PORTSMOUTH — As COVID-19 restrictions continue to lift, more Americans are looking to travel this Fourth of July holiday than in previous years.
Following a year or COVID-19 travel restrictions, more than 47.7 million Americans will take to the nation’s roadways and skies this Independence Day (July 1–5). Travel volumes are expected to nearly fully recover to pre-pandemic levels, according to AAA. While many will be traveling for the holiday, those who choose to stay home will have plenty of opportunities to celebrate locally.
Travel for this year (2021) will be the second-highest Independence Day travel volume on record, trailing only 2019. Overall, just 2.5% fewer Americans are expected to travel this year compared to Independence Day in 2019. This represents an increase of nearly 40% compared to last year when total travel fell to 34.2 million.
“There was a major uptick in travel for Memorial Day, and it appears Independence Day will continue the trend,” said Bevi Powell, Senior Vice President, AAA East Central.
While all modes of travel will see increased demand this Independence Day, road trips continue to dominate this summer. Despite the highest gas prices in seven years, more than 91% of holiday travel will be by car. An expected 43.6 million Americans will drive to their destinations, the highest on record for this holiday and 5% more than the previous record set in 2019, according to AAA.
“Americans are ready to catch up on those missed opportunities with their friends and families from last year, especially to sunny destinations like beaches and lakes,” Powell said.
For those who don’t plan to travel to beaches or lakes, there is still many activities happening throughout the Fourth of July holiday for residents to enjoy. Kicking off the holiday weekend residents with children are able to enjoy time at the splash pad this week with free entry.
“To celebrate our Independence, the Scioto County Commissioners invite everyone to Celebrate FREEdom Week at the Doug Coleman Memorial Splash Pad at Earl Thomas Conley Riverside Park,” the commissioners posted on their Facebook page. “Free Admission to the pad all week!”
Free admission to the splash pad is daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. until July 4.
“We will be experiencing some really hot days this coming week. Go chill at the Splash Pad,” the commissioners said.
Other celebrations for the holiday include music, food and fireworks, both in Portsmouth and New Boston.
Friends of Portsmouth will once again light up the night sky with fireworks. This year’s Fourth of July will kick off at noon at Spartan Stadium with six acts performing throughout the evening. Acts include Derailed, Poverty String Band, Boosh Hawg, Dip Stick Jimmie, Steve Free and the Portsmouth Wind Symphony, followed by fireworks at 10 p.m.
“Gates will open at noon and the music will start at 1 p.m.,” Vice President of Friends of Portsmouth Bryan Smith said in a previous interview.
Along with entertainment, Smith shared the Fourth of July event will have inflatables and water activities for children, food vendors and a beer garden. All-day wristbands will cost $5 and children 12 and under are free.
Residents of the Village of New Boston will also have the opportunity to see fireworks and enjoy live music. Plans for the Fourth of July have been prepared and Mayor Junior Williams believes it should be a great time for the community.
“It should be one of the best fireworks displays we have had in a long time,” Williams said during a council meeting.
The Fourth of July celebration will be happening in New Boston Sunday, July 4, at Millbrook Park with music starting at 6 p.m. along with food and merchandise vendors setting up and fireworks set off around 10 p.m.
For those looking to see fireworks a little sooner than July 4, South Shore American Legion Post 276 and The city of Greenup will both be celebrating Independence Day, July 3.
Kicking off the events on Saturday Legion Post 276 will host a Fourth of July parade. The parade lineup starts at 11 a.m. at the Stan Spence Baseball field and will take off at noon as always and end at the American Legion. After the parade guests can enjoy hotdogs an inflatable slide and free games and a watermelon eating contest in the legion field. Fireworks for the evening will start once it gets dark.
Downtown Greenup will also host guests Saturday for a celebration starting with guests being able to see the Masonic Temple open a time capsule that was located in the corner stone of the old Greenup Elementary School in front of the courthouse at 10 a.m., enjoy a Fireworks Parade with decorated golf cart, bicycles, ATV and tractors at 5 p.m. and enjoy live music across from City Hall.
At 9:45 p.m. guests will be able to watch the presentation of the American Flag and the singing of the national anthem before the fireworks start at around 9:50 p.m. Saturday.
Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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