New York leads Independence Day celebrations

Fireworks soared over New York City in the nation’s biggest display to celebrate Independence Day, marking America’s 242nd birthday. 

From New York to California, Americans across the country attended backyard barbecues, fireworks displays and hot dog eating contests to celebrate July Fourth.

The day’s events also were stately and traditional, with parades lining streets across the country and the world’s oldest commissioned warship firing a 21-gun salute to mark almost two-and-a-half centuries since the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Fireworks soared over New York City in the nation’s biggest display to celebrate Independence Day, marking America’s 242nd birthday

Fireworks explode near the One World Trade Center tower, center, during the Jersey City Fourth of July celebration, Wednesday, in New York

Fireworks soared over New York City in the nation’s biggest display to celebrate Independence Day, marking America’s 242nd birthday

Americans across the US celebrated Independence Day with backyard barbecues, parades and fireworks on Wednesday (pictured is the display in NYC)

From New York to California, July Fourth festivities ranged from the lively and to the lighthearted, with Macy’s July Fourth fireworks and Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest (the Macy’s fireworks display in New York City)

With the New York City skyline in the background, fireworks explode during an Independence Day show over the East River 

Spectators watch a fireworks display on the east side of Manhattan borough, as part of Independence Day festivities Wednesday 

A person stands on top of an apartment building in The Heights neighborhood of Jersey City, N.J., to watch the fireworks 

Resident in The Heights neighborhood of Jersey City took to their roofs to capture footage of the fireworks display in New York City 

In New York, the Macy’s fireworks show over the East River kicked off its 25 minutes of sparkle and ahhhh with the West Point Band and entertainers including Kelly Clarkson, Ricky Martin and Keith Urban on NBC’s broadcast

In New York, the Macy’s fireworks show over the East River kicked off its 25 minutes of sparkles and ahhhhs with the West Point Band and entertainers including Kelly Clarkson, Ricky Martin and Keith Urban on NBC’s broadcast.

More than a million people lined the streets, packed onto roofs and stood on their balconies along the banks of the East River to catch the 42nd annual Macy’s Fireworks display this evening.

At least 3,000 pyrotechnic shells, in 25 different colors, were fired every minute during the 25 minute extravaganza – all synchronized to patriotic tunes and watched over by 50 pyrotechnicians.

At its height, the display reached 1,000 feet – three times higher than the Statue of Liberty.

Fireworks light up the night sky in Washington, D.C., in one of many Fourth of July celebrations taking place all over the U.S.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania reacted excitedly to the first fireworks display held on the South Lawn of the White House, Washington DC

Donald and Melania waved to the crowds below, from th balcony of the White House during a fireworks display in Washington, DC

The first couple stand on the Truman Balcony to greet the crowd assembled on the South Lawn of the White House for Wednesday’s fireworks display

From New York to California , Americans across the nation attended backyard barbecues, parades, fireworks and hot dog eating contests to celebrate July Fourth (Fireworks explode over the National Mall in Washington, DC )

The impressive Washington display lit up the skies over the nation’s capital, illuminating the Capitol building and the Lincoln Memorial 

The fireworks on the National Mall are seen from the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, July 4 

The long-running music and fireworks display from the U.S. Capitol’s West Lawn, broadcast by PBS, was challenged for the first time by a display from the South Lawn (pictured) of the White House 

US President Donald Trump and US first lady Melania Trump watch fireworks from the Truman Balcony during a Independence Day celebration on the South Lawn 

Fireworks explode over Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol, along the National Mall in Washington

The skies over Washington DC exploded into a rainbow of colors during the fireworks display on Wednesday

The words to ‘God Bless America’ are displayed on a teleprompter during fireworks celebrating Independence Day at the White House 

Earlier that day, the traditional Nathan’s Famous hotdog-eating contest at New York’s Coney Island saw defending champions Joey ‘Jaws’ Chestnut and Miki Sudo hold on to their titles, downing dozens of wieners and buns in front of thousands of spectators.

Chestnut surpassed his previous record by two hot dogs, gobbling down 74 franks and buns in 10 minutes. He won the Mustard Belt and his 11th title. Sudo held on to her title as the top women’s competitor, chomping 37 franks and buns to take home the top prize for the fifth consecutive year.

