Celebrations of the Fourth of July became common in 1870, almost a hundred years after the Declaration of US Independence was written, when Congress first declared July 4 to be a national holiday. 

However Independence Day celebrations began much earlier as the July 18, 1777 issue of the Virginia Gazette describes the July 4 celebration in Philadelphia:

“The evening was closed with the ringing of bells, and at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks, which began and concluded with thirteen rockets on the commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated.

Everything was conducted with the greatest order and decorum, and the face of joy and gladness was universal.”

Celebrations haven’t changed that much almost 250 years later!