Photos show how Americans across the country are celebrating the Fourth of July

Getty Images/Sean RayfordChildren ride on the back of a golf cart during the sixteenth annual Harper Street Parade on July 4, 2018 in Newberry, South Carolina.

Americans across the country celebrated Independence Day on Wednesday, ringing in the country’s 242nd birthday with time-honored traditions like parades, barbecues, parties, citizenship ceremonies, and hot dog eating contests.

Though much of the country endured stifling temperatures –NBC reported that some 98 million people were under heat advisories or warnings – the celebrations went on.

Even before the annual nighttime fireworks were set to begin, Americans kicked off their Fourth of July festivities this year with a bang. Here’s how the day unfolded:

Revelers lined the streets in cities like Newberry, South Carolina, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to watch the parades go by.

Provo, Utah, kicked off the day by launching hot-air balloons into the sky at sunrise.

Getty Images/George FreyMany hot air balloons are launched at sunrise to kick off the Provo Freedom Festival Parade activities on July 4, 2018 in Provo, Utah.

People decked themselves out in red, white, and blue — and US flags were draped just about everywhere.

Getty Images/Tamir KalifaSpectators wave as a pickup truck covered in American flags drives by during the 168th annual Round Top Fourth of July Parade on July 4, 2018 in Round Top, Texas.

Down in Georgia, southern belles wore their signature antebellum dresses as they made their way down the parade route.

Amid the scorching heat, some families found creative ways to cool off — from sprinklers to actual fire hoses.

Getty Images/Sean RayfordPeople cool off in the water at the end of the sixteenth annual Harper Street Parade on July 4, 2018 in Newberry, South Carolina.

Though New York City felt muggy and humid, it didn’t stop Joey “Jaws” Chestnut from scarfing down 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes during the Nathan’s Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest.

Source: Business Insider

It’s Chestnut’s 11th time winning the competition.

Source: Business Insider

In preparation for major fireworks displays, some larger cities beefed up their security. Here are federal agents arriving in Boston, Massachusetts, on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump weighed in on Twitter, wishing Americans a happy Fourth of July in a video thanking “American heroes” for their sacrifices.^tfw

He praised the “brave patriots” who he said helped win the nation’s freedom, and reminded Americans, “Let us never forget that our freedom has been earned through the blood and sweat and sacrifice of American heroes.”

International allies sent their best wishes, too. Here’s what the British Army had to say.

Our neighbour to the north offered up some kind words as well — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wished the US a happy Independence Day.

As did NATO.

All in all, it was a day for Americans across the country and their friends around the world to rejoice on the nation’s 242nd birthday. Happy Independence Day!

Getty Images/Mitchell LaytonA fan holds up sign to celebrate 4th of July during a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the Boston Red Sox at Nationals Park on July 4, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.