Fourth of July in the District of Columbia (Courtesy of the D.C. government)
Fourth of July in the District of Columbia (Courtesy of the D.C. government)

There’s nothing more American than going all-out on Fourth of July.

Americans grill, drink and blow stuff up — all in the name of freedom.

But freedom is not free, according to the District-based personal finance site, WalletHub, which released its lists of America’s best cities to host Independence Day celebrations.

The District of Columbia ranked No. 9. New York City came in first, followed by fellow big cities Los Angeles and Chicago.

Baltimore, the only Maryland city in the top 100, came in at No. 36.

Virginia Beach, the highest rated in that state, ranked 46.

Everything from hot dogs to travel to hospital bills following fireworks accidents costs major scratch, WalletHub officials said in releasing the new survey just prior to Wednesday’s holiday.

In fact, the National Retail Federation projected that American households this year will spend a collective $6.9 billion — down from last year’s record $7.1 billion — on Fourth of July food alone.

To help Americans find the best and cheapest places to celebrate the star-spangled occasion, WalletHub officials compared the 100 largest U.S. cities based on how well they balance holiday cost and fun.

The company’s data set of 19 key metrics ranges from average beer and wine prices to duration of fireworks shows to Fourth of July weather forecast.

In the District, revelers had plenty of choices including kicking of the holiday with a trip to visit the Declaration of Independence in the Rotunda at the National Archives.

Each year, the Archives host an event on July 4 that officials said are packed with historical reenactments and hands-on activities.

Also, the annual Independence Day Parade saw a stream of watchers along Constitution Avenue and 7th Street in Northwest, where the throngs were entertained with live music, floats, oversized balloons and other treats.

John Stamos hosted the 38th edition of PBS’ “A Capitol Fourth,” where performances included the National Symphony Orchestra, The Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffett and others.

Of course, no Fourth of July is complete without the traditional Nationals game at the stadium. This year, the Nats will take on the Boston Red Sox, the team from the home of the American Revolution.

“While a huge firework display and, or parade can certainly be a draw for some destinations, there are a huge variety of variables that impact people’s travel plans for holidays like the 4th of July,” said Evan Jordan, a WalletHub expert and assistant professor in the school of community resources and development at Arizona State University.

“Nostalgia from past trips, weather, availability of accommodations, and recreational resources like rivers, lakes, beaches and parks all play an important role in attracting tourists to any destination,” Jordan said.

For the complete WalletHub survey, go to

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Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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