Pomp, fireworks and hot dog contest mark Independence Day
NEW YORK — Americans celebrated their country’s birthday on Tuesday with fireworks, parades and competitive hot dog eating, marking a day of shared traditions in a nation that has grappled with divides this past year.
In New York, throngs were expected to watch the annual Macy’s fireworks blowout and the Nathan’s Famous frankfurter-chomping contest on Coney Island on Wednesday.
In Washington, President Donald Trump is observing his first Independence Day in office by hosting a White House picnic for military families, followed by a fireworks viewing event for military families and staffers.
In Boston, one of 14 original copies of the Declaration of Independence will be displayed at a museum, and hundreds of thousands of people are expected at the city’s fireworks show. Organizers of Chicago’s Independence Day celebration are expecting such large crowds that the city’s Navy Pier is opening at 10 am, nearly 12 hours before the fireworks begin.
Meanwhile, more than 15,000 new US citizens will be sworn in during more than 65 Independence Daythemed naturalization ceremonies across the country.
For all the pomp and celebration, July 4 arrives with Americans deeply split over the nation’s direction, after last year’s presidential elec- tion and political clashes over immigration, healthcare and other issues in the early months of Trump’s Republican administration. And in an era of concerns about security, the Independence Day celebrations are mixed with precautions.
vehicles will be placed to block intersections in New York as part of security measures.
The New York Police Department planned to station 100 vehicles to block intersections and 20 sandfilled sanitation trucks to fortify viewing areas for the Macy’s fireworks show.
Heavily armed counterterrorism units will mingle among spectators, officers will have portable radiation detection devices and bombsniffing dogs, and officers will be stationed on rooftops.
Boston police also plan to put trucks and other heavy equipment near the celebration there. Police in both cities say there are no confirmed threats.
Meanwhile, a resident of Laconia, New Hampshire, stepped in to organize a parade after learning it was facing cancellation for lack of interest. Some 25 organizations have since signed up to provide floats or marchers.
Champion Joey Chestnut holds a tray of hot dogs ahead of an eating contest in New York on Monday.