Mon., July 4 | 9:30 p.m. | A triathlon, softball game, and art fair, followed by evening fireworks.
  • Beach Park Fireworks | Mon., July 4 | Dusk | A firework show at the beach, set off from a barge on Lake Mendota.
  • WaunaBoom | Mon., July 4 | 2-10:30 p.m. | Local music, a petting zoo, bike parade + more before the 9:45 p.m. fireworks.

Where to watch

You may be asking, what’s better than seeing one display? Seeing all of them. Follow the map for our favorite vantage points to get a bald eagle’s eye view of the festivities.

Firework safety

Did you know that larger fireworks explode at a diameter of 800+ feet (about 2.8x the height of the Capitol building)? Pretty incredible — until they go off on your lawn. Luckily, there are rules in place so you can contribute to the spectacle safely.

Fireworks are illegal in the state of Wisconsin without a permit (except for sparklers, poppers, and smoke bombs). If you decide to DIY, follow these guidelines.

Celebrate some peace + quiet

Before you spend the night trying to lure your four-legged friend out from under the bed, you may want to get as far from the commotion as possible.

Your best option is a nearby state park, like Blue Mounds or Devil’s Lake. Pack some food and water and go stargazing, or even camping.