Fireworks, food, and patriotic music are part of July 4 festivities throughout the United States, but beyond that, the observances differ as much as the locations themselves. From small towns to larger cities, citizens have created Independence Day celebrations that reflect their culture as well as their place in history. Visiting a new city during this all-American July holiday is an educational and enjoyable experience.
Fireworks, of course, are common to all, with an estimated 14,000 displays throughout the country, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association, which also indicated that 24.5 million pounds of explosives were detonated for displays in 2016. We never seem to tire of watching the sky with “oohs” and “ahhs” of surprise and appreciation.
In 1777, on the first anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia marked the day with fireworks, beginning the tradition that has grown over the last 200 years. John Adams, credited with suggesting “bells, bonfires, and illuminations,” for the event, would undoubtedly be thrilled and impressed with today’s pyrotechnic shows.