Celebrate the Fourth Locally
BY BILL RUBIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Happy 246 years of independence, America.
2022’s July Fourth is a well-deserved three day weekend. For consumers, this translates into an extra day of recreating and spending. The importance? Economists repeatedly say consumer spending props up 70 to 75 percent of the U.S. economy. They point to 2018’s Fourth of July on Hump Day – Wednesday – meaning fewer people were able to celebrate the holiday’s full impact. Translation: Consumer spending was down on July 4, 2018. COVID has impacted celebrations, too.
Record spending over the Fourth is forecast this year, even with red hot inflation, weekly gas price adjustments, and supply chain woes. Main streets in Wisconsin’s St. Croix Valley could use the boost. Most communities have special events, whether it’s a parade, baseball-softball tournament, carnival, or fireworks. Give them a visit. St. Croix Valley residents and tourists are sure to make cash registers ring. In a nod to modern vending, Bitcoin and Venmo® could be payment options, too.
The websites for National Retail Federation and WalletHub list several fun facts about July Fourth, including:
– 84 percent of Americans will celebrate Independence Day this year
– Food is a major expenditure on the Fourth; an estimated $84.12 per person will be spent on food and a total of $7.7 billion will be spent on food
– The shopping list is topped by beef ($727 million), chicken ($273 million), and pork ($195 million)
– Cookouts, BBQs, or picnics are the most popular ways to celebrate, followed by attending fireworks or a community celebration, attending a parade, or traveling/vacations
– Consumers will pay 30 percent more on fireworks this year; fireworks were up 35 percent in 2021; a pyrotechnics association reported an unprecedented demand for fireworks for backyard celebrations starting in 2020 due to COVID
– 150 million hot dogs are eaten on the Fourth; no word if hot dog eating champ Joey Chestnut will travel to the St. Croix Valley; his 10-minute eating record is 76 hot dogs
– $1.45+ billion is spent on beer and wine, with beer claiming $1 billion of the purchases (public service announcement: don’t drink and drink)
– 48 million people travel 50+ miles from home for the Fourth; in 2020 the number of travelers was estimated at 34 million
– 91 percent of travelers will drive to their destinations
– 100 places in the U.S. have independence, liberty, freedom or eagle in their names
– 95 percent of all U.S. fireworks are imported from China
– 14,000 public firework displays are held on the Fourth
– $1.5+ billion is spent on firework displays
– The cost of hosting a municipal fireworks display can approach $200,000
– $5 million is the recommended insurance coverage for fireworks shows
Here’s to three great days of weather in early July. Here’s to community celebrations in the St. Croix Valley. Here’s to local cafes, bars, grills, ice cream shops, food trucks, breweries, and distilleries. In 2022, make a new traditional in Wisconsin’s St. Croix Valley.