At JustCall, we love nothing more than celebrating the cultural heritage of our friends across the world, particularly when there’s a huge party involved! That’s why on July 4th we’ll be getting out the fireworks, hanging up some star-spangled bunting, and celebrating Independence Day with our wonderful friends from across the pond.
Independence Day is the annual national holiday that celebrates the United States of America’s breakaway from Great Britain during the American Revolution. The holiday is dedicated to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, an iconic piece of legislation that announced that the United States - previously known as the Thirteen Colonies - was declaring itself a sovereign nation.
July 4th is probably the biggest public holiday in the American calendar and - as you might expect - the celebrations are huge. Having a holiday at the height of summer is a great excuse to get outdoors, and the good people of the US take to the outdoors in their thousands - organising parades and barbecues by day, and firework extravaganzas by night.
Independence Day Celebrations Across The Country
Flickr. July 4th Fireworks, Always Shooting. CC BY NC 2.0
In a nation so vast and diverse as the US, it’s no surprise that many different states and regions have historically had their own different ways of celebrating Independence Day.
Unconventionally, instead of a barbecue party, Atlanta hosts The Peachtree Road Race - the world’s largest 10 km race with an estimated 60,000 participants. Runners often turn up in Independence Day inspired outfits, from stars and stripes to full-on American eagle or Statue of Liberty costumes, often attracting a large crowd of onlookers.
The Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest held in Coney Island, New York, has earned a legion of fans for quite a different reason. The winner of the first competition in 1972 secured his victory by consuming 14 hot dogs, but since competitive eating became a ‘professional sport’ the record has now rocketed to an astonishing 69 hot dogs. The top contestants, especially Joey Chestnut, eight-time hot dog-eating champion, are now enjoying a celebrity-like status among the numerous fans of the event.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial might not have fireworks, but instead you’ll get the chance to see all four American Presidents close-up and personal, with their world-famous carvings in the mountain. The professional reenactors will be signing autographs and delivering programmes during the special Independence Day Event which will end with a performance of the national anthem as the Mount Rushmore sculpture is illuminated.
In some places in Massachusetts and other areas of New England, an interesting tradition has survived. It was often customary to build huge towers out of old barrels - forming massive bonfires that were lit in celebration, creating a spectacular view. This custom isn’t as common as it used to be, but it still exists in some towns!
Whether it’s a parade, a run, or even hot dog eating contest, July 4th is sure to be celebrated with a bang by people across the US. Don’t just take our word for it though, take advantage of our cheap calls to USA today and find out what your family and friends are up to for yourself!