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.

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. Jman

    I like freedom. I've known it all my life and the moment it's taken away, the revolution will begin. Slowly, but surely it will happen and is happening. Don't be fooled.

    July 4, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CMA

    Is saying that I don't want wildfires unpatriotic or unamerican? I fought for my country in the army, but yet I'm not aloud to express that I don't want my property being torched- pardon me! Well rock on, go ahead and blow off some fireworks on the little patches of brown grass you see along the side of the road since the government is so oppressive/intrusive, but yet you love it here. Gotta love hiprocrisy.

    July 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Corey

      It's American to burn down your neighbor's house!

      July 4, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CMA

    We're failing our future generations with an uncontrollable debt and a failing educational system (and I have a Masters in Ed.; we have the No Child Left Behind Act to thank for that) and let's not forget that social security will eventually disappear.

    July 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |

    Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the
    Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson,
    John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin
    all later wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians
    have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its
    adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed

    July 4, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sum of Squares


    July 4, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ted

    This Is True...if a Million was 12 seconds...then a Trillion would be..30,000 Years....That's THIRTY THOUSAND YEARS.....You can see the Extreme of our $15 Trillion debt....Our ONLY Hope is God...No Other possible way out...! America Must Return to ..One Nation Under God...

    July 4, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      you mean return to the 1950s when it was added?

      July 4, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy

    Nobody deserves to have their house burned down, especially to celebrate our independence from Britain, JuLy 4th, 1776.
    (Proving I do know.)
    Anyone who tries to tell you different should re-examine their priorities!

    Happy 4th, everyone. Be safe.

    July 4, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jazzzzzzzz

    That wasn't me posting. I'm here now. Troll. Bad troll go away. You can't fool everyone all the time. But keep trying.

    July 4, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy

    One would assume that the first year they celebrated Independence Day, one would have noticed the date was wrong...

    July 4, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Debt...

    As the national debt passes the 14 trillion mark.... is it really wise to celebrate independence day? Are we independent? Instead of wasting the millions of dollars in every city around the US by putting on fireworks shows, we can save that money and start chipping away at the debt our great great grandchildren will inherit.

    July 4, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jman

      you mean our grandchildren. There is no great in the equation.

      July 4, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sandyk

    our family lost its heartbeat early this morning. she wanted to be scattered on grandfather`s mountain in the smokey`s. thanks to all of you she always said i was her beloved, i hope she knew she was mine. now a private time with our children and family.

    July 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      MR SandyK, I am in such shock and so very truly sorry for your loss. please know that I always envisioned her as a happy spunky women and that your loss is felt my all of us here.
      love mary

      July 4, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bobby D.Denning

    You're right and this could very well be our last celebration of Independence. But not without a fight!

    July 4, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. popeye

    And are independents from England was because we were getting tired of paying unjust taxes and tariffs , can't the same be said today in are own country , about are own government ? Show me where the money goes !

    July 4, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Angela

    today is my birthday also, so i was speeding and i didnt get a ticket,,,,happy

    July 4, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. popeye

    I do believe in what our forefathers stood for , but this is not it , we have become exactly what they were against ! No morals , no god , no decency , no joke !

    July 4, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sydney

      You do realize that many of the Founding Fathers- including Jefferson who wrote the Declaration of Independence- were Deists, not Christians? Don't presume to know what they felt and thought.

      July 4, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
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