Shannon Brady
Writer & Editor

Also known as Independence Day, the Fourth of July is the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the founding document declaring the thirteen original colonies on the East Coast that formed the first states to be a united and independent country free of British colonial rule. The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by the members of the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. Check out our previous article on the Fourth of July for more information about the holiday and its usual celebrations.

The Fourth of July is most commonly celebrated with fireworks displays, which goes back to the very first Independence Day anniversary celebration held by the newly declared Americans in Philadelphia the next year. According to the July 5, 1777 issue of the Pennsylvania Evening Post describing the previous night’s festivities: “The evening was closed with the ringing of bells, and at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks (which began and concluded with thirteen rockets) on the Commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated.”

Since 1976, New York City has held the largest annual fireworks show in the country, which this year will be held in several locations in Manhattan, New York and Hoboken, New Jersey, at 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time: check out the Macy’s website here for more details.

Keep in mind that, as far as personal use goes, in New York, [fireworks are illegal.] However, because many people regularly set off fireworks in backyards, local parks or fields, and more, prepare for considerable loud noise and the possibility of fire in your area. Noise-canceling headphones or earplugs may help if you are sensitive to sound, and if you have pets, make sure that they are secure in your home as they may be frightened by the noise of fireworks and bolt.

Because Independence Day is a federal holiday, expect some businesses to be closed or operating on limited hours, and banks and government buildings to be closed. Fourth of July weekend is usually one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, so if you’re planning a trip (especially to the beach!) plan to hit considerable traffic.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us anytime at Stay safe and healthy, and Happy Fourth of July!