Happy Fourth of July, everybody! Here’s a quick round-up of stories we’ve seen making the rounds . . .
1. The American Farm Bureau says the average Fourth of July cookout for 10 people will cost $67.73. So, $6.77 a person. That’s down 3% from last year, when it hit an all-time high. It’s still up 14% from 2021.
2. A recent poll asked about some classic foods we eat on the Fourth. And not all of them are as universally popular as you’d think: 33% of us hate potato salad . . . 17% think pasta salad is gross . . . 28% wouldn’t touch a deviled egg . . . 34% say no to coleslaw . . . and 9% think any red-white-and-blue dish seems gross.
Some foods are more popular: Only 12% wouldn’t eat ribs . . . 9% don’t like smoked brisket . . . and just 7% wouldn’t eat grilled corn-on-the-cob.
3. StudyFinds.com ranked the best types of fireworks, and gave the top spot to the big rocket-style ones you see at displays. (Because, they’re obviously the best.) Roman Candles are second . . . and somehow, sparklers are third.
4. To avoid forest fires, the U.S. Forest Service asked people to skip the fireworks this year . . . and use Silly String instead. (???) Environmentalists aren’t wild about the idea though.
5. Thanks to hot-and-dry conditions, some U.S. cities ARE ditching their displays this year, and going with drone showsinstead. They’re becoming more and more common. Also, Canada canceled some fireworks planned for Canada Day on the 1st. They didn’t want to add to the big wildfire issue they’ve already got up there.
6. A new Gallup poll found we’re less patriotic than we used to be. Only 39% of us say we’re “extremely proud” to be an American. That’s up slightly from 38% last year, but way down from the all-time high of 70% in 2003.
7. A separate survey looked at how we view the average American compared to when the same poll was done 75 years ago. We’re more likely to say people today are “selfish,” “spoiled,” “intolerant,” and “immoral.” And we’re much less likely to describe people as “generous.”
8. And finally, good news if you’re traveling! Gas prices are a LOT lower than they were last Fourth of July. The national average was $4.87 a gallon a year ago, and yesterday’s average was $3.54. So, $1.33 cheaper . . . a 27% drop.
In the three decades they’ve been tracking this, it’s the second-biggest drop ever. The only one to beat it was during the Great Recession. Between 2008 and 2009, prices went from $4.15 a gallon to just $2.70.