Red, White And Happy: July Fourth Spending Up

Americans are feeling extra-good about the looming Fourth of July holiday weekend, with new research from the National Retail Federation predicting that consumers will spend $6.6 billion on food to celebrate the federal holiday.

Its survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, reports that about 156 million consumers — or 64.4% who plan to celebrate the day — will mark the day by attending a cookout, picnic or barbecue. Per-household food spending is expected to reach $71.23, an increase from last year’s $68.16. And 30% intend to buy clothing or decorations to get in the red, white and blue spirit.

And powered by the lowest gasoline prices in the past five years, plenty of people — about 42 million, according to the Automobile Association of America — are hoping to get out of town, traveling more than 50 miles. That’s a small increase from last year, and the highest since 2007.



The NRF says traditional celebrations are also a big deal this year, with 103 million expecting to watch fireworks, and 27 million heading downtown to see the parade. 

Macy’s is readying its fireworks display, its 39th, which it has themed “Brave.” Promising some 50,000 effects spread over two locations, it is the country’s largest Independence Day party with a 25-minute synchronized display. The retailer says this year’s fireworks include “ghosts, blue and red octopi, crescent moons, patriotic stars, double hearts, roaring dragons, screaming banshees, purple rain and spider webbed-shaped shells.” It’s even adding new colors — neon highlighter yellow, green and pink — bringing the number to 22.

The year’s music lineup includes the U.S. Air Force Band, as well as Emilio and Gloria Estefan, who will perform an original song called “America,” gospel great CeCe Winans singing “My Country ’tis of Thee,” and country star Rodney Atkins with  “America the Beautiful.”

Macy’s corporate partners this year include Cracker Jack, The Howard Hughes Corp., KFC, Kool-Aid, and Planters.

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