Fourth of July Celebrations Across the United States

Filed in American Culture by on July 2, 2018 0 Comments


Filled with barbecued food, family, and flags—the Fourth of July is a celebration of the United States independence from British rule. In 1777, the first Fourth of July celebration took place in Philadelphia, one year after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The festivities included 13-gun cannon salutes and fireworks to honor each colony.

Traditionally, people gather for a picnic or cookout and to watch parades and fireworks displays. From small towns to large cities, the celebrations are similar in many ways. However, many Americans have created different Independence Day traditions that reflect the history and culture of their community.

If you’re looking for ideas on how to celebrate the Fourth of July, check out these unique traditions across the United States:

Washington DC:

In the nation’s capital, the festivity starts with a parade and continues with the A Capitol Fourth, a free concert presented by the National Symphony Orchestra. The concert usually features famous performers along a backdrop of national monuments during the fireworks finale. Music lovers won’t want to miss a Washington DC Fourth of July.

Brooklyn, New York:

Hot dogs are a typical food across the nation on the Fourth of July, but in Brooklyn, Independence Day means Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. New Yorkers and visitors gather in Coney Island to watch fierce competitors battle it out. Participants try to eat as many hot dogs as possible in 10 minutes.

Bristol, Rhode Island:

The oldest Independence Day parade is held in Bristol, Rhode Island, established by a Revolutionary War veteran in 1785. During the celebration, this typically quiet and small town is filled with families from all over the country. The parade includes decorated floats, public figures that sit on classic convertible cars, and a Santa Claus that closes the parade.

San Francisco, California:

The Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View is one of the most popular events in the San Francisco South Bay Area. The outdoor amphitheater hosts a concert by the San Francisco Symphony and colorful fireworks that brighten up the night sky.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina:

Visit this coastline city to celebrate the Fourth by the beach and participate in the Annual Boat Parade. Vibrant boats, competing for the best decorated prize, will sail through the ocean. There is also the Garden City Golf Cart Parade with carts decked out in red, white, and blue.

How will you be celebrating Fourth of July this year? Tell us in the comments below.

Photo by Trent Yarnell