With the Washington Monument as a backdrop, Americans gathered on the National Mall to celebrate their country’s 235th birthday in time honoured fashion. Celebrating the day the nation freed itself from British colonial rule, crowds packed Washington D.C to view the huge firework show which began after dark.
CBS 2′s Derricke Dennis reports that thousands of people from all over the world streamed to Manhattan’s West Side to see the pyrotechnics show over the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey, featuring more than 40,000 shells exploding in choreographed, multicolored progression.
The impressive extravaganza lit up the night sky for fifteen minutes. The similar celebration went on all across the country. Children were mesmerized. Except for 4-year-old Skylar Foxwell, who held her ears as her sister, Aubrey, protected her. 10-year-old Aubrey said: “I’m her big sister, I guess that’s what I’m supposed to do.” Couples enjoyed the show arm-in-arm.
Amber Lloyd, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, said: “Definitely romantic. They’re doing a great job.” Charles Shellborne said from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial: “Well I’ve come from New York and this really impresses me. I hope all Americans can appreciate what today represents.”
Some revelers prepared for seeing the fireworks show as early as five hours ahead of time along a closed West Side Highway. A 9-year-old Sadid Telb was there with a full crew. He said:“My mom, my sister, and my dad.” Then there was Zulma Rivera, of Pomona, who was watching by herself – but was surrounded by hundreds of newfound friends. She said:“I got here very early to see this.”
In Boston the annual Boston Pops concert was a must. In Akron, Ohio, the Rib, White & Blue Food Festival was enticing. There were Nevada’s casinos, which promised a pyrotechnics extravaganza that could be a gambler’s best bet.
On New York’s Coney Island, the annual Nathan’s Famous July Fourth hot dog-eating contest brought out the biggest names in competitive eating for a clash that was short in timespan but high in calories.
Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, of San Jose, California, wolfed down 62 hot dogs and buns during the 10-minute contest, winning his fifth straight title. Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas chowed her way to victory in the first-ever women-only contest, eating 40 hot dogs, one shy of her 2009 total.
At the mountaintop home to Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville, Virginia, officials continued a nearly five-decade-old tradition of swearing in new U.S. citizens. Seventy-seven people took their oaths during a naturalization ceremony at Monticello.
Now, though, it’s all about the massive clean-up efforts. An army of street sweepers was at the ready shortly after the show along the West Side Highway as the city prepared to get the road reopened to traffic. [via Huffington Post, Telegraph, СBS New York]