Zachary Helm, 3, waves a U.S. flag high as he says "Happy birthday, America" while taking part in the My Little People Day Care Center Independence Day parade, July 1, 2004, near Elizabethtown, Ky. The parade was led by a Central Hardin Fire Department pumper.
Children from Tenderheart Daycare wave flags and beat pots and pans while marching in their own Independence Day Parade in Washington, Ind., July 1, 2004.
Ruthanne Hartman with Middletown High School Musical Arts gets out flags to decorate Smith Park in Middletown, Ohio, for the upcoming Fourth of July celebrations, June 30, 2004.
Amy Horton, left, tosses a 28-pound watermelon to her cousin, Chris Pope, right, at the State Farmers Market in Cordele, Ga., June 21, 2004, while customer Bill Moss looks on. The market is a major supplier of watermelons for America's Fourth of July holiday.
Bill "El Wingador" Simmons, right, of Woodbury Heights, N.J., eats two hot dogs at once, during a hot dog eating contest at the New Jersey Turnpike Molly Pitcher Service Area in Cranbury, N.J., June 25, 2004. Simmons ate 16 hot dogs to win the New Jersey Turnpike Hot Dog title, and qualify for the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July contest in Coney Island, N.Y.
Gloria Wilson poses for picture at her store, Gloria's Produce, in Belle Fountain, Ala., between Mobile and a popular beach vacation destination, Dauphin Island. "The Fourth of July is our busiest day. There's so much traffic going to the beach," Wilson says.
Lee Hoskins, of Lone Tree, Iowa, screws in light bulbs on the merry-go-round as he helps set up the fair rides in S.T. Morrison Park, July 1, 2004, for Coralville's Fourth of July celebration.
Sgt. Jeff Lowery of the Alabama Marine Police on his patrol boat, June 25, 2004, in Decatur, Ala. Things get busy on the river July Fourth and there are several points of safety to consider. "It's a good idea to let someone know where you're going and how long you'll be gone if you go out alone," Lowery says. "It will help the marine police find you faster if you get into trouble."
The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Mich., is shown on Sept. 18, 1999. With the economy looking up and sun in the forecast, Michigan tourist destinations were preparing to welcome travelers for what they hoped would be a booming Fourth of July weekend.
One of many Fair St. Louis signs is seen along the grounds of the St. Louis Gateway Arch, July 1, 2004. Hundreds of thousands of people were expected at Fair St. Louis for the city's three-day celebration of the Fourth of July.
Leland Pritchard of Plattsmouth, Neb., displays four different models of "Exploding Terrorist Heads" fireworks, on sale in a roadside fireworks tent in Plattsmouth, Neb., June 29, 2004. The fireworks sell for $1.99 each or $7.96 for a package.