Earliest fireworks - solving the sunset problem

(Updated. Thanks q) What place in America has the earliest sunset—local time? This is a really important question for the upcoming 4th of July; because an earlier sunset means earlier fireworks fun! Who can stay up for fireworks that start at 11:00pm? Zzzzz. As America ages (and gets tired earlier), we need to look for places with the earliest possible sunsets. But where in America does the sun set the earliest? (according to local time, that is)

This was a much harder question to answer than I originally expected. In Alaska and Hawaii, you just go to the easternmost point—easy. But in the rest of the nation, it's way more complicated. That's because the easternmost point of a time zone is not necessarily the place where the sun sets the earliest. Remember, in midsummer, the days are really long in the far north, and get gradually shorter as you move south. So you need an algorithm to figure this out. Or you can just check a lot of places—that's what I did. (Ironically, the best site to find sunset times for your Independence day pyrotechnics.... is run by the British.)

The winner is Sneads, Florida, with a 7:47 sunset on July 4th. However, if you live in the northeast and can't make it to Sneads, Quoddy Head State Park in Hogwarts Maine will have to suffice, with a 8:17 sunset. Folks in the mountain region will have to settle for Syracuse, Kansas with an 8:13 mark. Californians can do a little better by driving out to Parker Dam and a 7:53 sunset. Of course, I'm not a professional sunsetologist. If you have better information, please add your comments.

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