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Have a happy Fourth

By Staff
Jason Cannon, Franklin County Times
Today, I hope you've set aside some time to spend with your family.
It's not often that we're given a mid-week break by Uncle Sam and I hope you intend to use this holiday to its fullest.
Independence Day is a federal holiday celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring America's independence from Great Britain.
While there are hundreds of things you can do to keep you and your family entertained, I urge you to be careful.
A record number of Americans are expected to hit the road for the July 4 holiday despite high gasoline prices and the fact it lands in the middle of the week, automobile and travel group AAA said.
Based on a national telephone survey, AAA estimated that about 41.1 million Americans will travel during the Fourth of July holiday week, up 0.8 percent from last year.
For those of you who prefer to the hit the water rather than the pavement, you'll find much more traffic, too. Local waterways will see traffic increase to three and four times their regular volume.
Still, others will elect to stay home and barbecue and shoot fireworks.
Fireworks have been associated with the Fourth of July since 1777. That year 13 guns were fired, once at morning and again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island.
The Town of Bristol, Rhode Island is also noted for having the oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States
Our state has finally given the okay to purchase and shoot fireworks. The only limitations are that you can't shoot bottle rockets (or any firework with a stick) or rockets and missiles with fins and rudders.
That leaves millions of other kinds of fireworks for you to light up your neighborhood sky. For those of you who have been holding out on purchasing your fireworks, go get them now and you'll be ready by sunset.
I'll be among the crowd who has elected to cook out. I've already got my Boston Butt soaking in a brine and rubbed my baby back ribs.
By the time you read this I'll probably already have my smoker lit to allow for the 10 to 12 hours of cook time.
Others, the brave and the hungry, may be on their way to Nathan's hotdog eating contest in Coney Island.
However you decide to celebrate today, I hope you enjoy your extra time with your friends and family.
Have a safe and happy Fourth.