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While some celebs, like George Clooney and Zac Efron, left the country for the Fourth of July, Josh Duhamel and Fergie spent the 4th at one the country's most patriotic partiesthe North Carolina Fourth of July Festival.
The annual festival takes place in Southport, N.C. where they don't just spend one day celebrating Independence Day, but a whole week. Daily events include parades, fireworks, concerts, and tours.
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Well, there's definitely one US city that won't make the next list for Foursquare's most firework-crazy cities, mainly because people didn't even have the chance to check in to the event in San Diego before a major fireworks fail.
Last night, San Diego's "Big Bay Boom" pyrotechnics show suffered a technical glitch that caused all fireworks to go off at once, 5 minutes before showtime. Grab a can of soda from the fridge and you'd have missed it; the display only lasted ten seconds before all fizzled out.
LA Weekly was one of the first news outlets to publish a story on the FAIL last night, even including that the Port of San Diego was quick to issue an apology via their Twitter account. Of course this negative event now has a positive spin: videos of the fireworks blast are going viral online.
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It's almost time to make the drive to your favorite fireworks display, set up the folding chairs and light the sparklers for the Fourth of July. And it's not just you that's excited. Location-based social networking app Foursquare is psyched for the BBQ, beachside and beer store check-ins coming their way this week and they've just shared with us the most popular cities (and other places) from past Independence Days.
Let's see the stats:
Most Firework-crazy cities*
· Cadillac, MI
· Glens Falls, NY
· Auburn, NY
· Laconia, NH
· Milledgeville, GA
· Coffeyville, KS
· Whitewater, WI
· Astoria, OR
· Hudson, NY
· Keene, NH
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When it comes to holiday weekends, it's hard to think past almost-here Memorial Day. But if you plan on getting out of town for the Fourth of July, the time is now to start planning your trip. There are a number of patriotic packages ready for the picking.
Check out some July Fourth deals after the jump.
Picnics are almost as synonymous with the Fourth of July as fireworks. If you plan on spending the Fourth along the river with a basket full of goodies, let us help you out. We dug around for some picnic-ready food that you can easily pack and bring to your Fourth of July shindig.
· Fried chicken
The beauty of fried chicken is that it’s a delicious finger food whether it's hot or cold. But don’t do KFC; go gourmet with Fulton Valley buttermilk fried chicken from soul food spot Brown Sugar Kitchen ($6.50 for two pieces) in Oakland. Chicago’s upscale deli Goddess and Grocer offers a picnic menu that includes fried chicken and buttermilk dressing ($21 per person). If there are vegheads in your party, bring festive red pepper hummus and vegetables.
There’s plenty of options for checking out fireworks this holiday weekend, but if awesome waterfront locations aren’t your thing, there’s always a more far out option. The citizens of Roswell, New Mexico just can’t give up on that whole UFO thing, and our nation’s birthday is a chance for them to celebrate both independence and intergalactic invaders.
This year’s festival runs from July 1 through July 5. There are daily seminars and discussions about all things outer space at the Goddard Planetarium and International UFO Museum and music every night to give you a break from all the science fiction. Plus they usually sneak in a couple laser shows set to the tunes of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.
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Nothing pairs better with fireworks—other than booze and barbecue, of course—than a riverfront view. Let's face it, anything is better with a vista of the water. But there's something special about seeing the exploding colorful lights illuminated on the water. To help you get the most bang out of your Fourth of July, we narrowed down the top five riverfront spots for fireworks.
Check out our riverfront picks after the jump.
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Going away next weekend? Perhaps on one of these last-minute Fourth of July escapes? Since the goal of the Fourth of July is just to relax and enjoy the balmy temperatures and lazy nights of summer, our biggest advice to you is not to overpack.
We fancy ourselves quite the expert packers; two weeks in Hong Kong on a single carry-on suitcase is de rigeur for us, and so we'd thought we'd share our own packing list for next weekendwith a few revisions allowing for your flexibility, of course...
