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6 Strange and Wonderful Fourth of July Celebrations From All Over

Champion Eaters Compete In Nathan's Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest
Michael Nagle/Getty Images

Thursday is Independence Day, and cities and towns all across America will be celebrating in style—but not always in conventional fashion. Heck, not always in America either.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest—Coney Island, N.Y.

Since 1916, Nathan’s has held it’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Brooklyn’s Coney Island. This year will be the 97th competition. Rumor has is that it was initially started as a way to settle a dispute between four immigrants as to who was the most patriotic. The record for most hot dogs and buns eaten in 10 minutes is held by Joey Chestnut with 68.

The “Official Fourth of July City-Small Town USA”—Seward, Nebraska

The town of Seward, Nebraska, has held a celebration on the same town square since 1868. In 1979 Congress passed a resolution declaring Seward “America’s Official Fourth of July City-Small Town USA.” In 1973, Nebraska Governor James Exon proclaimed Seward as the state’s Official Fourth of July City.

The Fourth of July in … Denmark?

Rebild celebration

In the Rebild section of Denmark there is a festival every Fourth of July weekend that serves as a homecoming for Danish-Americans. The Rebild Society began this tradition in 1912. The celebrations take place in a national park that was bought by Americans of Danish descent and donated to Denmark on the premise of a festival every year on Independence Day.

The International Freedom Festival—Detroit and Ontario, Canada

Detroit and the city of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, have held the International Freedom Festival every last week of June since 1959. It serves as a mutual celebration of Independence Day and Canada Day. In 2007 the festival became two separate events, one in each city: the Windsor Summer Fest and Detroit River Days. The Summer Fest is a 19-day festival north of the border, which draws more than 500,000 people each year. The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy began the River Days festival in June 2007 to try to introduce everyone to the revitalized riverfront of Detroit.

The Peachtree Road Race—Atlanta

Atlanta has held an annual 10-kilometer run called the Peachtree Road Race since 1970. It is the largest 10K race in the world, with 60,000 spots available each year despite even more wanting to run.

Annual Fourth of July Celebration—Bristol, Rhode Island

Bristol, Rhode Island, holds the record for the oldest continued Independence Day celebration in the U.S. The town has been painting the streets red, white, and blue since 1785. This year will be Bristol’s 228th consecutive Fourth of July Celebration.

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