With times tight, many US towns are toning down their Independence Day festivities, the Washington Times reports. Rather than deal with the cost of pyrotechnics, police overtime, and even liability insurance, municipalities are scaling back on the big bangs and even switching to simpler ideas such as poetry contests, dog parades, and bike races.
Residents of one California city banded together for a save-our-parade fundraiser, which looks like it will save the day. No such worries in the nation's capital, however. "Nothing has changed,” said a National Park Service spokesman. A full slate of events gets under way July 3 on the National Mall.