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Thursday, 14 November 2019

Hot dogs, hot music usher in July 4 weekend

AP , Saturday 4 Jul 2015
July 4
Fireworks shoot from the top of the Hatch Shell during rehearsal for the annual Boston Pops orchestra Fourth of July concert in Boston, Friday, July 3, 2015. (Photo:AP)
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As the nation gears up to celebrate America's birthday, here are some Fourth of July highlights from around the country:

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IN AMERICA'S BIRTHPLACE: CONCERTS, A PARADE AND BEER

Philadelphia started its Fourth of July celebration a little early.

The city's Liberty Block Party kicked off the festivities Friday near Independence Hall with music on three stages, treats from local food trucks and restaurants and a beer garden.

The Philly Pops performed patriotic tunes Friday night on the Independence Hall steps.

Saturday's events include a Celebration of Freedom ceremony, a parade through the city's historic district and a free concert and fireworks on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The Celebration of Freedom marks the 50th anniversary of a protest outside Independence Hall that would be a milestone in the fight for gay rights.

The concert features performances from Philadelphia's own The Roots, Miguel and Jennifer Nettles.

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NOTHING SAYS AMERICA LIKE MAPLE AND BACON

Fireworks, parades and a $17.76 maple bacon cronut sundae on menu for Nevada's Fourth of July.

The Reno Philharmonic Orchestra sets the soundtrack for the "Red, White and Tahoe Blue" fireworks show in Lake Tahoe. And parades in Fernley, Virginia City and Ely and Boulder City's "Damboree Celebration," build up to the main event.

For the 321,000 visitors to Las Vegas, the Fourth of July show on the Strip is set for 9:15 p.m. at Caesars Palace. Hungry? On-site restaurant Serendipity 3 is selling a maple bacon cronut sundae for $17.76.

If virtual fireworks are more appealing, the downtown Fremont Street Experience's video canopy offers displays every hour starting at 8 p.m.

Off the Strip, shows at Red Rock Resort and Green Valley Ranch start at 9 p.m.

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NATHAN'S HOT DOG EATING CONTEST

Competitive eaters have weighed in and are ready for Saturday's annual hot dog eating contest in New York at Coney Island's Nathan's Famous.

Four past winners hit the scales Friday and reigning champion Joey Chestnut is the heaviest at 230 pounds. Repeat runner-up Tim Janus is at 165 pounds.

Michelle Lesco is the lightest contestant at 112 pounds at the 99-year-old Independence Day boardwalk tradition while New Zealand native Nela Zissler is at 114 pounds.

Chestnut broke a world record in 2013 when he scoffed down 69 soggy dogs in just 10 minutes. He won last year's contest with 61 for his eighth victory.

Former champion Takeru Kobayashi is in this year's contest.

The event also featured the ceremonial stare down between competitors.

More than 30,000 are expected to witness the feeding frenzy.

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BOSTON POPS FEATURE 42ND SHOW

Boston gospel singer Michelle Brooks-Thompson will perform the national anthem as Keith Lockhart celebrates his 20th year as conductor for the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on Saturday.

The star-studded event is held at the DCR Hatch Cell in the city's Back Bay off the Charles River Esplanade and will also feature Broadway star Michael Cavanaugh, "American Idol" finalist Melinda Doolittle and "America's Got Talent" finalist Sons of Serendip, a quartet who met at Boston University.

Drum and bugle corps the Boston Crusaders and the USO Show Troupe will also perform.

Events, which are televised and broadcast live in Boston, begin at 8 p.m. Fireworks start at 10:30 p.m.

The Boston Pops also performed Friday night.

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