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Americans Brave Sweltering Heat to Celebrate July Fourth with Fireworks Across the US

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Millions of Americans celebrated Independence Day amidst scorching temperatures and record-breaking travel on Thursday. From coast to coast, crowds gathered for July Fourth parades, beach outings, and evening fireworks displays, marking the nation’s birthday with patriotic fervor.

In Washington, D.C., vibrant bursts of neon lit up the National Mall, while the Boston Pops entertained with a dazzling fireworks show at the Hatch Memorial Shell. Across the country, from Brattleboro, Vermont, to Waco, Texas, to Alameda, California, communities decked out in red, white, and blue joined together in commemoration.

Travel records were shattered as people packed airports and highways, eager to join festivities stretching into a long weekend. On the East Coast, Connecticut’s state parks hit capacity early, turning away beachgoers, while scorching conditions in the West prompted heat warnings, with temperatures exceeding 120 degrees Fahrenheit in some desert areas.

Despite heat advisories, Philadelphia’s historic sites saw enthusiastic crowds, with volunteer actors braving Revolutionary War-era attire to honor the day. In New York City, Macy’s annual fireworks extravaganza dazzled spectators along the Hudson River, illuminating the iconic skyline.

Elsewhere, in suburban Chicago’s Highland Park, a somber remembrance preceded the annual parade, two years after a tragic mass shooting during the event. The day resonated with mixed emotions as communities honored traditions while reflecting on losses and resilience.

Throughout the nation, from Coney Island’s hot dog eating contest to Alaska’s midnight fireworks over Resurrection Bay, Americans embraced diverse local celebrations amid ongoing economic concerns and political tensions.

As conductor Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops reflected, the day showcased both unity and division in a deeply polarized America, reminding observers of the complex landscape shaping the country’s future.