The celebration of #4thOfJuly 2015 might be the biggest one yet! (All Guidance)

Posted on July 3, 2015


by Rick JT, editing by Adam MS

Freedom and Fireworks: Americans Celebrate Their Country’s Birthday.

From fireworks to hot dog-eating contests, here’s how Americans celebrated their country’s birthday!

Fireworks display during PBS's 2014 A Capitol Fourth on the West Lawn in Washington.Fireworks display during PBS’ A Capitol Fourth on the West Lawn in Washington.

Fireworks explode over the Philadelphia Museum of Art,  July 4, 2014.Fireworks explode over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

MORE PICTURES: Happy 4th of July, America! From coast to coast, All the fireworks is here

The numbers don’t lie

As Americans prepare to toast the Founding Fathers and the spirit of 1776, the American Pyrotechnics Association has estimated that this year’s sales of sparklers, cones, fountains and other “backyard” fireworks could exceed $725 million, a record for this category of fireworks.

But that’s not the only dazzling number to expect for this July 4th. From purchasing 700 million pounds of chicken to spending $1 billion in beer, Americans will celebrate their independence on a larger scale than ever this year.

EAST COAST: Where to watch the 4th of July fireworks in NYC?

Get to the best rooftops, lookouts and parties to celebrate Independence Day and watch the 4th of July fireworks in NYC Let the American Eagles fly and the red, white and blue bikini tops shine! It’s time for 4th of July Fireworks, NYC’s epic celebration of all things America and one of the events you can’t miss this summer, plus a whole lot of beer and BBQ. Check out the pyrotechnic spectacular as it bursts over the city’s skyline and the Statue of Liberty, and look out for other smaller, but still dazzling displays, like the Coney Island July 4th Fireworks Spectacular, from our favorite lookouts, best rooftop bars and parties.

4th4What time are the 4th of July fireworks in NYC?

The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks over the East River begin at about 9:20. The Jersey City and Statue of Liberty fireworks start at 9:30. All three fireworks displays last about 30 minutes.

Where are the 4th of July fireworks in NYC?

The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks are set off from barges near Pier 17 and more barges on the East River spread between 23rd St and 37th St. Jersey City will be displaying fireworks both in front of the Statue of Liberty and in front of the Colgate Clock and Goldman Sachs building.

Viewing spots for the 4th of July fireworks in NYC:

1. Berry Park

 (Photograph: Lizz Kuehl)If you want great atmosphere more than a perfect view, Berry Park is the place. It serves alcoholic slushies and barbecue on the rooftop and had a cover-free party last year, but you probably won’t be able to see much of the actual fireworks show, unless you’re one of the lucky ones seated on the only side with a river view.

2. Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge ParkDumbo’s gorgeous 85-acre urban playground features such unique attractions as Jane’s Carousel and riverside esplanades with gorgeous Manhattan views. In a nutshell: This is basically your golden spot for the fireworks.

3. Brooklyn Cyclones vs. Williamsport Crosscutters
Brooklyn Cyclones vs. Williamsport CrosscuttersBabe Ruth was stuffing his gullet full of hot dogs before games when Joey Chestnut was but a twinkle in his granddad’s eye. So celebrate the century-old association between franks and baseball by sticking around Coney Island after the Nathan’s Famous contest and watching the Brooklyn Cyclones take on the Philadelphia Phillies’ A-ball affiliate, the Williamsport Crosscutters, at MCU Park. (It’s hella cheaper than catching the Yanks—and a blast.) Be sure to stick around for the fireworks display after the ninth.

4. Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Promenade

Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn PromenadeFor a free, but very busy, lookout, post up on the Brooklyn Promenade. With sweeping views from the Statue of Liberty to the Brooklyn Bridge, you’ll be able to see it all, but it may feel a lot like your morning L train commute. At least the fireworks happen above your head, so it doesn’t matter as much if you get that coveted spot by the railing.

5. Firework Spectacular at Surf City

Firework Spectacular at Surf CityEven though Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks are now over the East River, the folks in New Jersey have no need to fret—there’s plenty of patriotic, pyrotechnic fun to go around! From Jersey City’s megabar Surf City you’ll have a spectacular view of the state’s biggest display over the Hudson River at nearby Liberty State Park. There’s no cover, which means more money you can spend on frozen cocktails ($10-12) and tasty surf and turf food options.

