Fireworks explode overhead at the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument on Independence Day July 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. Americans celebrated the nation's 242nd year of independence today. Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP
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With backyard barbecues and fireworks, Americans celebrated Independence Day by participating in time-honored traditions that expressed pride in their country's 242nd birthday.From New York to California, July Fourth festivities ranged from the lively and to the lighthearted, with Macy's July Fourth fireworks and Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest.The day's events also were stately and traditional, with parades lining streets across the country and the world's oldest commissioned warship firing a 21-gun salute to mark the 242 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence.Begun in 1785, the Bristol parade typically attracts about 100,000 people to the seaside town.Both shows will include the fireworks display from the National Park Service.Some places in the American West have canceled their planned July Fourth fireworks because of high wildfire danger, and others are doing drone light displays instead of pyrotechnics.In New Hampshire, more than 100 people from 48 countries became U.S. citizens during a ceremony at the Strawbery Banke museum in Portsmouth as part of the museum's annual American Celebration.
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