USA Honors Fourth of July Traditions

Leah Koppenhaver, Reporter

Fourth Of July brings celebrations, traditions, and patriotic colors across America.

The Declaration of Independence was originally signed July 2, 1776, and was approved by Congress two days later. The first Independence Day was celebrated a year later on July 4, 1777.

Fourth of July traditions of parades, fireworks, and festive foods began in Philadelphia and have since spread around the country.

Towns and cities across America host parades including floats, military heroes, and marching bands.

According to Travel and Leisure, some of the must see parades in the country are held in Bristol, RI, Staten Island, NY, and Washington, D.C.

The midsummer celebration also brings extravagant firework shows to both big cities and small towns.

The largest and most popular firework show in the US is Macy’s 4th of July fireworks display,

which attracts 3 million people at the show and 10 million watching it on TV, according to USA Today.

Other popular shows include Washington, D.C’s National Mall Show, San Diego’s Big Bay Bloom, and Philadelphia’s Wawa Welcome America show.

For those who want to set off their own fireworks, local firework stands sell smaller fireworks such as sparklers, ground flowers, and in some states, Roman Candles and bottle rockets.

In October 2017, a new law passed in Pennsylvania allowing residents to set off bigger fireworks the bigger fireworks. According to The Washington Post, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Arizona, and Vermont only allow novelty fireworks such as sparklers.

The fourth brings many traditional foods and contests including the famous Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest which has been going on for more than 100 years, and is held at Nathan’s Famous Corporation’s first restaurant in Coney Island.

Twenty contestants compete for who can eat the most Nathan’s Hot Dogs in ten minutes. In 2017, Joey Chestnut captured the male division for the tenth time eating 72 hot dogs, an event record. In the women’s competition, Miki Sudo won her fourth contest straight, eating 41 hot dogs.

Barbecues are a common and very popular tradition for Americans to host on the holiday. Barbecuing is an efficient way to cook several items at once including hot dogs, hamburgers, and pork.

According to The Spoon University blog, July is National Hotdog Month, and it is estimated that a total of 150 million hot dogs are eaten each July 4th.

Other foods such as s’mores, corn on the cob, pie, and ice cream are commonly eaten at Fourth of July celebrations.

Popular drinks include lemonade and the “All- American beer” Budweiser. Drinks are commonly seen being served out of red solo cups, the disposable cup has become a great symbol of pop culture in America.

Grilling and barbecuing brings together families, friends, and neighbors, and it is a traditional way to celebrate Independence Day.

Fireworks explode over the skyline of downtown Denver during the third-annual Independence Eve at the City and County Building at Civic Center Park show on Tuesday, July 3, 2012. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)