America celebrates July 4 with hot dogs and barbecues amid tightened security

Sun Jul 5, 2015 2:26pm EDT
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By Katie Reilly

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans marched in star-spangled parades, ran relay races, gathered for fireworks shows and crowned a new world hot dog eating champion as they celebrated Independence Day in traditional style on Saturday.

Possible security threats, wildfires in the West and rainy weather on the East Coast apparently did little to dampen the spirits of celebrants decked out in red, white and blue from their headbands to their shoelaces.

Crowds at Boston's Old State House erupted in applause and cannons shot out tri-color confetti after the annual July Fourth reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Later, thousands flocked to the Charles River Esplanade for the annual Boston Pops concert and fireworks. Krystle O'Brien, 27, wore an American flag cowboy hat and passed out glowsticks.

"It's a good day for Boston," she said. "There's so much history here, we can celebrate this freedom."

In Maplewood, New Jersey, Meskie Hyman, 11, exuded patriot pride in a star-spangled shirt and a hairband with two American flags that fluttered under cloudy skies.

"I love that it's a free country and we have the right to speak. It lets us see everyone's potential and find our heroes," she said.

The crowd in Washington, D.C. watched a parade of brass bands, law enforcement motorcycle units, high school drum majorettes, antique cars and police and military detachments.   Continued...

People watch the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks for Independence Day eplode over the East River from the rooftop of their car from the Pulaski Bridge in New York July 4, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly