Millions of Americans celebrated Independence Day in style on Wednesday, grabbing their finest red-white-and-blue attire and firing up the grill in preparations for the celebrations. Despite patriotism reaching an all-time low this year, citizens still turned up across the nation for classic American traditions like baseball games, massive parades, dazzling fireworks displays, and hot dog eating competitions.
Some cities even got drone displays instead of fireworks as wildfires spread through the west coast and a heatwave gripped the east coast.
Scroll below for some of the highlights of this year’s July 4 festivities.
Across the east coast, residents kept cool amid a massive heatwave.
Hot and humid weather struck from Maine to North Carolina, with temperatures feeling as hot as 95 to 110 degrees on the heat index, according to CNN.
In New York, hundreds of people gathered to watch Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks from Hunter Point Park along the East River.
Earlier in the day, a woman climbed onto the base of the Statue of Liberty, which prompted authorities to evacuate Liberty Island.
Later, fireworks lit up the New York City skyline.
Last year, Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular was the top-rated and most-watched show broadcast on July 4, averaging 6.4 million viewers.
And in Brooklyn, many gathered to celebrate a holiday tradition.
People gathered to watch the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island, one of the boardwalk’s most famous events.
This year, returning champion Joey “Jaws” Chestnut won the contest, eating a record-breaking 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
In Washington D.C., the president and first lady attended a picnic for military families on the South Lawn of the White House
President Trump delivered a speech in which his thanked the military and touted his “Space Force.“
Later, the White House lit up in patriotic colours.
And fireworks lit the sky at the US Capitol building and the Washington Monument.
This year mark’s the nation’s 242nd year of independence.
In South Carolina, residents gathered for a street party and parade.
The Harper Street Parade in Newberry, South Carolina began as a small bicycle gathering for children but attracted 4,000 people last year.
In Nashville, people gathered to watch fireworks light up the sky over Music City.
The fireworks show at Let Freedom Sing! featured 60,000 shells, mortars, and comets packed with 33,500 pounds of explosives.
And in Texas, the 168th annual Round Top Fourth of July Parade marched down the street.
The Round Top community’s Fourth of July celebration began in 1851 and calls itself the “longest running Fourth of July observance west of the Mississippi.”
People geared up with floats, pickup trucks, and horses as they made there way towards the Round Top main street.
Hot air balloons were launched at sunrise to kick off the Provo Freedom Festival Parade in Provo, Utah.
The parade made history this year, allowing an LGBT+ float to march alongside Mormons.
The parade is one of the largest in the country to celebrate the 4th of July, and drew in an estimated 300,000 people this year.
Americans also celebrated by watching baseball.
The Baltimore Orioles featured patriotic bats in their game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
In Los Angeles, players got festive.
Yasiel Puig, #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers, wore special cleats and socks as his team faced off against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium.
Later, fireworks rang out over the stadium.
According to CNBC, the US imported nearly $US280 million worth of fireworks last year in total, nearly all of them from China.
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