US marks Independence Day with fireworks, hot dogs, parades

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Washington, July 5 (IANS) The US celebrated its 241st birthday with flashy fireworks displays, eating competitions, parades and readings of the Declaration of Independence.

President Donald Trump helped kick off the Independence Day celebrations on Tuesday morning, tweeting out a video of a chorus singing the song ‘Make America Great Again’, backed by a massive American flag.

He later tweeted: “Getting ready to celebrate the 4th of July with a big crowd at the White House. Happy 4th to everyone. Our country will grow and prosper!”

To mark the day, US senators travelled to Afghanistan and spent the holiday with the troops, reports said.

Across the country, Americans shared their July 4 celebrations on Facebook, from the hikers in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains to Vermont’s largest Independence Day parade in Bristol, to the hot dog eaters in Louisville, the beachgoers in the Californian sun and fishing trips in Florida, USA Today reported.

Vice President Mike Pence made a special trip to Grandville, Michigan, for the Fourth of July Parade while on vacation with his family in Northern Indiana.

Pence, alongside Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Representative Bill Huizenga walked at the front of the parade and individually greeted citizens lining the parade route.

Along with the fireworks, July Fourth also came with some light-hearted traditions like competitive eating contests. People celebrated by having barbecues in the sun and participated in social gatherings, from the rooftops to the streets.

Thousands upon thousands of fireworks turned the night sky over New York City into a festival of colour during the annual Macy’s fireworks show. Crowds lined up along the East River to watch.

Throngs of people were dressed in colours of the American flag and witnessed the show for which 60,000 firework rockets were used.

Fireworks, launched from five boats on the East River at 9.30 p.m, displayed images such as smiley faces, bicolour spheres and huge golden palm trees to the cheerful and applauding crowd.

About three million people attended the New York fireworks show amid tight security, although police chief James O’Neill said there were no specific or credible threats against the celebrations or the city.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced earlier that there would be a high presence of security forces, reinforced with specialised anti-terror units, radiation detection tools and police dogs.

–IANS

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