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The costs of celebrating independence

Fire up the grill, it's time to celebrate American independence. And like most celebrations, this one's going to cost.
PARSLEY
The price of throwing an Independence Day bash can add up quickly.Peter M. Fredin / AP file
/ Source: Forbes

Fire up the grill, it's time to celebrate American independence. And like most celebrations, this one's going to cost. Between the sparklers, the picnic items and the patriotic garb, the wallets will likely take a hit this holiday weekend. In fact, barbecues and fireworks alone will set America back $2.3 billion this Independence Day.

Eighty-eight percent of consumers will celebrate the Fourth this year, up from 85 percent in 2004, according to the National Retail Federation. A full 78 million Americans are expected to watch a live fireworks demonstration this weekend, and 17 million patriotic citizens will attend a Fourth of July parade.

Many of these celebrations will not take place at home. "This will potentially be the busiest holiday, other than Christmas, [in terms of] the gross number of travelers," says an American Automobile Association spokesman. AAA estimates that 40 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday, up from just over 39 million last year.