6. Fornino

Sure, we love our hot dogs and hamburgers on the Fourth of July. But pizza is forever. Grab a slice on Fornino’s rooftop at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and get a great view of the nearby pyrotechnics show. It threw a ticketed viewing party last year, so keep an eye out for details.

7. Fourth of July Fireworks at Brooklyn Grange

Fourth of July Fireworks at Brooklyn GrangeFor an all-American country-meets–big-city feel, head to the Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This barbecue with a view serves Southern-style comfort like “not-so-hot” fried chicken, smoked pulled pork, collard greens, and baked five-cheese mac and cheese from Bed-Stuy’s Peaches HotHouse. The cookout is followed by a close-up view of the Macy’s fireworks display and a dance party where you can burn off all those finger-lickin’ good calories.

8. 4th of July fireworks cruise on the Hornblower Hybrid

4th of July Fireworks Cruise on the Hornblower HybridAll aboard the Hornblower Hybrid for this 4th of July cruise! On this beautiful, eco-friendly yacht you’ll enjoy a buffet of American picnic foods like corn on the cob, cod fish cakes, BBQ chicken breasts and pulled pork sliders. The vessel will sail to a premier spot on the East River where the main event will blast into the sky above the passengers’ heads, completely unobstructed by the crowds and the tall buildings of the shore. You’ll feel so excited by the display—and the effects of the open bar—that you won’t hesitate for a moment to dance to the live DJ afterward. Boards at Pier 15.

9. Grand Ferry Park

Skip the crowds and find a quieter slice of the city at Grand Ferry Park. With its Williamsburg location, it’s far from the action and the clearest views, but we know how important personal space is to New Yorkers.

10. South Street Seaport

South Street SeaportWe love historic harbor South Street Seaport the most for its excellent outdoor concert series in the summer, and it’s also home to the Seaport Museum, the country’s largest privately owned fleet of historic ships and a shopping mall. Oh, and did we mention the view of the fireworks?

11. Staten Island Yankees vs. Hudson Valley Renegades

Enjoy all the fun of pro baseball—stolen bases, home runs, concession stands, athletic guys in tight pants—for a fraction of the cost when you watch these two minor-league teams play. Most of these players are young and sure to make rookie mistakes, but when they drop the ball (literally) it’s all the more exciting. Whether the home team or the boys from upstate make more runs, everyone wins with the stadium’s fireworks display after the game.

Embedded image permalinkList of street closures on July 4th:

NEW YORK – In anticipation of Macy’s annual 4th of July celebration, the NYPD has sent out a list of various street closures.

Manhattan Locations:

FDR Drive between Brooklyn Battery Underpass and East 63RD Street

South Street between Whitehall Street and Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place

Water Street between Whitehall Street and Fulton Street

Pearl Street between Fulton Street and Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place

Whitehall Street between Water Street and South Street

Broad Street between Water Street and South Street

Old Slip between Water Street and South Street

Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place between Pearl Street and South Street

Cherry Street between Jackson Street and FDR Drive

Delancey Street between Lewis Street and FDR Drive

East Houston Street between Baruch Place and FDR Drive

Avenue C between 13th Street and Avenue C Entrance Ramp to FDR

Avenue C Entrance Ramps

East 6th Street between Avenue D and FDR Drive

East 10th Street between Avenue D and FDR Drive

14th Street between Avenue C and Avenue B

Avenue C between East 16th Street and East 20th Street

East 20th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue C

East 23rd Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue C

East 26th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue C

East 30th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue C

30th Street Entrance Ramps

East 33rd Street between 1st Avenue and 3rd Avenue

East 34th Street between 2nd Avenue and FDR Drive

34th Street Entrance Ramps

East 37th Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive

East 38th Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive

East 41st Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive

East 42nd Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive

42nd Street Entrance Ramps

East 48th Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive

East 49th Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive

East 53rd Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive

Brooklyn Locations:

Area bounded by Atlantic Avenue on the South; Old Fulton Street on the North;

