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Top 5 Regulations That Could Ruin Your Fourth of July
When the United States declared independence from Great Britain in 1776, John Adams wrote a letter to his wife telling her how he thought it should be celebrated:
“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.” – John Adams
Americans have taken Adam’s words to heart and celebrated the Fourth of July with fireworks, bonfires, parades, and sports. We’ve added a few typical celebrations to that list as well: heading to the beach, firing up the grill, camping, and other summer activities.
If Adams were alive he might be upset to know that today the government prevents some people from engaging in the very activities he suggested. Here are the top five regulations that might ruin your Fourth of July:
- Fireworks are a symbol of the Fourth of July, but in some states the government has banned individuals from using fireworks outright, and elsewhere they face serious restrictions.
- Grilling is another American tradition on this holiday, but many city and state governments prohibit or restrict grilling in residential areas. In NYC, the restrictions spurred the use of barbeque pits in public parks, but they are so in demand that some suggest “you might want to apply for a permit at least a month in advance.”
- Relaxing on your front porch furniture is a great way to wind down after the barbeque, and maybe watch the fireworks. But in Durham, North Carolina, city officials recently banned upholstered furniture from being placed on the front porch. The reason? Neighbors complained that outdoor sofas were unattractive.
- July is hot, and buying some lemonade from a child’s stand is a good way to cool down, unless the city shuts them down. In Iowa, Georgia, Maryland, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere police have shut lemonade stands run by children who hoped to make a few dollars over the summer. In one case the children were even fined $500 for operating without a license!
- If you can’t find a legally approved lemonade stand, an ice cream truck might be a way to keep cool and enjoy a sweet snack. However, cities in Illinois, Virginia, and Florida prohibit ice cream trucks from playing the famous music that sends children begging to their parents for a few bucks to buy that tasty treat.
Happy Fourth of July! If we uphold economic freedom instead of letting the government restrict it, hopefully we’ll all be able to celebrate many more with fireworks, lemonade stands and more.