A trip should take at least 2 hours
A trip should take at least 2 hours
Americans celebrated their nation's 245th birthday Sunday with brighter fireworks, hotdogs that taste better and marching bands that sound more youthful after last year's coronavirus pandemic.
Fireworks displays are always the main attraction of July Fourth. Two of the most spectacular pyrotechnic displays in the country will be visible from Washington's National Mall and the East River for over a mile, which separates Manhattan from Brooklyn and Queens boroughs.
COVID-19 reduced Nathans Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Brooklyn's Coney Island. Joey Chestnut, the reigning champion, broke his own world record of 76 hot dogs or buns in just 10 minutes. He ate one more hot dog than he did last year, and this was his 14th win.
In the wake of the 600,000 Americans who died from COVID-19, this year's July Fourth holiday was an opportunity for Americans to show patriotism, to celebrate their freedom, and to enjoy simple summer pleasures with friends.
However, this year's July Fourth was anything but peaceful. Last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned police and state officials about a rising threat of domestic extremist violence due to relaxed COVID-19 restrictions as well as the July Fourth holiday.
The American Automobile Association stated that it was the busiest July Fourth holiday ever with 43.6 million Americans driving, a record of 5% more than the previous record in 2019.
Aleksandra Magidoff (12 years old) from Brooklyn traveled to New Jersey to meet up with her long-time friend and family. Since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, more than 3.5million people have fled New York City, which was once the epicenter of COVID-19.
Magidoff said, "I'm so excited that I can talk to them, celebrate with them, and just socialize!" She said that the girls had planned to consume a lot of hotdogs and hamburgers before enjoying the fireworks display at a New Jersey fairgrounds.
She was allowed to watch fireworks from her apartment's rooftop last July 4th, but she was under pandemic lockdown and not allowed to celebrate with her immediate family.
Officials stated that masks are required to be worn in Washington by anyone who is not vaccinated and who attends President Joe Biden's July Fourth celebration at the White House lawn. [nL2N2OG00N]
To console the families of those whose loved ones lost their lives in the condo tower collapse on June 24, the president hosts this event three days later. Officials from the city said that several communities in Florida have cancelled their July Fourth fireworks to show support for the victims of the tragedy. [L2N2OD0UI]
On Sunday, marching bands marched on Capitol Hills Barracks Row in a traditional parade. The National Mall will be lit up at night by a spectacular fireworks display that takes place from both sides.
New York's East River has seen 50 pyrotechnicians spend days loading over 65,000 shells onto five barges. This spectacular show is sure to impress anyone who sees it live or via television. Macy's department store presents the display.
The lights of the night sky will delight people and provide a source of income for businesses that supply the 16,000 fireworks displays that are usually held in towns and cities. According to Julie Heckman (executive director of American Pyrotechnics Association), only a few people attended the show last year.
Heckman stated that approximately 70% of those affected are expected to return and many will be larger and more successful than before the pandemic.
For some, however, July Fourth was somber.
The U.S. West is now at greater risk for wildfires due to intense heatwaves and dry conditions. Pandemic-related supply chain problems have caused a rise in prices for everything, from household goods to fireworks.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg, New York; additional reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York, Andrea Shalal, Mark Hosenball in Washington; editing done by Diane Craft and Marguerita Chuy.
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