|Paradegoers helped a child, one of 24 people hurt by a pair of runaway horses at Fourth of July festivities in Bellevue, Iowa. (Karina Schroeder/ The Telegraph Herald/ AP)|
High temperatures, budget cuts affect some July 4th galas
NEW YORK — Budget cuts have forced some communities to pull the plug on the pyrotechnics, but Fourth of July festivities were still big draws on what was a scorching day across much of the United States.
Temperatures were in the 90s nearly everywhere east of the Mississippi as well as in the Southwest.
The nation’s largest fireworks show lit up the skies over the Hudson River last night. The Macy’s display was moved to Manhattan’s West Side in 2009 but will relocate to the Statue of Liberty next year in honor of its 125th anniversary.
In Bellevue, Iowa, a 60-year-old woman was killed and at least 23 other people were injured at a parade after two runaway horses pulling a wagon took off, running into spectators along the streets, police said. Four of the victims were critically hurt.
The horses bolted after one rubbed its head against the other, removing that horse’s bridle, police said. They galloped for several blocks with the wagon in tow, trampling paradegoers. The wagon flipped and ejected its two passengers, police said.
In Washington, the Obama family celebrated the holiday by hosting members of the military and their families for a barbecue, concert, and a view of fireworks on the South Lawn of the White House.
It’s not just the country’s birthday, but also Malia Obama’s number 12.
As fireworks watchers gathered on the National Mall in Washington, the American Red Cross helped treat about 300 cases of dehydration.
Vice President Joe Biden is in Iraq for the holiday weekend, his second visit there this year, and he attended a citizenship ceremony yesterday at one of Saddam Hussein’s former hunting lodges.
Festivities in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776, will conclude today after 11 days of parades and concerts.
Chicago used to celebrate a day early, on July 3, with a fireworks display that drew more than 1 million people, but the show was canceled this year to save at least $500,000. The city was holding three smaller shows yesterday.
In Seattle, local businesses and individuals donated the $500,000 needed for the city’s 20-minute fireworks show.