In Washington DC, there was not one but two competing, national fireworks displays on Wednesday evening.

The long-running music and fireworks display from the U.S. Capitol’s West Lawn, broadcast by PBS, was challenged for the first time by a display from the South Lawn of the White House, broadcast on the Hallmark Channel. Each event also featured competing American Idol alumni.

PBS’ ‘A Capitol Fourth’, the country’s longest-running live national July Fourth television tradition, has the bigger stars, including The Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffett, Pentatonix, Chita Rivera, Luke Combs and The Temptations. It was be hosted by John Stamos.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania watched the South Lawn display from the Truman balcony of the White House on Wednesday as the fireworks lit up the sky over the capital. 

Fireworks explode over the twin steeples of Resurrection Church in Johnstown, Pa., during an Independence Day celebration, Wednesday

epa06864810 Fireworks light up the dusk sky to celebrate the 4th of July, the US Independence Day holiday, in Avondale Estates, Georgia 

Scott Lane drives his friend Bob Gianini’s tractor that survived a firestorm in October during the Kenwood 4th of July Hometown Parade in Kenwood, California

Brynleigh Brazelton, left, and Adalyn Bloom dance to music as Raeleigh Brazelton, lying on the floor, watches them during the Abilene Freedom Festival at the Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene, Texas 

Cheerleaders gesture during a Fourth of July parade in San Gabriel, Califoria on July 4, 2018 as cities and towns across America celebrate Independence Day 

A man waves the US flag while driving his classic car during a Fourth of July parade in San Gabriel, Califoria on July 4

Large clouds linger over the Neuse River as spectators watch fireworks from the George Green Harper Bridge in Kinston, N.C.

Four-year-old Sawyer Price, left, and his brother Truitt, 6, got dressed up for the Fourth of July holiday Wednesday, July 4, 2018 in La Veta, Colo. The annual town parade had to be cancelled because of the Spring Fire but the duo, along with their mother, Lori, decided to dress up anyway to stay in the spirit of the holiday

Visitors who said they are from Switzerland take a photo of one another as they wait with other spectators on the east side of Manhattan borough before a fireworks display, part of Independence Day festivities Wednesday

Thousands of spectators lined the streets of Manhattan, which had been closed off to cars, for the celebration

People gather to watch fireworks at the East River State Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to celebrate Independence Day in New York City 

Spectators watch a fireworks display on the east side of Manhattan, part of Independence Day festivities Wednesday

Wow The mom-of-two looked smashing in a fitted navy dress paired with sequinned red shoes for the day that was in it

American Idol There could be no-one better than Kelly Clarkson to celebrate Macy’s 4th Of July Fireworks Spectacular on Wednesday

The White House event included singer-songwriter Sara Evans, pianist Lola Astanova alongside American Idol stars Jonny Brenns and Jax. Both shows included the fireworks display from the National Park Service.

Evans posted a photo of herself this morning standing in front of the White House’s Trump balcony and decked out in American flags.

‘I’m so excited to be in Washington DC to honor our military families at this year’s Fourth of July at the White House,’ she tweeted.

Jax also posted a photo of herself at the White House on Tuesday. Her picture, also taken on the South Lawn, bore the caption ‘at rehearsal, you?’

Melania Trump said the White House show would allow Americans to ‘tune in from their homes and be part of the festivities.’ PBS declined to comment.

President Donald Trump also wished ‘every American a happy Independence Day’ adding that ‘Our Country is doing GREAT!’

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President Donald J. Trump (R) and First Lady Melania Trump (L) greet guests as they hold a picnic for military families at the White House, on July 4

Trump praised the ‘brave patriots’ who fought for independence, and paid tribute to current veterans and members of the United States Armed Forces, saying Americans are ‘eternally in their debt

‘Thank you for keeping America safe, strong, proud, mighty and free,’ he told assembled service members and those that he said are watching from around the world,’ President Trump said in his formal remarks

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen were also at the event and can be seen above on the right greeting the South Lawn crowd

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He also praised the ‘brave patriots’ who fought for independence, and paid tribute to current veterans and members of the United States Armed Forces, saying Americans are ‘eternally in their debt.’

