PARADES . . .: If you're looking for the unusual, don't miss the annual Moscow, Vt., Fourth of July parade.
Among the highlights are the Moscow All Ladies Lawn Chair Drill Team, who do a routine with old metal lawn chairs; floats must be thrifty and can't be built until the morning of the parade; and the newest household must clean up after the animals.
HOT DOGS . . : The Fourth of July hot-dog eating contest in Coney Island typically has been an all-American feast. But the two-time defending champion is Japan's Takeru Kobayashi, a mere 5-foot-7 and 130 pounds with a 30-inch waist. William "The Refrigerator" