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Summer Fireworks

May. 1, 2023 | Expert Panel Selected the Nominees & the Public Voted for the Winner

Navy Pier Wins Best Fireworks in the Nation

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CHICAGO— Navy Pier is honored to be voted winner of the 2023 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards contest for Best Place to See Fireworks. Nominees for all categories are chosen by a panel of relevant experts which include a combination of editors from USA TODAY; editors from; relevant expert contributors; and sources for both these media and other Gannett properties.

“Navy Pier’s beloved fireworks are an invitation we send soaring into the sky, and we’re thrilled that millions of guests from across the street and around the globe have forwarded this colorful invite to the rest of the country by voting Navy Pier to the top of the USA Today poll,” said Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner. “As our iconic Summer Fireworks reflect off Lake Michigan and reverberate through Chicago’s spectacular skyline, they represent all that is unique to Navy Pier and its incredible community of partners and supporters. Thanks to everyone who voted for us.”

This year Navy Pier’s free fireworks display will return every Wednesday and Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Navy Pier launched the free public fireworks show in 1995. Since then, it has grown into a dazzling display of symphonic music, coordinated sound and choreographed lights produced by Pyrotecnico.

“Our family carried our love for fireworks displays to American families in the early 1900s. To be recognized in partnership with Navy Pier as the best place to see fireworks in the nation is an incredible honor, and we love entertaining the residents and visitors of Chicago,” said Pyrotecnico President & CEO Stephen Vitale.

Founded in 1889, Pyrotecnico has been bringing people and communities together, creating memories, unforgettable experiences, and amplifying excitement. The award-winning company uses cutting-edge technology to customize the Navy Pier’s show.

“Fireworks displays are one of the greatest traditions that bring people together. We are grateful for partners like Navy Pier. They provide opportunities for our dedicated crews to deliver ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ to communities across the country,” stated Pyrotecnico Executive Vice President Chris Liberatore. provides users with original, unbiased, and experiential travel content of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world. The core of the site’s uniqueness is its team of local travel experts: a well-traveled and well-educated group who are not only experts in their fields – and their cities – but discriminating in their tastes. Click here for the list of the other nominees and rankings.

Click here for b-roll of Navy Pier’s Summer Fireworks.

Note: All activities, times, and dates are subject to change.


Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top nonprofit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and typically welcoming nearly 9 million annual guests. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. The Pier celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016 with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial Wheel, Polk Bros Park, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2021, Navy Pier continued to usher in its second century with ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts—including Sable, a 223-room Hilton hotel, new restaurants and partnerships, and thrilling additions to Pier Park. The Pier is also proud to continue providing free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. Click here to donate to Navy Pier, a mission-driven 501(c)(3) organization, in support of the organization’s post-pandemic revival and free public programming. For more information, visit


USA TODAY is a multi-platform news and information media company. Founded in 1982, USA TODAY’s mission is to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation. Through its unique visual storytelling, USA TODAY delivers high-quality and engaging content across print, digital, social and video platforms. An innovator of news and information, USA TODAY reflects the pulse of the nation and serves as the host of the American conversation — today, tomorrow and for decades to follow. USA TODAY, the nation’s number one newspaper in print circulation with an average of more than 1.6 million daily, and, an award-winning newspaper website launched in 1995, reach a combined 6.6 million readers daily. USA TODAY is a leader in mobile applications with more than 16 million downloads on mobile devices. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).



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