The Complete Fourth of July Long Weekend Packing List:
Where the heck has the summer gone? It's hard to believe that next weekend is the Fourth of July. But you procrastinators still have some time to plan a kick-butt Fourth of July holiday weekend, so book your travel now...
· Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
If fireworks and barbecue aren't your thing, escape the Fourth of July chaos with a trip to Punta Cana. This package includes four nights on the island as well as airfare starting at $585. Your beachfront vacay will be free of hot dogs and loud fireworks, but you'll want to sip a cocktail or two from your chaise lounge. We were just there ourselves recently, so be sure to check out all those special stories loaded with tips here.
While most celebs were either prancing around on the beaches of Malibu this Fourth of July weekend or hitting the nightclubs in the Hamptons, Jon Bon Jovi was doing something a little more low-key, eating Mexican Food in East Hampton at The Blue Parrot. We're shocked that this "hometown boy" from New Jersey wasn't spending time down at "the shore" but we'll forgive him that because apparently, he decided to give the place a little show.
"He just took a guitar off the wall and started playing," said one lucky eater. The New Jersey rock legend opened with "Who Says You Can't Go Home" before playing "Free Bird." Then, "He tried to get back to his table, but everyone was screaming for him to play one more song," laughs our source. He obliged them with "Dead or Alive."
Man, we wish all celebrities would do this when they dine at restaurants. Except you know, Paris Hilton.
Anyone suffering from last-minute Fourth of July plans-making? We're raising our hands over here, and so to give everybody some assistance in making this weekend super festive, MapQuest has added a new feature to their maps: Independence Day events plotted just like the maps show gas stations and Best Westerns.
It's not totally comprehensive, but searching your city or destination and then applying the little fireworks icon will reveal events like outdoor symphony concerts, fireworks-viewing river cruises, or even daytime air shows (yay, Battle Creek, MI).
For example, the MapQuest tool turned up the "Red, White and Zoo" event at Cleveland's Zoo, the "Pied Piper Parade" in Atlanta, and a Pancake Breakfast in Boise, ID. Now you can have an answer ready for when your similarly-slacking friends ask, "hey, what are we doing this weekend?"
· Fourth of July: MapQuest shows locations for fireworks events [LA Times]
· Fourth Of July Travel Coverage [Jaunted]
Beyonce was spotted getting a head start on the Fourth of July weekend in Miami Beach yesterday, where she apparently went swimming with her clothes on. The singer does deserve a little R&R however, since it's been a busy week what with performing at the BET Awards and double dating with Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow in Beverly Hills.
According to the Miami-Herald, Beyonce isn’t the only one spending the holiday in Miami. Despite the economy, Miami’s hotels are filling up and are expected to be solidly booked for the weekend.
The Viceroy Hotel, a place to see and be seen in the city, is getting into the spirit of the weekend by offering a special package deal that includes a $100 spa credit, breakfast for two, preferred VIP seating for fireworks display, two free drink coupons, 10% off bottle service, VIP access to Club 50 and valet parking starting at $295 per night.
The hotel is also welcoming locals on Saturday by hosting the “Best 4th of July Fireworks Display in Miami”. The festivities include a pool party on their 2-acre pool deck featuring private cabanas and entertainment by top DJs, all beneath a canopy of the city’s best fireworks displays from Key Biscayne, Coral Gables, Miami Beach and Downtown Miami from 7 pm to 1 am. During the day, local families are welcome to enjoy the hotel’s pool from noon to 5pm. There will also a BBQ and drink specials, tickets start at $5.
· Viceroy Miami To Debut on March 1st [HC]
· Gwyneth Paltrow & Beyonce: Double Date! [Just Jared]
· Despite economy, South Florida hotels fill up for Fourth of July weekend [Miami Herald]
· Celeb Travel [Jaunted]
[Photo: Just Jared]