The Fourth of July is arguably one of the most fun holidays of the U.S. calendar year. It's a day of parades, fireworks and barbecues all in honor of the red, white and blue. Despite the economic downturn, Americans spent more than US$60 each on their Independence Day cookouts in 2011, and the fireworks industry saw $1 billion in sales. Fourth of July celebrations can range from modest municipal parties for a few thousand dollars to extravagant, corporate-sponsored fêtes costing millions. Here's a list of the states that spend the most for the Fourth of July.

This southern state's logo is "America at its best," and it lives up to that when it comes to the Fourth of July. Nashville, Tenn. hosts "Let Freedom Ring" each year at The Lawn at Riverside Park. The event is slated to be a two-day event in 2012 with food, drinks, fireworks and free concerts. The Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau estimated that the crowd of more than 100,000 people who attended the event in 2010 spent $5.6 million.

Several towns in the golden state splurge on patriotism. Pasadena, Calif., located about 10 miles outside Los Angeles, is famous for its annual celebration at Rose Bowl Stadium. Attendees shell out $13 per person for admission and $20 per car for parking. The all-day event features food vendors, entertainment, inflatable rides for children, crafts and exhibits. The crowd, estimated at 60,000 people last year, is also treated to a 30 minute fireworks show that is considered to be the largest and best display in southern California. Rose Bowl Stadium management has said the event costs between $350,000 and $400,000 each year. The Fourth of July Lake Tahoe party lasts for a week. The $90,000 firework show is paid for through donations from citizens.

The largest city in Washington has an equally large party to commemorate the nation's independence. Seattle spent $500,000 on its celebration in 2011. Local businesses donate to keep the show going each year, but more than half the donors are individuals. Nearly half a million people go to the city's Lake Union to view what Time called one of the top five fireworks displays in the country.

Addison, Texas, a northern suburb of Dallas, has hosted Kaboom! Town since 1985. Each year about 400,000 people attend. In 2011, the city spent $240,000 on the event which is funded by a local tax. The event includes a 30 minute firework display, food, live music and an air show. The Freedom Over Texas event in Houston cost $1.7 million in 2008, but the budget was decreased in 2009 to $850,000 due to the recession. The popular event which includes live music has attracted as many as 100,000 attendees in past years.

South Carolina
Fireworks and other Fourth of July festivities are being cut in many cities due to tight budgets. In 2011, cities in South Carolina's Lowcountry have combined their resources to support six celebrations for less than $100,000. The firework display in North Charleston, S.C. was the most expensive at $35,000. Isle of Palms, S.C. spent $24,000 to light up the sky. Summerville, S.C. invested $15,000 for its celebration, Folly Beaches, S.C. budgeted $9,000, and Goose Creek, S.C. and Moncks Corner, S.C. both spent a reasonable $5,000.

The Bottom Line
While some cities have eliminated fireworks in light of tight budgets, others have found a way to up the ante every year. In many states, no expense is spared on the Fourth of July.

Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Which GOP Candidate Brings What to the Table?

    What are the major GOP presidential candidates' economic plans and how do they differ?
  2. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top 3 Muni California Mutual Funds

    Discover analyses of the top three California municipal bond mutual funds, and learn about their characteristics, historical performance and suitability.
  3. Investing News

    Austin Set to Rival Silicon Valley

    Over the years, Austin, Texas has lovingly embraced its quirky reputation with the slogan “Keep Austin Weird.” Today, the capital city is attracting several tech startups and investors, making ...
  4. Investing Basics

    What Does In Specie Mean?

    In specie describes the distribution of an asset in its physical form instead of cash.
  5. Economics

    Calculating Cross Elasticity of Demand

    Cross elasticity of demand measures the quantity demanded of one good in response to a change in price of another.
  6. Retirement

    The 5 Best Retirement Communities in Austin, Texas

    Discover five of the most desirable retirement communities for seniors located in the Austin/Georgetown metropolitan area in Texas.
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    Emerging Markets: Analyzing Colombia's GDP

    With a backdrop of armed rebels and drug cartels, the journey for the Colombian economy has been anything but easy.
  8. Retirement

    The 5 Best Retirement Communities in Charleston, South Carolina

    Learn about five of the most desirable retirement communities for seniors that are located in and around Charleston, South Carolina.
  9. Economics

    Benefits of China Changing It's One Child Policy

    China's one-child policy is changing, and investors are looking for ways to cash in. The reform might not have the effects that many anticipate, however.
  10. Fundamental Analysis

    Emerging Markets: Analyzing Chile's GDP

    Chile has become one of the great economic success stories of Latin America.
  1. What is the Social Security administration responsible for?

    The main responsibility of the U.S. Social Security Administration, or SSA, is overseeing the country's Social Security program. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Where are the Social Security administration headquarters?

    The U.S. Social Security Administration, or SSA, is headquartered in Woodlawn, Maryland, a suburb just outside of Baltimore. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Is the Social Security administration a government corporation?

    The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) is a government agency, not a government corporation. President Franklin Roosevelt ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the utility function and how is it calculated?

    In economics, utility function is an important concept that measures preferences over a set of goods and services. Utility ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does the role of Medicare/Medicaid affect the drugs sector in the U.S.?

    Medicare and Medicaid have enormous influence on the pharmaceutical, or drugs, sector in the United States. For instance, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are the ethical arguments against government subsidies to companies like Tesla?

    The ethical argument behind government subsidies is that they should be put into place to help industries that will, in turn, ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  2. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  3. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  4. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  5. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  6. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!