Every year, Americans celebrate Independence Day on July 4. This holiday commemorates the Declaration of Independence’s signing, a momentous act that separated the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain in 1776.
Although Congress determined that the colonies would become independent on July 2, the Declaration of Independence—a document explaining the decision—wasn’t made public and signed until the 4th, the day that’s become known as America’s birthday.
Founding Father John Adams had this to say about the event:
“It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
Adams’ words still ring true, 238 years later. The activities he mentioned remain core components of the holiday, and celebrations have remained surprisingly similar over the years.
Curious about how America celebrates? Here are a few of the ways:
According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, more than 14,000 fireworks displays take place every July 4. Fireworks have been set off every year after independence was first declared, and that’s doubtful to ever change. While Adams used bells, illuminations, and gunshots to characterize the celebration, the sentiment is still the same: the Fourth of July is a time for noise and explosions in the sky.
Over 155 million hot dogs will be consumed—more than any other day of the year. As the quintessential cookout meat, hot dogs are in high demand on Independence Day—a summer holiday known for barbecues and outdoor parties. Curious about which condiment is most popular? While it varies by region, research says that adults are likely to prefer mustard and kids ketchup.
And if you think you’re a big eater, think again: every Fourth of July, competitive eaters compete in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest—and the record number of hot dogs eaten by a contestant is a staggering 69.
Towns and cities will throw parades, some of which have been active for over 200 years. Take the Bristol, Rhode Island parade, for example. This Fourth of July parade has been an annual event since 1785, making it the nation’s oldest continuous celebration in the United States. It features floats, music, and events—all with a patriotic touch.
America’s game will be played on her birthday. Just as Adams predicted, sport has remained an integral part of the holiday. Our nation’s pastime, baseball, goes hand in hand with the Fourth of July—check out this article to see why the Fourth of July is the perfect day to enjoy America's pastime.
American flags will fly. The American flag will be proudly displayed at businesses, homes, and almost everywhere else. All these flags come from somewhere—and, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly $4 million was spent importing them in 2013.
Here at Patriot Wood, we have a wide variety of flags that can be displayed for many Independence Days to come—and they’re all made in the USA. Check out our handcrafted American wood flags here.
Independence Day is both a time to celebrate with friends and family, and a time to be thankful for our country and forefathers who made it what it is. How do you plan to celebrate? Share in the comments below.