US Independence Day: Americans prepare for parades, fireworks, barbecues and travel

Record numbers expected to go on holiday to celebrate

Fireworks on the National Mall above the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the US Capitol building during last year's Independence Day celebrations. AP
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With parades, barbecues and fireworks, Americans across the country are preparing to celebrate Independence Day.

The Fourth of July, as the holiday is often known, falls on Tuesday, allowing many to celebrate with a long weekend.

The American Automobile Association has projected that 51 million people will travel 80km or more by road, up more than 4 per cent from last year and setting a record for the holiday.

Air travel is also expected to break records, with 4.17 million Americans expected to fly, an increase of more than 11 per cent from last year and the highest percentage in nearly 20 years. The numbers surpass pre-pandemic levels for the first time in four years.

The record numbers come as the US experiences severe weather and technological malfunctions at Washington, DC airports that have caused dozens of flight delays and cancellations.

The US has been weathering storms as well as dangerous heat and humidity in parts of the South and Midwest that have killed at least 14 people.

More than 18,000 flights were delayed and 3,220 others were cancelled between Friday and Sunday, according to FlightAware, a flight tracking service.

US President Joe Biden plans to host a celebration at the White House that will include a barbecue for members of the military, veterans and their families.

Also in the nation's capital, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the yearly Independence Day Parade and concert on the National Mall. The celebration will be capped by the famous fireworks display.

Police officials promised to deploy “very, very robust” measures in and around Washington, DC, including a large number of security forces. “We'll have a lot of officers out there,” Ashan Benedict, interim police chief for the Metropolitan Police Department said on Friday.

Data shows that the day sees more mass shootings in the US than any other day of the year.

On Sunday, two people were killed and 28 others were wounded in Baltimore after a gunman opened fire at a party.

Updated: July 02, 2023, 6:55 PM