Hicks Street on the East River on the West (All Inclusive)

Old Fulton Street between Hicks Street and Prospect Street

Cadman Plaza West between Prospect Street and Tillary Street

Front Street between Old Fulton Street and Jay Street

Water Street between Old Fulton Street and Jay Street

Queens Locations:

Area bounded by 44th Drive on the North; Borden Avenue on the South; Vernon

Boulevard on the East River on the West (All Inclusive)

Center Boulevard between Borden Avenue and 54th Avenue

2nd Street between Borden Avenue and Newtown Creek / Dead End

Vernon Boulevard between 54th Avenue and Newtown Creek / Dead End

54th Avenue between Center Boulevard and Vernon Boulevard

WEST COAST: Where To Watch 4th Of July Fireworks In Los Angeles, OC?

Officials are warning people to avoid using pyrotechnics of their own, here’s a list of fireworks shows in Los Angeles and Orange counties where you can see the real deal illuminate the sky.

In Los Angeles County beginning Thursday night, firework shows are planned at Hawaiian Gardens Elementary School and at the “Cars & Stripes Forever” event at the Port of Los Angeles. The Hollywood Bowl will also have the first of three consecutive nights of fireworks shows Thursday night, featuring headliner Smokey Robinson.

Man stretching jacket to reveal shirt with USA flag

Man stretching jacket to reveal shirt with USA flag

Los Angeles County:


-Cudahy Park, 5220 Santa Ana St.
-Lancaster Municipal Stadium, 2400 W. Avenue I
-La Mirada Community Regional Park, 13701 S. Adelfa Ave.
-La Puente Park, 501 N. Glendora Ave.
-Norwalk Civic Center Lawn, 12700 Norwalk Blvd.
-El Rancho High School, 6501 S. Passons, Pico Rivera.


-Alhambra’s Fireworks Extravaganza at Almansor Park, 800 S. Almansor Ave.
-Artesia Community Park, 12000 block of South Street
-Sierra Vista High School, 3600 Frazier Ave., Baldwin Park
-Burbank’s Starlight Bowl, 1249 Lockheed View Drive
-Calabasas High School, 22855 W. Mulholland Hwy.
-Cerritos High School, 12500 E. 183rd St.
-Pomona College, 333 N. College Way, Claremont
-Commerce’s Rosewood Park, 2535 Commerce Way
-Crescenta Valley High School, 2900 Community Ave.
-West Los Angeles College, 9000 Overland Ave., Culver City
-Diamond Bar High School baseball field, 21400 E. Pathfinder Road
-Eagle Rock Recreation Center, 1100 Eagle Vista Drive
-El Sereno Recreation Center, 4721 Klamath St.
-Rowley Park, 13220 S. Van Ness Ave., Gardena
-Huntington Park’s Salt Lake Park, 6550 Miles Ave.
-Irwindale Speedway, 13300 Live Oak Ave.
-La Crescenta Elementary School, 2800 Prospect Ave.
-La Habra High School, 801 Highlander
-La Mirada Community Regional Park, 13701 S. Adelfa Ave.
-Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, 2551 West Ave H, Lancaster
-The Queen Mary, 1126 Queen’s Highway, Long Beach
-Los Angeles’ Grand Park, 227 N. Spring St.
-Van Ness Recreation Center, 5720 Second Ave., Los Angeles
-Los Angeles Exposition Park, 700 Exposition Park Drive
-Lynwood City Park, 3700 Beechwood Ave.
-Three barges off the coast of Malibu will have displays
-Marina del Rey’s main channel, with best viewing at Burton Chase Park, 13650 Mindanao Way
-Palisades Charter High School, 15777 Bowdoin St., Pacific Palisades
-Rose Bowl, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena
-Pomona Fairplex
-Porter Ranch Shepherd of the Hills Church, 19700 Rinaldi St.
-Redondo Beach Seaside Lagoon, 200 Portofino Way
-Rosemead Park, 9200 Mission Ave.
-San Fernando High School, 11133 Omelveny Ave.
-San Pedro Cabrillo Beach, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive
-Valencia Town Center, 26735 Circle Drive, Santa Clarita
-South El Monte High School, 1001 N. Durfee Ave.
-South Gate Park, 9615 Pinehurst Ave.
-Studio City CBS Studio Center, 4024 Radford Ave.
-Sunland Tujunga’s Verdugo Hills High School, 10625 Plainview Ave.
-Walnut High School, 21207 La Puente Road
-Westlake Golf Course Driving Range, 4812 Lakeview Canyon Road, Westlake Village
-Warner Park, 5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills
-Magic Mountain, 26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia. Magic Mountain will also have a fireworks display Sunday night, when a show is also planned at Agoura Hills High School, 28545 W. Driver Ave.


