New York.- With backyard barbecues and fireworks, Americans celebrated Independence Day by participating in timehonored traditions that expressed pride in their country’s 242nd birthday.
But this quintessential American holiday was being marked with a sense of a United States divided for some, evidenced by competing televised events in the nation’s capital.
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 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 the 242 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. For some Western states, however, the holiday was a bit more muted as high wildfire danger forced communities to cancel fireworks displays.
Here are some highlights of Wednesday’s festivities: Oldest Warship The USS Constitution has sailed in Boston Harbor and fired its guns again to mark Independence Day. The world’s oldest commissioned warship still afloat left its berth at the Charlestown Navy Yard on Wednesday morning. It glided through the harbor to mark 242 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
A historic parade Crowds lined the streets in a Rhode Island town to see what’s billed as 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. Lighting up the night skies In New York, the Macy’s fireworks show over the East River promises 25 minutes of sparkle and ahhhh plus the West Point Band and entertainers including Kelly Clarkson, Ricky Martin and Keith Urban on NBC’s broadcast.