US celebrates July 4 with barbecues, fireworks, parades

Washington, July 5 - The Fourth of July was celebrated with a number of standard, but beloved, events: patriotic parades in the morning, barbecues with the family in mid-afternoon, fireworks in the evening and, later on, lots of partying in communities large and small across the country.

Two hundred thirty-seven years ago, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress of the then-13 British colonies proclaiming their independence from Great Britain.

"This is a day to celebrate independence, the independence of the country and all its citizens. That's why I've come with my family to the capital to experience this day," Brad Rutherford, a resident of West Virginia, told EFE in Washington D. C.

Early in the morning, hundreds of people gathered in the nation's capital before the National Archives building - which houses the original copy of the Declaration of Independence - where, after a military band played the national anthem, actors dressed up as the country's first three presidents, George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, read extracts from the document.

"It's impressive... It's all full of flags, people on the street... I've experienced the 4th of July in other US cities, but it's impressive in the capital," Carolina Merce, a young Spanish woman who took advantage of her presence in Washington to attend the parade, told EFE.

Along with her, her friends IƱaki Borda and Elisa Lopez shared a bit of shade. "It's my birthday and, since there's a lot of atmosphere today, we'll take advantage of it to go to a party tonight," said the latter.

In New York, the Statue of Liberty was officially opened once again to the public after being closed for repairs to the surrounding facilities on Liberty Island that were damaged by Superstorm Sandy in late October 2012.

The fireworks in New York harbor on the evening of July 4th are some of the most spectacular in the country. (IANS)

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