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Unique Independence Day celebrations in various US states

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NORMALLY, ONE would associate US Independence Day celebrations with the traditional parade, fireworks, barbecues and picnics, but this is not all. Various US states organise unique events to celebrate the Independence Day. One such event is the Bristol Fourth of July Parade. It is one of the oldest Independence Day celebration traditions in the country, and is held in Bristol, Rhode Island. The Fourth of July parade was held for the first time in 1785. On this day, the authorities honour one of the Bristol residents with the title of Chief Marshall. Also, a US Navy ship attends the celebrations every year.Then there is the July 4th weekend festival, organised by Rebild Society, a Danish-American friendship organisation, in Rebild, Denmark, every year since 1912. There are speeches, parade and fireworks at the festival, which is attended by both the Danes and Americans.Nathan’s Famous, an international chain of fast food restaurants, host an interesting and unique Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York every year on Independence Day. The contest was held for the first time on July 4, 1916, to settle a dispute between four immigrants about who was most patriotic amongst them. Although many people show interest in the contest, the regulations bar most of them from participating. According to the rules, a contestant has to be above 18 and should clear at least one of the following criteria. The contestant either has to be the defending champion or winner of a regional qualifying contest for that season or a wild card entry or invited by IFOCE. The winner receives Nathan’s goodies, but for the first time in 2007 the champion was awarded a cash prize of $10,000. The other seven contestants also received cash prizes worth $5,000 to $50.Detroit and Windsor also jointly organise the International Freedom Festival in the last week of June every year to celebrate Independence Day and Canada day. The tradition is being followed since 1959, and concludes with fireworks over Detroit River. In 2007, the festival was split into two events – Windsor Summer Fest and Detroit River Days. Although now separated, the events are almost the same and focus on fireworks, the most spectacular in North America.Also, Macy, the US chain of department stores, sponsors fireworks over the East River, New York every year on Independence Day. It began doing so in 1976, and the firework display is covered live by NBC.Every year on Independence Day the 10-km Peachtree Road Race is held in Atlanta, Georgia. The race was held for the first time in 1970. Thousands of people participate in the race every year with figures reaching 55,000 participants in 2007. The foot race is preceded by a wheelchair race, while Peachtree Junior for children is held in late May or early June.In Boston, Massachusetts a music show accompanied by fireworks is held annually over the Charles River Esplanade since 1973. The show is hosted by the Boston Pops Orchestra, a specialist in light classical and popular music. Also a free concert is held on Capitol lawn in Washington, every year ahead of the fireworks.

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