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It might be just another Thursday for us, but today is America’s official birthday. Much like their counterparts in European countries, the USA celebrates its National Day in style. With family barbecues, colourful parades, star-studded concerts and hundreds of millions’ worth of fireworks all over the land, there’s a lot to like about Independence Day.

Happy 4th July

But let’s start at the beginning. Exactly 243 years ago, the second Continental Congress declared the union of 13 North-American colonies to be free and independent from the British Crown. Although the birth of the United States seems like a good reason to randomly throw confetti around, it would take until 1801 before president Thomas Jefferson brought the party to the White House, making Independence Day a truly nation-wide event.

So what does the average American do on the 4th of July? Eat, for one. Picnics, barbecues, eating contests, bake-offs and other culinary get-togethers go with Independence Day like a buttered-up turkey with Thanksgiving. Family and friends are at the heart and soul of this celebration, as is the good old American Stars and Stripes in countless incarnations. Not known to be a flag-shy nation anyway, the USA pulls out all the red-white-and-blue stops on the Fourth – a fitting backdrop for a wide array of events, from marching band parades and music festivals to a casual afternoon baseball game in the park.

After a relaxed day of family fun and firing up the grill, the Fourth of July traditionally goes out with a bang. The first bottle rockets are airborne as soon as the sun has set on today’s festivities, leading the way for a spectacular continental fireworks display that can be seen from space. Not always on the ground however, because consumer fireworks restrictions vary wildly per state. No worries for crackle-and-pop fans: there usually is a state-sanctioned fireworks show to be found nearby.

Whatever your nationality, America’s National Day promises fun for all. Deep South USA also brings its fair share of Independence Day festivals and fireworks shows to the table. We’ve listed a few annual events that are not to be missed. Happy Fourth of July!

 

The Louisville Waterfront Fourth celebration in Louisville, Kentucky features free musical entertainment, family activities, a patriotic installation of 15,000 US flags, festival cuisine and a Zambelli fireworks display from a barge on the Ohio River. Read more...

Go Fourth on the River’ in New Orleans is held on the banks of the Mississippi, between Gov. Nichols St. Wharf and Canal St. Dock. There's a huge firework spectacle as well as barges along the river playing a medley of patriotic songs. Read more...

The historic battleship USS KIDD in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is the setting for a one-of-a-kind experience on July 4th. Take a tour of the destroyer and enjoy face painting, inflatables, obstacle courses and concessions at the fourth of July spectacular. There will also be hot dog eating contests, watermelon spitting competitions and live music. The day is concluded with fireworks over the Mississippi which you can watch from the ship! 

The Let Freedom Sing! celebrations in Music City - Nashville is free for all and this year has live music from Brett Eldridge, a performance from GRAMMY winning Nashville Symphony with funfamily zones and all ends with an amazing 30-minute firework display. Read more...

The Red, White & BOOM July 4th Celebrations in Cookeville, Tennessee take place from 29th June until the 8th July. This free event includes a 1,000ft waterslide through the middle of downtown and the second largest firework display in Tennessee. Read more...

Visit Montgomery, Alabama and see the Montgomery Biscuits vs. Tennessee Smokies in a baseball game at the Biscuits Stadium. Finishing with a huge fireworks show this is great for all the family. Admission charge does apply. Read more...

Enjoy special, family-friendly patriotic activities at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center July 4th Celebration in Huntsville, Alabama during regular museum hours, 9am to 5pm. The Rocket Center will close at 7:30pm. The Center will launch its largest fireworks display ever for the city of Huntsville at 9pm. Admission charged for the Rocket Center but the fireworks show is free. Read more...

The Vicksburg Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza celebrates the 4th of July in downtown Vicksburg! This years firework extravaganza on the mighty Mississippi will follow live music by Mustache The Band at 7pm and the fireworks at 9pm. The fireworks will be shot behind the Old Depot Museum. Read more...

Biloxi in Mississippi has been named the Best Fireworks Display in the State by MSN, Travel + Leisure and USA TODAY. The show will be fired from a barge near Deer Island and can be seen between the Biloxi Lighthouse eastward to the Biloxi Bay Bridge. Read more...


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