From ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ to Hot Dogs and Fireworks: How Americans Mark 4 July

On 4 July America celebrates Independence Day – the federal holiday commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, when Congress declared that the nation was no longer under British rule.

Independence Day celebrations are typically marked by nationwide parades, parties, sports, concerts, barbecues, street parties, and firework displays, with people dressing up in the colours of the US flag: red, white, and blue. 

After the COVID-19–triggered washout of 2020, when events were cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic, this year some states, mainly Northern Virginia, have gone all out to mark the 245th Independence Day. Others, like Maryland, notwithstanding the easing of lockdown restrictions amid the vaccination rollout, are instead erring on the side of caution, arguing that celebrations should be low key to avoid spreading the virus. 

White House Party

In the nation’s capital, President Joe Biden is hosting a group of essential workers and military families on the South Lawn of the White House on Sunday. The reported guest crowd of around 1,000 will be the largest to converge at the US president’s residence since the coronavirus pandemic began. However, everyone attending has been requested to get tested for COVID-19 before the event and wear masks if they are not fully vaccinated, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

Thomas Jefferson, the nation’s third president, was the first to celebrate Independence Day at the White…

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