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Family gatherings top July 4 festivities

By Staff
Melissa Cason, Franklin County Times
The most popular way to celebrate the Fourth of July is with a backyard cookout and a round of festive fireworks after sunset.
According to a survey conducted by the Franklin County Times, 60 percent of people asked said they were having a family gathering of some sorts, with locations varying from lakes to the comfort of people's homes.
Six percent of the people said that they were going shopping while another 6 percent said they had to work on the holiday.
Another mainstay in the questions was the excitement over fireworks, which have been a part of our culture since the first anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1777, according to historical reports.
Colonists had picnics and fireworks every year to commemorate the holiday. While the states honored Independence Day during each calendar year, it was not necessarily on July 4. An example is the celebration in Boston. According to historical reports, Independence Day replaced the observance of the Boston Massacre, observed on March 5. Independence Day was not declared a national holiday on July 4 until 1941.
While Independence Day celebrations differ from family to family or state to state, the importance of the day is remembered on this special day.
"[The Fourth of July] represents freedom to worship," local resident Nell Hall said.
While Lindy Hall, another person surveyed by the Times, said that she thinks of family, food and fun, in that order, when she thinks of the Fourth.

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