Americans Hungry For Fourth Favorites

New research from the National Retail Federation finds that Americans are looking to live it up this Independence Day, spending an estimated $6.2 billion on holiday barbecues. With the holiday conveniently falling on a Friday this year, it estimates 153 million people will spend the day around the grill. That’s about $68.16 per household.

Among Gen Y, however, that grill is more likely to belong to someone else, and be in a different ZIP code: About 32 million plan to vacation for the holiday, including one in five Millennials. Nor are Americans worried about fuel prices this year, with 70% of the survey saying the cost of gas is not affecting their plans, up from 65% last year.

Only about 12% of the survey say they don’t intend to celebrate at all. 

The survey, conducted for the NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics, also finds that 105 million patriotic souls intend to see fireworks or some other community event. And 27 million will watch a local parade. Both are down somewhat from last year. 

Three million of them, of course, will be watching the Macy’s fireworks, which has moved back to New York's East River this year. The retailer promises that the country’s largest fireworks display will have plenty of extra kaboom, using the Brooklyn Bridge as a showcase for “never-before-seen effects,” including more than 40,000 pyrotechnic shells.

It says the 25-minute display will be choreographed to new arrangements of classic patriotic favorites and new musical selections. To mark the 200th anniversary of “The Star Spangled Banner,” Macy’s is offering free downloads of the anthem, recorded by Broadway star Idina Menzel. Other performances are scheduled to include the all-female musicians of The DIVA Jazz Orchestra; Tony Award winner Billy Porter with a new song; and the Charlie Daniels Band.

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