Orange County:


-Dana Point Barge, 1512 W Pier C Berth C-73/74
-Emerald Bay Barge, 1512 W Pier C Berth C-58
-Grand Park – AVO Community Association, 26703 Aliso Creek Rd., Aliso Viejo
-Irvine High School, 4321 Walnut Ave., Irvine
-Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park
-Lago Rancho Santa Margarita Beach Club, 21472 Ave de los Fundado, Rancho Santa Margarita
-Laguna Hills High School 25401 Paseo de Valencia, Laguna Hills
-Laguna Niguel Regional Park, 28241 La Paz, Laguna Niguel
-Lake Forest HOA, 24728 Toldeo Way, Lake Forest
-Lake Mission Viejo –Activities Committee, 22056 Olympiad Rd., Mission Viejo
-LARCS Founder’s Park, 28192 Oneil Dr., Ladera Ranch
-Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base, 11203 Lexington Drive, Los Alamitos
-Mission Viejo Country Club, 26200 Country Club Dr., Mission Viejo
-Old Ranch Country Club, 3901 Lampson Ave., Seal Beach
-San Clemente Pier
-Santa Ana Centenial Park, 3000 W Edinger, Santa Ana
-Santa Ana Country Club, 20382 Newport Blvd., Santa Ana
-San Juan Sports Park, 25925 Camino del Avion, San Juan Capistrano
-St Regis Monarch Beach Golf Club, 1 Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point
-Tustin High School, 1171 El Camino Real, Tustin
-Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 8808 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine
-Woodbridge Village Association, 31 Creek Rd., Irvine
-Yorba Linda Middle School, 4777 Casa Loma Ave., Yorba Linda

Click here for a full list of planned fireworks shows in LA County. Click here for the full schedule in the OC.

Catch These 9 Patriotic Movies On Netflix This 4th Of July:

We have at least a small handful of great things to be proud of this 4th of July — not least of all the fact that we can now take selfies in the White House. Well done, all.

In the spirit of this national holiday, we bring you some Netflix offerings from the home of the brave. Throw on your best red, white and blue, grab some pre-buttered popcorn and domestic beers, wrap yourself in an American flag and hum the Star Spangled Banner to your bald eagle as you get ready to watch a bunch of your countrymen (or pretend-countrymen) doing cool stuff.

“Top Gun” (1986)

top gunTom Cruise struggles to have it all while balancing his career at the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School with his love life. Will he pull off some outrageously dangerous piloting stunts by furrowing his eyebrows really hard AND get the pretty blonde in the end?? Find out, to the tune of some sick guitar riffs.

“Black Hawk Down” (2001)

black hawk downIn the early ’90s, Somalia was in the midst of civil war that eventually caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. U.S. Army Rangers are charged with a special mission: capture two of the Somalian warlord’s top officials. It’s risky (duh). And the Rangers must attempt a daring rescue after a couple Black Hawk helicopters are shot down. Based on a true story, this one stars early-aughts heartthrob Josh Hartnett along with always-and-forever heartthrob Ewan McGregor.

“National Treasure” (2004)

national treasureAll you need to know is that Nicolas Cage stars as a good-guy treasure hunter who attempts to steal the Declaration of Independence to find a cache of fabled riches before a group of bad-guy treasure hunters led by Sean Bean. This film is a national treasure in itself.

