Americans are celebrating their country’s 241st birthday with big-time fireworks, small-town parades and the quirky spectacle of competitive hot dog eating.
Tuesday’s festivities stretch from a baseball home run derby in London to a picnic at the White House to a Utah ski town where residents initially weren’t even sure they’d be home for Independence Day after recent wildfires.
For all the pomp and celebration, July Fourth arrives with Americans deeply split over the nation’s direction, after last year’s presidential election and political clashes over immigration, health care and other issues in the early months of Trump’s Republican administration. And in an era of concerns about security, the Independence Day celebrations are mixed with precautions. (AP)
Here are some highlights from the holiday weekend.
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A costumed man cheers during a show outside the National Archives to celebrate Independence Day on July 4, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
People stream onto the beach at Island Beach State Park after it reopened at 8 in the morning Tuesday, July 4, 2017, in Seaside Park, N.J. New Jersey’s budget stalemate between Republican Gov. Chris Christie and the Democrat-controlled Legislature had resulted with the state government shut down and state parks closed to the public until late Monday night, just in time for the Fourth of July. (Photo: Mel Evans/AP)
Decked out in full American flag decor this “float” makes its way down Tuscawilla Road during the annual Fourth of July Parade, in Micanopy, Fla., Tuesday, July 4, 2017. (Photo: Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun via AP)
Alan Dingfelder, of North East Township, and his dog Annie, ride in the Millcreek Township Fourth of July parade, near Erie, Pa., on Dingfelder’s 1936 Farmall tractor, Tuesday, July 4, 2017. (Photo: Jack Hanrahan/Erie Times-News via AP)
A woman holds U.S. flags during a parade marking Independence Day in Deer Isle, Maine, July 4, 2017. (Photo: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
A woman pauses among American flags that were inserted in each of the 2.983 names on the borders of the reflecting pools of the 9/11 Memorial, in New York, Tuesday, July 4, 2017. (Photo: Richard Drew/AP)
A boy rides in a classic Impala during the annual Fourth of July Parade, in Micanopy, Fla., Tuesday, July 4, 2017. (Photo: Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun via AP)
Attendees gather before Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York City, July 4, 2017. (Photo: Andrew Kelly/Reuters)
Maryann Rollings, of Bolton, Mass., wears patriotic gear before rehearsal for the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on the Esplanade, Monday, July 3, 2017, in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)
People watch a fireworks display for Independence Day at Worlds of Fun amusement park Monday, July 3, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo. (Photo: Charlie Riedel/AP)
Children sing along during a rehearsal for the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on the Esplanade, Monday, July 3, 2017, in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)
Cody Thomas of the Owensboro Convention Center hangs a 10-foot, 4th Fest Celebration banner from the upper stairs railing on the backside of the OCC on Monday, July 3, 2017, during preparations for the 4th Fest Celebration along the riverfront in Owensboro, Ky. The 4th Annual 4th Fest Celebration starts at 4:00 p.m. and runs until 10:30 p.m. on Independence Day. (Photo: Alan Warren/The Messenger-Inquirer via AP)
A boy runs away from the firework he set off in a celebration of the Fourth of July in Chicago on Monday, July 3, 2017. Americans are celebrating their country’s birthday Tuesday with big-time fireworks, small-town parades and the quirky spectacle of competitive hot dog eating, marking a day of shared traditions in a nation that has grappled with divides this past year. (Photo: G-Jun Yam/AP)
Andrea Roberts-Davis, of Detroit, a sailor on the USS Constitution, stands in a color guard during rehearsal for the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on the Esplanade, Monday, July 3, 2017, in Boston, Mass. (Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)
Miss Jamie of Miss Jamie’s Farm entertains children at a concert during a Fourth of July celebration Monday, July 3, 2017, at Spring Lake Park in Lincolnshire, Ill. (Photo: Gilbert R. Boucher II/Daily Herald via AP)
Participants gather for a parade to celebrate Independence Day on July 4, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
Fireworks explode over the Saginaw River on the second day of the Bay City Fourth of July Festival from Wenonah Park Friday, June 30, 2017, in Bay City, Mich. (Photo: Tori Schneider/The Bay City Times via AP)
Tal Guttman, 1, of Greenfield is surprised after getting kissed on the mouth by a goat during the Independence Day Celebration at Arsenal Park in Pittsburgh on Sunday, July 2, 2017. (Photo: Antonella Crescimbeni/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)
A girl leaps into the air while watching a fireworks display, in celebration of the upcoming July 4 Independence Day, at Tod’s Point in Greenwich, Connecticut, July 1, 2017. (Photo: Adrees Latif/Reuters)
Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann (34) stands on first base wearing sock for Independence Day weekend during the second inning against the Cleveland Indians in the first baseball game of a doubleheader in Detroit, Saturday, July 1, 2017. (Photo: Rick Osentoski/AP)
Alexis Mathias of Strasburg, Va. and Dennis Carlyle of Middletown, Va. enjoy a frozen treat at Scoops and Swirls ice cream shop in Middletown, Va. Saturday, July 1, 2017. Much of the town has been decorated by business owners and homeowners for their July 4 parade and fireworks display. (Photo: Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star via AP)
Carrie Baeza, left, Wyatt Cross, center, and Graysen Ziegler wave flags as they sing “Wave Your Flag” during an annual patriotic program Friday, June 30, 2017 during Summer Day Camp at Odessa Christian School in Odessa, Texas. A parade of decorated bicycles and tricycles followed the program. (Photo: Mark Sterkel/Odessa American via AP)
Cameron Blake splashes into the pool on the waterslide at Bousquet Mountain in Pittsfield, Mass., Friday, June 30, 2017. (Photo: Stephanie Zollshan/The Berkshire Eagle via AP)
U.S. Army Specialist Shane Cardel, of Jamaica, bows his head after taking the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America Friday, June 30, 2017, during a naturalization ceremony at the New York Public Library in New York. Over 190 immigrants from 59 countries became American citizens at the fourth annual Independence Day naturalization ceremony hosted by the library. (Photo: Michael Noble Jr./AP)