The timing is perfect (props to the founding fathers for picking such a convenient date) because it allows Americans a chance to prepare a proper salute to their independence, amassing a seemingly ridiculous stockpile of fireworks, hot dogs, and adult beverages in the process. Just how much do we stockpile during this time of intense patriotism?
The American Pyrotechnics Association gauges fireworks sales by weight (we have no idea what that means in terms of explosive power, unfortunately). But it's still an impressive number: Back in 2000, the APA reports that Americans bought 102 million pounds of fireworks. By 2008, fireworks sales work up to over 213.2 million pounds, resulting in an estimated 7,000 fireworks related trips to the ER.
And, don't call you stock broker or anything, but the APA predicts booming fireworks sales despite the sputtering economy this year. They attribute that to both an upswing in patriotism and to the fact that more states than ever before (46 plus the District of Columbia) now allow the sale of consumer fireworks. In fact, cash-strapped municipalities in certain parts of the country have relaxed regulations in order to boost tax revenues.
OK, so we're good on fireworks. How are we fixed for hot dogs? Not only is July 4th the top weekend for hot dog sales each year, but the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (yes, it exists) has even declared July to be the official "Hot Dog Month." According to the experts at the NHDSC, Americans consume about 150 million dogs on July 4th -- or as they put it, "enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. over five times." Don't forget the mustard!
Time to check the cooler. On the alcoholic beverages front, America's birthday bash is the unrivaled champion in terms of overall beer sales. According to Neilsen, we bought roughly 63.5 million cases, or 2 billion servings of beer in preparation for Independence Day 2009. Our forefathers must be so proud; after all, isn't a cold beer exactly what they had in mind when they secured our right to the pursuit of happiness?
Want some more fun Fourth of July facts? Check out Holidash's Fourth of July By The Numbers.