“Inglourious Basterds” (2009)

basterdsBrad Pitt and company run around WWII-era Europe tracking Nazi “Jew hunters” in Tarantino fashion. Its five acts — filled with Nazi scalping and cartoonish anti-Semitism — increasingly converge to present an alternate version of the war. Critic Roger Ebert called it a “big, bold, audacious war movie that will annoy some, startle others and demonstrate once again that [Tarantino is] … a director of quixotic delights.”

“Forrest Gump” (1994)

forrest gumpForrest Gump is a charming old Southern boy and accidental cultural influence, even if he is a bit “slow.” He’s loved by his mother, his friends and his country, but the love of his childhood sweetheart, Jenny, eludes him. At the time of its release, The New York Times deemed this “an accomplished feat of cyber-cinema” for the way it pastes Tom Hanks into old footage of presidents and other figures. Most importantly, Forrest taught us all that life is, essentially, a box of chocolates.

“Wet Hot American Summer” (2001)

summerA.V. Club says this cult favorite will appeal particularly to “Reagan-era latchkey kids” or “middle-class Jewish boys and girls whose parents shipped them off to summer camp for one or two months at a time.” But we think it’s fun watching young Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd and others flail around Camp Firewood as it winds down in August, 1981 — make-or-break time for summertime romances and rivalries.

“The Hunt for Red October” (1990)

hunt for redSean Connery, forever AKA James Bond to women of a certain age, is the deranged captain of an atomic-missile-equipped sub called Red October. Alec Baldwin is the all-American C.I.A. agent Jack Ryan who spearheads the hunt for Red October, before it can launch an attack on the U.S. None of the action in this Cold War setting ever really took place — luckily for everyone — outside of the Tom Clancy novel it’s based on.

“Patriot Games” (1992)

patriot gamesHarrison Ford takes over for Baldwin as plucky CIA agent Jack Ryan alongside Anne Archer and Sean Bean. This time, a group of Irish terrorists are threatening Ryan’s family, which Entertainment Weekly called “a George Bush pro-family speech come to life.” It’s perhaps not as good as “Red October,” but includes appearances by Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones and Richard Harris.

“Clear and Present Danger” (1994)

clear present dangerNetflix clearly has a thing for Tom Clancy. In this third adaption, Harrison Ford is just filling in for a friend at a ho-hum CIA desk job — Deputy Director of Intelligence — when the president steps up his game against Colombian drug cartels and he has to, you know, do something. There are lots of explosions in Colombia, Rolling Stonenoted, but also “surprising humor.”

BONUS: “Turn: Washington’s Spies” (2014)

turnIt’s a bigger time commitment than a 90-minute film, but the first season in this AMC series is now on Netflix. It chronicles the efforts of anti-British spies during the Revolutionary War — the Culper Ring, which really existed — to slip secrets across battlefield lines. We see why and how characters get pulled toward one side or the other, revolutionaries or Redcoats, although “Turn” will likely appeal most to history buffs.

BONUS II: “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2001)

afvBack in 1989, the only way you might see a stranger’s grainy home video of some kids’ ill-advised attempt to, say, jump from a height onto a trampoline was to tune into America’s Funniest Home Videos. Hosted by Bob Saget! Unfortunately, Netflix doesn’t have those early seasons, but host Tom Bergeron does a fine job, interjecting puns in a show that is essentially a YouTube fail compilation.

July 4th Playlist: 10 Songs About ‘America’

From Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.” to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” 10 songs to get you in the American spirit.

It’s impossible to live in the 50 states and not know about such schoolhouse classics as “The Star Spangled Banner” and “This Land Is Your Land,” but those famous patriotic odes aren’t the only way to give a musical shout-out to America.

To celebrate the 4th of July, we’ve hand-selected 20 songs, each of which talks about this big, great, complicated country of ours in its own special way — from the critical (Bruce Springsteen‘s “Born in the U.S.A.”) to the full-on celebratory (Miley Cyrus‘ “Party in the U.S.A.”).

From Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A." to Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.," 10 songs to get you in the American spirit.

Miley Cyrus – “Party in the U.S.A.”

Key “America” lyric: “And I got my hands up / They’re playin’ my song / I know I’m gonna be ok / Yeah, it’s a party in the USA”

Bruce Springsteen, “Born In The U.S.A.”

