NEW YORK (AP) — The national holiday to mark America’s birth as a country has been filled with parades, concerts, competitive eating and, of course, fireworks.
Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, New York and other places around the country are holding massive celebrations with big name artists like Jennifer Hudson, Luke Bryan and Carole King.
But Independence Day won’t be free from politics, as President Donald Trump’s plan for a celebration in Washington featuring a display of tanks , fighter jets and a stealth bomber is garnering support from some and protests from others.
Highlights from celebrations around the country:
THE BIGGEST SHOW
Fireworks over New York’s East River lit up the Brooklyn Bridge, a display said to be one of the biggest in the country. As they waited for the show to start, people watched New York Police Department helicopters in a procession along the river.
Carmela Serino, a college student from Queens, said she liked how the crowd in Brooklyn Bridge Park reflected the diversity of the city. People were wearing everything from tank tops to burkas and chatting in Spanish, Japanese, Telugu, and a host of other languages.
Christina Garza, a flight attendant from Maine, agreed.
In the eyes of many Americans, the Fourth of July is a day for parades, barbecues and, of course, fireworks.
The tradition got its start at the beginning of our nation’s history after the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia to write and sign the Declaration of Independence. A day after the Continental Congress adopted the declaration on July 4, 1776, John Adams – soon the second U.S. president – penned a letter to his wife Abigail, declaring that Independence Day o”ught to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”
One year later, Philadelphia celebrated the anniversary with fireworks – or “illuminations,” to Adams – plus a parade commemorating Independence Day.
So with that in mind, here are four fascinating sets of facts about fireworks.