This year 4th of July sees America celebrate its 246th birthday with the usual barbecues, picnics, city parades and fireworks displays unhindered due to coronavirus restrictions for the first time since 2019.
The festivities honor the founding fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, severing ties with British colonial rule once and for all and creating a powerful new nation in which the individual’s fundamental right to dedicate himself to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is set in stone.
The founders themselves are said to have been biased in festive drama, having lived as they did in an era when nearly three times more whiskey was drunk in America than it is today, to me Smithsonian Magazine. Not least because so much water was unsanitary at the time and because pubs were focal points of community life in the 18th century when cities and infrastructure were less developed.
George Washington had a habit of collecting generous pub bills when entertaining his friends; Thomas Jefferson was famous for his incredible appetite for Portuguese Madeira. It was said that Benjamin Franklin preferred a glass of milk, consisting of milk, lemon juice and brandy.
These days, Independence Day is more commonly roasted with a nice cold beer on the grill.
Tobacco addicts are usually advised to stock up on their boxes in advance, since the occasion is a public holiday when all non-essential services are traditionally closed.
However, most liquor stores will be open for at least part of the day to avoid losing sales when there is a festive atmosphere in the air, although opening hours may differ from normal.
As such, it is best to check the opening times of your local online store before visiting on the Fourth of July.
For your overall shopping needs, the major retailers open on Independence Day include: Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Home Depot, Old Navy, Publix, Kroger, Nordstrom, Michaels, Ikea, TJ Maxx, Sam’s Club, Starbucks and CVS.
However, US banks, government offices and schools are all closed for the day, while stock exchange dealers, postal workers and garbage collectors are all off hours as well.