Key “America” lyric: “Nowhere to run / ain’t got nowhere to go / Born in the U.S.A., I was born in the U.S.A.”

Green Day – “American Idiot”

Key “America” lyric: “Don’t want to be an American idiot / One nation controlled by the media / Information age of hysteria / It’s calling out to idiot America”

Kanye West and Jay-Z (The Throne) – “Made in America”

Key “America” lyric: “We made it in America / I pledge allegiance to my grandma / For that banana pudding, our piece of Americana / Our apple pie was supplied through Arm & Hammer / Straight out the kitchen / Shh, don’t wake Nana!”

Simon and Garfunkel – “America”

Key “America” lyric: “Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike, they’ve all gone to look for America.”

Tom Petty – “American Girl”

Key “America” lyric: “Well, she was an American girl / Raised on promises / She couldn’t help thinkin’ that there was a little more to life somewhere else”

Neil Diamond – “America”

Key “America” lyric: “Everywhere around the world / They’re coming to America / Every time that flag’s unfurled / They’re coming to America / Got a dream to take them there / They’re coming to America / Got a dream they’ve come to share / They’re coming to America”

Lenny Kravitz – “American Woman”

Key “America” lyric: “I don’t need your war machines / I don’t need your ghetto scenes / Colored lights can hypnotize / Sparkle someone else’s eyes / Now woman, get away / American woman, listen what I say”

John Mellencamp – “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.”

Key “America” lyric: “Some are black and some are white / Ain’t to proud to sleep on the floor tonight / With the blind faith of Jesus you know that they just might / be Rockin’ in the U.S.A.”

Don McLean, “American Pie”

Key “America” lyric: “So bye-bye, miss American pie /Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry.”

British base cancels July 4 celebrations given threats:

Washington – A British airbase used by American airmen has canceled its Fourth of July celebrations given rising security threats.

The Royal Air Force closed the events at its Feltwell base in Norfolk in southeastern England after a threat working group met this week and made the decision “based on the current threat assessment”, Capt. Emily Grabowski, chief public affairs officer of the 48th Fighter Wing, based at the nearby base RAF Lakenheath, told The Associated Press (7/2).

Despite the broader security concerns heading into the weekend, other bases have not suspended celebrations. The U.S. Fighter Wing made the decision to cancel the events, planned for Friday and Saturday.

Across the nation, American police departments are mobilizing to combat security threats, including some posed by suspected supporters of ISIS who currently reside in the United States, authorities said Tuesday.

U.S. intelligence and security agencies said in a bulletin last week that this weekend and several upcoming Prophet Mohammed drawing events could invite terrorist attacks.

The closure in Britain could indicate security threats oversees, as well. Col. David Eaglin, 48th Fighter Wing vice commander, apologized in a statement on Lakenheath’s website.

“While we were certainly looking forward to this year’s celebration and hosting the U.S. and UK communities at RAF Feltwell, we have to put public safety first and foremost,” he said.

A Breakdown of America’s Favorite Patriotic Songs by State:

Spotify's The Echo Nest took a look at what songs the residents of each state played the most on Independence Day 2013.

10 Stunning Pies (Other than Apple) for the Fourth of July:

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

Apple pie might be the ultimate American dessert, but we contend that it’s better in the fall. Here are 10 bright and tangy summer fruit pies to make for July 4th.

1. Marilyn Batali’s Blackberry Pie
This exquisite pie is made with Mario Batali’s “favorite fruit in life.”

2. Peach-Raspberry Pie
Serve this excellent summer pie with whipped cream or a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.

3. Deep-Dish Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
What’s the secret to perfectly flaky crust? Add some lard to the dough.

4. Passion Fruit Ice Cream Pie with a Ginger Crust
This over-the-top dessert is topped with a mix of dulce de leche and passion fruit nectar.

5. Coconut-Buttermilk Pie with Blackberry Caramel
Bobby Flay’s spectacularly creamy custard pie is topped with silky blackberry caramel.

6. Deep-Dish Peach Streusel Pie with Ginger
Andrew Zimmern upgrades the classic peach pie by adding ground and candied ginger.

7. Stone Fruit Pie with Almond Streusel
Any combination of stone fruits (apricots, peaches, plums, cherries or nectarines) is perfect for this delicious pie.

