Around America, a spirited Fourth
In the nation's capital, revelers celebrated the Fourth at the Mall in Washington. Festivities included a parade and fireworks.
July 4th, 2011
07:37 PM ET

Around America, a spirited Fourth

President Barack Obama thanked U.S. service members and their families Monday by hosting them on the South Lawn of the White House for a patriotic cookout and fireworks display.

"After all that you do for our country every day, we wanted to give you guys a chance to get out of uniform, relax and have some fun," Obama said.

And fun was the order of the day as Americans celebrated Independence Day around the nation with flags, fireworks and food.

Monday evening, revelers along the Hudson River readied for the Macy’s annual fireworks show, which usually attracts around 2 million people each year.

In Washington, a display on the National Mall was scheduled to light up the night sky with the Lincoln Memorial as a backdrop.

In key states around the nation, GOP presidential hopefuls for 2012 spent the day meeting with supporters at various events.

Meanwhile, the rest of us settled in for a summer day as, well, American, as apple pie.

The Red

In several drought-stricken regions, local authorities banned fireworks because of the risk of wildfires.

In Mansfield, Texas, residents such as Darnell Cramer had to check in with fire officials before she bought fireworks, according to CNN affiliate KDAF.

"We've talked to the fire marshals out here and they've told us to water every couple of hours for the next 24 hours until we set them off," she  told KDAF.  "We've got two fire hoses on each side.  We've got 50 feet and we've already cleared a pile of land out and dug a hole so they're all contained in a small section."

Fireworks vendors in some parts of Texas said they were in the red because of a recent ban on the sale of fireworks.

"It truly is hard," Dewey Jones told CNN affiliate KHOU. "It’s not just the money. It’s the idea. It’s the idea of government interference just to save a little brown grass along the side of the road," he was quoted as saying.

According to KHOU, Jones said the ban means 650 part-time jobs will be gone and he’ll be out more than $1 million in sales; half of which would have been profit.

In Utah, fireworks were possibly the cause of a wildfire, said a spokeswoman with the Utah Bureau of Land Management.  CNN affiliate KSL reported that authorities Monday were still investigating the cause of the Red Butte blaze that was discovered the day before.

The White

As in snow.

It was big this Fourth in Northern California as several Lake Tahoe ski resorts, among them Squaw, Kirkwood and Apline Meadow, dusted off their ski lifts and welcomed skiers and snowboarders to the slopes.

Higher-than-normal winter precipitation has allowed snowcaps to retain their fleece, as deep as 15 feet in some areas.

"Thanks to Mother Nature we are able to do this," Alpine spokeswoman Rachael Woods told the Sacramento Bee newspaper. "It's such a special, unique way to spend part of your holiday weekend," she was quoted as saying.

The Blue

In St. Louis, Missouri, a Maroon 5 concert and fireworks display were canceled because of rainy weather, according to CNN affiliate KSDK.

A recent Marist poll also could give people the blues. It found about a quarter of Americans, mostly young adults, don't know what country the United States declared independence from.

But we won't dog them out too much. There's food to be eaten, music to enjoy, a spirited Fourth in the (fire)works.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • U.S.
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Big Game James

    Being American still feels good to me. God bless to all Americans here and abroad! USA! USA! USA!

    July 4, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. brown

    VOTE these bums out of office before it's too late!

    July 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CMA

    It's nice that someone is so concerned about people being employed, but to say, "to save a little brown grass along the side of the road" is absurd. That little brown grass is often the front lawn of a home that can easily catch fire. Some people do not possess enough common sense as to when or when not to use fireworks and sometimes need another person's "interference"to protect others and their property. I live on a ranch in a rural area (and we earn extra income from our brown grass called hay) and are always on the lookout for fires started from cigarettes thrown from vehicles, lightening (if we're lucky enough to get rain) and fireworks.

    July 4, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy

    @CMA:
    I agree with you fully.
    That has got to be one of the dumbest quotes *ever*.

    As an aside, I was looking up and down my street today, and noticed that the people who had their flags out yesterday, had taken them down today.
    *Today* is July 4th. *Facepalm*!

    July 4, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jerk

    We should celebrate our dependence on china's wares and the middle east's oil. I laugh at the "american" t-shirts that are all made by slave labor. Well, someone has to post it.

    July 4, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CMA

    And I appreciate and enjoy fireworks just as much as anyone and have kids that enjoy them, and I'm certainly patriotic (my husband and I were both in the army), but sometimes the risks outweigh the benefits. Happy Independence Day to all, particualarly those that have recently lost their homes to wildfires.

    July 4, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jerk

    I should note that by "american" shirts I mean all those with the flag on them or hillbilly sayings like, "american to the core." Meanwhile the shirt is made in china.

    July 4, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Big Game James

    I tried to start it off on a positive note. But I forgot...I also live in America. Everybody's got a complaint.

    July 4, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jerk

    I'll try to make this my last one: "Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind." -albert einstein.

    July 4, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jazzzzzzzz

    Hey all got back about 2 hrs ago and had a ok 4th , love to all my kitties
    Banasy , philip, Joey
    and SandyK ... My heart goes out to ya hon, get well soon and we may be busy looking for the creep you did that number on ya, ya know He He

    July 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kat

    To all of the negative posters: You so called patriots live in the greatest country on earth. You should be thanking the stars that you have the freedoms many do not. If you are so dissatified with your lot here, well, there are many other countries who would let you in. You may have to give up your freedom, your religion, you probably won't have much money, but at least you won't be in America. Things may not be ideal here, but I'll celebrate the birth of our country and be glad that I was lucky enough to be born here! Bless the USA!!!

    July 4, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Hi, Jazzzzzzz.

    July 4, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. lizzy10

    I'm glad I live in America. Happy 4th of July to all. Just wanted, for once, to see a positive post on some blog.

    July 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. joann

    I,love to be an American.Makes,me feel proud.Like, that song says,I'm proud to be an American. JoAnn Bartholomew

    July 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jeff

    Too bad over half of Americans don't know what year or from whom we gained our independence.

    July 4, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jman

      Isn't that what they want?

      July 4, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
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