July 4th is a special date for many across America, because it is a time to celebrate the United States’ independence from Great Britain in 1776. Usually, families across the nation celebrate with BBQ’s, celebrations and other formal events. However, July 4th is also unfortunately a day that can result in severe accidents and tragedy due to irresponsible actions.
The most common danger to the health of people who celebrate Independence Day are fireworks. Usually, fireworks are a public display administered by licensed professionals. However, too many overzealous people seek to make displays of their own domestically. Thousands of people per year require medical attention due to firework-related injuries and are the result of not knowing the full safety precautions one must take.
First, you must check to see if fireworks are legal in your location and if a permit is required to administer them. If so, fireworks must never be put into a container and must not be held by children. In addition, fireworks should never be lit indoors or flammable objects. The most common way people can get injured is by holding the fireworks with your hands.
Badly Cooked Food
With outdoor BBQ’s also come the risk of having food being undercooked. The primary concerns with food safety, especially when cooking outdoors, is undercooking meat and spreading germs and bacteria to surrounding food and materials.
If meat does not get cooked thoroughly, food poisoning and salmonella could potentially follow. While certain meat such as lamb or beef can be eaten rare if the outside is cooked well. Other meat choices such as sausage and chicken is only safe to eat if there is no pink in the middle and is hot in the center. A thermometer can help verify this information.
With any festive occasion may also alcohol and the temptation to drink. While you can drink responsibly and have a great time with loved ones, drinking excess alcohol can lead to one becoming drunk. This can predispose to making unwise decisions such as driving.
If you plan to drink and could potentially become drunk, plan for someone you trust to bring you home. If you know of a friend that may do so, make proper transportation arrangements to prevent a potential tragedy.
Other events may be taken place in public locals and areas near a body of water. While there are ample opportunities to take great photos and enjoy a good evening across crisp waters, swimming into lakes can potentially lead to drowning or coming into contact with foreign materials that can cause illness.
If the celebration is being held domestically and a traditional pool is used, refrain from engaging in activity that can cause one to drown or get injured such as dunking others and diving.
July 4th is a great day to celebrate freedom with loved ones, but it is also important to stay safe. Follow these tips to ensure a danger-free day.
Whether you’re taking a trip or looking for fireworks close to home, here’s a sample of festivities.
Philadelphia: Welcome America Festival
Philadelphia’s annual Independence Day festival celebrates for almost two weeks, starting the last week in June with concerts, food events, and much more, and leading up to a full day of festivities on July 4th.
Events on the 4th of July include a parade, a Liberty Bell tapping ceremony, a “Party on the Parkway”, and an evening concert followed by fireworks.
Fourth of July in New York City
From Hot Dog Eating Contests to Cruises to Concerts…
A highlight in NYC is Macy’s stupendous Fourth of July Fireworks, set off from several locations from barges on the Hudson River.
Long Island, NY
Fireworks, parades, festivals, races, more.
Boston’s Fourth of July Harborfest
“America’s Biggest Independence Day Party” is a multi-day bash with hundreds of events – from historic tours to Children’s Day to Chowderfest- and attracts more than 2.5 million visitors. Fourth of July Pops Concert at the Esplanade is a tradition, leading up to fireworks over the Charles River.
July 4th in Chicago
Chicago’s biggest fireworks spectacle took place for decades on July 3rd at Grant Park, with over a million people – with blankets, coolers, picnics – watching from the lakefront, but this event was discontinued. On July 4th, Navy Pier – which has fireworks all summer – will have a special fireworks display.
The 4th of July is a day for family fun
Baltimore’s Fourth of July Celebration
Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is the place to be: check Calendar for all-day fun, and grand finale fireworks.
Washington DC: 4th of July
A giant National Independence Day Parade starts the celebration along Constitution Avenue; in the afternoon, the annual Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife entertains; the National Archives has a Family Day; and in the evening, the National Symphony Orchestra performs while one of the country’s largest shows of fireworks lights up the reflecting pool on the National Mall.
4th of July in Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg is living history: real-life actors in the streets and in historic houses bring to life the days before the American Revolution. Expect fireworks, and the chance to ask a few questions – ask Thomas Jefferson or Patrick Henry, that is.
It’s a Stars & Stripes Explosion for July 4th: oceanfront stages with live performances; thousands of visitors; many styles of live music; spectacular fireworks over the ocean.
Fourth of July in Orlando
Expect great fireworks in this town! Find fireworks and celebrations at Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, more.
Festivities and live entertainment in Eleanor Tinsley Park lead up to “the nation’s largest land-based fireworks show” (-NYC’s fireworks are on a river).
Bring a blanket and picnic basket, for fireworks and music by the Austin Symphony; other venues too.
Celebrate Independence Day New Orleans style: Go 4th on the River is a major bash, with live entertainment followed by the “Dueling Barges Fireworks Extravaganza” on the Mississippi River. Other events, too.
Top Picks for 4th of July in St. Louis
The Fair St. Louis has a parade that’s been rolling for over 130 years, a Family Fun Village, free concerts, and of course fireworks. Other celebrations too in nearby towns.
Phoenix Independence Day
Picnics, concerts, rides, etc., leading up to the fireworks.
Los Angeles: 4th of July Festivities
Where to celebrate the 4th of July in and around LA: festivals, fireworks, BBQ’s, and more, including events in the Valley and Orange County.
LA: Americafest at the Rose Bowl
A standout event for July 4th for families in the LA area: the Rose Bowl stadium, in Pasadena, has a day-long festival with live music, food, entertainment, and “the biggest and best fireworks show in Southern California”.
The 4th of July Celebration takes place at Pier 39, part of the popular tourist complex that includes Fisherman’s Wharf, the Cannery, and Ghirardelli Square. Free family fun, bands, street performers, marionettes, face-painting, and, of course, fireworks.
Celebrations include the day-long Family Fourth at Lake Union which ends with a fireworks extravaganza, Tacoma’s Fourth of July Freedom Fair, and more.
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