The most patriotic day of the year falls on July 4, and Americans go all out. In 2018, the holiday falls on a Wednesday, but despite the midweek date, 87 percent of adults plan to celebrate the occasion, according to the National Retail Federation.
Most Americans plan to eat their way through the July Fourth holiday. It’s reported that spending on food for cookouts and picnics is expected to reach $6.9 billion, serving as the second-highest amount in the history of the NRF survey. Last year’s $7.1 billion set the record, but because the Fourth of July falls on “hump day” in 2018, fewer people are free to celebrate.
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Only 216 million Americans plan to partake in July Fourth festivities this year — compared with 219 million in 2017 — but they’re taking it up a notch despite the drop. The approximately 153 million people planning a cookout or picnic will spend a record-breaking $75.35 per person on food items alone, compared with $73.42 in 2017.
Food isn’t the only reason people will open their wallets for Independence Day. More than one-quarter of those surveyed — 27 percent — plan to purchase patriotic merchandise for the holiday. This number skyrockets to 44 percent for the 18- to 24-year-old age group, which makes sense, considering 93 percent of this demographic is expected to celebrate July Fourth.
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A cookout is the top way to observe the Fourth of July this year, with 62 percent of Americans planning to party alfresco. Following enjoying a cookout was fireworks (43 percent), travel (13 percent) and parades (12 percent).
Although the July Fourth holiday is still a popular time for travel, more people will be staying home this year. Only 31 million people will be hitting the road for a getaway this year, compared with 33 million in 2017.
Gas prices are largely to blame for the decline, as 25 percent of those surveyed said rising costs at the pump would affect their travel plans. Because the holiday is on a Wednesday, it’s also possible many people have chosen to celebrate in a more low-key manner.
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