8. Berry Ice Cream Pie
Blueberries and strawberry ice cream star in this terrific, fast dessert.

9. Cherry Hand Pies
Save on time by using puff pastry to make these fantastic pies.

10. Yogurt and Apricot Pie with Crunchy Granola Crust
Healthful ingredients in this pie include low-fat Greek yogurt, oats and almonds.



Fourth of July one of most hazardous times for lightning:

Fourth of July weekend, and the entire month in general, is the one of the most hazardous times for lightning strikes as people head outdoors to enjoy the summer fun and festivities.

Globally, there are three million lightning strikes per day. In the United States, that amounts to about 22 million hits per year. And few places on Earth experience more thunderstorms and lightning than Florida.

Central Florida gets hit with the greatest number of strikes because the state receives two sea breezes — one from its east coast and the other from its west — that converge frequently into storms.

Staying indoors is clearly key to lightning safety. But it isn’t just getting hit directly by a bolt that is dangerous: indirect contact with lightning’s energy can be deadly, too. Electrical conduits such as electrical cords, equipment, metal faucets and appliances or concrete can zap you by transferring the energy lightning produces into your body.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is in the middle of a seasonal campaign, issuing alerts on lightning safety and advising people on ways to avoid being struck. Its tips to keep you safe during a storm include:

• Use cellular or cordless phones, not corded ones

• You can safely use remote controls, but do not touch electrical equipment such as computers, TVs or cords

• Do not wash your hands, take a shower, wash dishes or do laundry

• Stay away from windows, doors and porches

• Do not lie or sit on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.

A single lightning flash carries more than five billion joules of energy — enough to power the average household for an entire month. That’s obviously enough electricity to cause injury or death. In the U.S., about 300 people are injured by lightning each year and on average 49 are killed.

The heavy amount of thunderstorm activity recently has produced some intense lightning shows around the country, and the most year-to-date deaths since 2009. So far this year, 14 people have died from lightning strikes.

4th11Earlier this week, an Illinois man named Rod Wolfe (yes, “Lightning Rod”) was hit by lightning for a second time and survived. The first strike was 18 years ago. In Florida last week, a man working on a home’s roof was struck by lightning and killed. The National Weather Service reported there were 500 strikes in the area at the time of the accident.

The physics of how thunderstorms initially gain their charges of energy isn’t completely understood. However, clouds are positively charged on their tops and negatively at their bottoms. The push and pull between these forces via electrons is what ultimately gets discharged as lightning.

When that happens, lightning flashes can remain within a cloud, race cloud to cloud or head for the ground. When people get hit they actually act as a conductor and the lightning goes through them, eventually dispersing into the ground itself. That’s why the majority of people struck by lightning are injured and not killed. Most deaths are caused by heart attacks resulting from the shock or by the delayed effects of brain damage. Lightning’s energy largely affects the nervous system.

Besides staying indoors and away from materials than can attract lightning’s energy, lightning rods can help. They are affixed to the top of buildings and homes to help divert danger by sending the energy into the ground.

Thunder is the sound of lighting. “When thunder roars stay indoors” is a good lightning safety rule. It also means staying indoors until 30 minutes after thunder stops as lightning can linger in the area.

Try to stay safe this Fourth of July and go outdoors to watch artificial fireworks, not nature’s kind.

Thomas M. Kostigen (Founder of and a New York Times best-selling author and journalist) is contributing for this article

July 4th Fireworks Misfire Into Colorado Crowd, Injure 9:

About nine people suffered minor injuries during a fireworks mishap in a Colorado town late Friday evening, officials said.

The incident occurred in Avon, where the town was having its annual Salute to the USA fireworks show. A shell appeared to have exploded in its tube instead of properly firing into the sky, according to a news release issued by the town manager.

“The misfired shell caused the rack of 5” shells to tip in two directions causing two to three shells to cross into the crowd,” the statement said.

Nine people experienced minor abrasion burns from the accident, the town said. They were treated by medical staff at the scene and released.

