The nation's largest fireworks show will light up the skies over the Hudson River straddling New York and New Jersey, one of hundreds around the country that will bring sizzling ends to a scorching day for much of the U.S.
Budget cuts have forced some communities to pull the plug on the pyrotechnics, but the gigantic Macy's fireworks show will continue on Manhattan's West Side, where it moved in 2009 after eight years on the East River. And that move has brought with it a change in fortune for businesses, too.
In the city that's home to the $1,000 umbrella and the $175 cheeseburger, tickets have been sold at $1,450 a pair for one sweet spot to see the fireworks that are free for anyone standing on a nearby street corner or at a window.
Hudson Terrace, a rooftop bar near the river, sold 250 tickets to watch the fireworks at prices from $150 to $1,450 a couple.
"The fireworks were definitely a huge draw for us," said Erika London, an event planner at the bar.
The views are even better from the Circle Line's sightseeing boats. Sunday night tickets for all seven of the cruise line's vessels sold out a week in advance.
It's gloomier on the East Side. With the party elsewhere, the Delancey on Manhattan's Lower East Side isn't even going to open for Independence Day.
"When it's on the West Side, there's no traffic around," said the bar's events director, Dana McDonald. "It's a good night for the staff to take a break."
The fireworks show will relocate to the Statue of Liberty next year in honor of Lady Liberty's 125th anniversary and will move around after that.
Sunday's show will be broadcast from a cruise ship called the Norwegian Epic and will feature performances by teen sensation Justin Bieber and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The show will air live on NBC starting at 9 p.m. EDT.
On Brooklyn's Coney Island, the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest will go on without six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi. America's three-time defending champion Joey Chestnut will try to gobble down a world record 70 dogs and buns in 10 minutes.
Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Iraq on Saturday evening for the holiday weekend, his second visit there this year, and attended a citizenship ceremony at one of Saddam Hussein's former hunting lodges.
Temperatures in the 90s were forecast for nearly everywhere east of the Mississippi as well as in the Southwest, with much of the rest of the country likely to see highs in the 80s.
Festivities in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776, will conclude Monday after 11 days of parades and concerts. The Goo Goo Dolls will headline a free concert on Sunday night, which will be followed by a fireworks show.
There will be more than 40 firework displays in Los Angeles. One of the largest in the area is held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Fire crews have spread fire retardant on the nearby hillsides to prevent sparks from igniting brush fires.
Chicago traditionally celebrated a day early on July 3 with a fireworks display that drew more than 1 million people, but the show was canceled this year to save at least $500,000. The city will hold three smaller shows on Sunday.
In Seattle, local businesses and individuals donated the $500,000 needed for the city's 20-minute fireworks show, in which 3 tons of explosives will be set off over Lake Union.
In Durango, Colo., the fireworks display will go on thanks to embattled oil giant BP.
The company stepped forward in December to pay for the fireworks show, five months before oil began spilling from the spot in the Gulf of Mexico where one of the company's rigs exploded.
City officials were poised to cancel the $15,000 show because of a budget crunch but BP, which drills for natural gas in Colorado, offered to pick up the tab.
Associated Press writers Herb McCann in Chicago, James Beltran in Los Angeles and Rebecca Santana in Baghdad contributed to this report.
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