Trump ended his message on a note of unity, saying ‘We are, and will always be, one people, one family, and one glorious nation under God. Happy Fourth of July, and God bless America.’  

In Boston, the world’s oldest commissioned warship still afloat, the USS Constitution, glided into Boston Harbor  to mark 242 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The ship, nicknamed Old Ironsides, traveled to Fort Independence on Castle Island to fire a 21-gun salute, and the ship’s commander also saluted the crowds gathered there. A Navy sailor on board recited the Declaration of Independence during the cruise. 

Crowds lined the streets in a Rhode Island town to see the nation’s oldest continuous Fourth of July celebration. Begun in 1785, the Bristol parade typically attracts about 100,000 people to the seaside town. This year’s was a scorcher with temperatures near 90 degrees when the parade kicked off Wednesday morning. The sweltering heat even saw some marchers treated for heat exhaustion and taken off the route.

However, the celebrations were a little muted in some Western states where the recent hot weather and wildfire danger forced communities to cancel fireworks displays. 

In Colorado, the wildfire danger forced some communities to cancel their fireworks. But in the small mountain town of Silverton, in southwestern Colorado, the celebration was still on, including live music and a water fight with firefighters. Aspen will have a fire-proof drone light display above town.

Other fireworks shows also went ahead in Denver, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins.

Joey Chestnut (C) competes in the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4, 2018 in the Coney Island neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City

A man in costume attends the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4, 2018 in the Coney Island neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City 

This was the first Fourth of July that many people were able to call themselves U.S. citizens after participating in naturalization ceremonies across the country.

In New Hampshire, more than 100 people from 48 countries became U.S. citizens during a ceremony at the Strawbery Banke museum in Portsmouth as part of the museum’s annual American Celebration. A ceremony also was held aboard the USS New Jersey, where dozens of people from countries including Vietnam and Bangladesh were sworn in.

Utah LGBTQ groups marched for the first time in a prominent July Fourth festival in the conservative city of Provo after years of organizers blocking them from participating.

The groups were met by cheers and rainbow flags as they marched Wednesday morning in the America’s Freedom Festival parade.

Participants included a center for LGBTQ youth and an organization that works to bridge divides between the LGBTQ community and the Mormon church. The groups’ parade application was initially denied this year by festival organizers who said participants cannot focus on political or social issues but should instead focus on patriotism.

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Police Woman is arrested in Chester Hospital investigation

New footage of boys found after nine days in Thailand cave

Love Island Alex and Grace have a painfully awkward chat

Body found in search for a six-year-old girl on a Scottish island

Fans in pubs around the country react to dramatic England win

Romeo Beckham films his dad’s elation at England’s win

Kaz ‘I got my man’ as Georgia attempts to wind her up

Earlier, a protester was arrested for climbing the base of the Statue of Liberty, forcing the evacuation of Liberty Island for several hours until she was removed 

Therese Okoumou, 45, was wearing a t-shirt that said ‘Trump Makes Us Sick’ on one side and ‘Rise and Resist’ on the other

At 6.30pm, police grabbed Okoumou and began attaching her to the rope system in preparation for the descent

County officials threatened to pull $100,000 in taxpayer money from the privately organized event until festival organizers struck a deal allowing the groups to participate.

The new citizens pledged allegiance to a country where some people lament that the ability to debate respectfully the toughest issues of the day seems hopelessly lost.

Several people were arrested Wednesday after hanging a banner from the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal that called for abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Later, a protester climbed the statue’s base, forcing the evacuation of Liberty Island, and stayed there for hours before police removed her. 

Meanwhile, the Independence Day celebrations this week have caused a few fatalities after a large tree branch fell on spectators during a fireworks display in western Illinois late Tuesday, killing two men and injuring five other people. Rock Island County sheriff’s officials said dozens of people were sitting near the tree at the time.

In Maryland, a man was hospitalized with ‘catastrophic injuries’ to his hands after setting off fireworks at a large outdoor party where several attendees took illegal fireworks, investigators said.

 

News Source DailyMailsNews

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