Deputy Chief Greg Daly said the show, which is in its 29th year and draws about 20,000, had never experienced a production failure, and that authorities responded to the scene in less than a minute. “It is wonderful news that the injuries were very minor,” he said.

The cause of the accident is being investigated.

Fireworks gone wrong!!! #avonfireworks

A post shared by Courtney (@courtneyvdh) on

Putin Wishes Obama a Happy Independence Day

Vladimir Putin“Russian-American relations remain the most important factor of international stability and security”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has emphasized the importance of U.S.-Russian relations in a congratulatory July 4 message to President Barack Obama Saturday.

“In his message of congratulations, the Russian President noted that, despite the differences between the two countries, Russian-American relations remain the most important factor of international stability and security,” the Kremlin said, Reuters reports.

The message comes as diplomatic relations between the countries remain frayed, with Russia considering fresh sanctions against Western nations in the ongoing diplomatic feud over eastern Ukraine.

The head of Russia’s Security Council said Friday the country might target Finland over its refusal to issue a visa for the head of its lower house.

Nikolai Patrushev also singled out Washington for blame Friday for the protests in early 2014 that saw the pro-Moscow leadership driven from office. “The United States has initiated all those events in Ukraine. It has initiated a coup and put the current Ukrainian leadership in power,” he said, the AP reports.

Putin’s message, however, did not mention Ukraine or the Western sanctions imposed by the U.S. and others following the annexation of Crimea.


LEGO sets one for the record books:

It’s time to get those pinwheels moving and start thinking  about how you can contribute to the future.

On Wednesday the Smithsonian National Museum of American History opened its newly renovated wing dedicated to American innovation adding new galleries, performance spaces, an education center and the world largest American flag made out of LEGO’s.

“The LEGO Group partnered with the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, located at the National Museum of American History, several years ago to inspire children to explore their inner inventors,” Amanda Santoro, Brand Relations at the LEGO Group told AP. “We have collaborated with the museum on activities in the past and are honored to continue the partnership and help celebrate such a momentous day with a hands-on building activity. “

LEGO master builder Chris Steininger places a brick while building the world's largest LEGO American flag to celebrate the opening of the Innovation Wing at the National Museum of American History (Photo by Steve Ruark/AP).LEGO master builder Chris Steininger places a brick while building the world’s largest LEGO American flag to celebrate the opening of the Innovation Wing at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. on Jul. 1, 2015. Photo by Steve Ruark/AP

The museum asked its more than 15,000 visitors to help create the 9 ½ foot by 14 foot by  clicking one of the 10,000 LEGO pieces into place as they walked by. “The inventors and inventions on display in the museum’s new Innovation Wing, and children’s LEGO creations made on a playroom floor, are rooted in the same thing – creativity and imagination,” Santoro said.  “The Flag will remain on display for the next few months, and we hope it continued to inspire guests who visit the museum.”

The museum’s new wing’s theme is innovation and highlights the history of American business and innovation through time, a theme LEGO believes in as Santoro points out. “The same innovative spirit at the core of the maker or inventor movement – all of which is honored and celebrated here at the museum- is also at the core of every LEGO building experience.”

LEGO is continuing to look to inspire all of the nation’s inventors, innovators and tinkerers with LEGO bricks to play out their creativity and encourage every young boy and girl they can accomplished anything they set their mind to. “The LEGO System of Play is often  used as a prototyping tool among builders around the world,” Santoro says. “Many of these inventors manufactured products based on these prototypes that were often patented and sold to the public, so we look forward to seeing what the next generation of makers builds to life.”

So, what’s next for LEGO and their innovators? Only time will tell but LEGO has made one thing clear: the sky is limit for what anyone can accomplish.

Hollywood Celebrates!

Music stars like Nicki Minaj, Imagine Dragons, Fifth Harmony and dozens more took to social media to celebrate America’s independence on Sunday, July 4. Check out their patriotic tweets and Instagram posts below:

HAPPY 4th of JULY!!! 😘😘😘😘😘

A post shared by Barbie® (@nickiminaj) on

Tomorrow gonna have me like…..

A post shared by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

Happy 4th of July all you American Beauty's x

A post shared by Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) on

Happy 4th

A post shared by Jessica Simpson (@jessicasimpson) on