Fireworks and parades are lovely traditions, but they are not the only ways to celebrate Independence Day.
Perhaps the most famous offbeat July Fourth tradition is the hot-dog eating contest at Nathan's in Coney Island, Brooklyn. The annual eating event was expected to draw up to 40,000 fans this year.
In this picture, men's world record holder Joey Chestnut, left, and women's world record holder Sonya Thomas eat a hot dog during the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest weigh-in ceremony July 3, 2013.
Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Facial hair for freedom!
In Albany, Calif., the best whiskers win at the Fourth of July Mustache & Beard competition. Prizes will be awarded for both natural and unnatural categories at the contest as part of the city's Green, Red, White and Blue celebration.
In this picture, a competitor poses during the World Beard and Moustache Championships in Brighton, England.
Credit: Getty Images
Floridians can celebrate the Fourth with an all-day BBQ and the Miss Firecracker Bikini Contest at the Flora-Bama lounge in Perdido Key, Fla.
Another Florida fave is the Key Lime Pie festival in Key West, Fla. Attendees can celebrate Independence Day with events, including a pie-eating contest and a look at the world's largest key lime pie.
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a ... pinto bean
Move over watermelon seeds. The pinto bean's in town. Celebrants in Tishomingo, Okla., will compete to see who can spit their beans the farthest.
Credit: Samzsnaps via Flickr
The cowboy way
The St. Paul Rodeo has been a July Fourth tradition for 78 years. Over the course of the five-day event, nearly 1,000 participants will compete in this "rough and tumble" celebration.
Credit: Brian Monberg via Flickr
Spice up the holiday
Not for the faint of heart, the pepper eating contest is part of the July Fourth Frontier Days Celebration in Round Rock, Texas. The brave participants will have 30 minutes to down as many jalapenos, seeds and all, that they can stomach.