Hoopla, hot dogs, and flag-waving come with the Fourth of July, the day Americans celebrate Independence from Great Britain. Annual parties have been taking place ever since the Continental Congress formally approved the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, although the vote actually took place on July 2. That’s why, according to History.com, John Adams observed July 2 as America’s birthday.
Newly liberated colonists reveled by staging mock funerals for King George III, lighting bonfires, watching parades, and firing cannons. We do much the same today, if you forget about the faux funeral and substitute barbecues for bonfires and fireworks for cannon blasts.
WalletHub, a personal finance site, presents our Fourth of July habits by the numbers.
Food, Fun and Fireworks
• 64.5% of Americans attend a July 4th barbecue or picnic.
• We eat 150 million hot dogs on July 4th, the most of any day of the year.
• We drink the most beer of any day of the year on July 4th.
• We purchase 700 million pounds of chicken the week prior to July 4th.
• Two-thirds of Americans barbecue, consuming almost 900 million pounds of beef and chicken.
• We spend $6.77 billion on food for July 4th.
• 15,000 fireworks displays are held.
• The US imports more than $324 million in fireworks for the holiday.
• Nearly 42 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home during this upcoming July 4th weekend.
• 85% of travelers will drive to their destination.
• 3.21 million people will travel by plane.
• In general, 400 people are killed in Fourth of July car crashes (be careful).
• 41% of traffic fatalities involve alcohol.
Great Fourth of July Celebrations
No city celebrates like the nation’s capital. Come for the patriotic music and the sheer fun of the pre-fireworks concert held on the US Capitol’s west lawn. Headliners this year include Smokey Robinson, Kenny Loggins, and Gavin DeGraw. It’s awe-inspiring to see the night sky lit up with the iconic Washington Monument in the background.New York City
Cheer on Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks set off over the East River. For next year, consider booking a cruise on the river to capture the best images of the fireworks bursting near the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.
Miami Beach, FL
Celebrate all weekend from downtown to uptown at Miami Beach’s family-friendly festival. Your teens might like Justin Bieber’s July 2nd and 3rd concerts, Bayfront Park hosts a day-long party with a kids’ play zone and fireworks, and North Beach hosts bands, food trucks, deejays and fireworks.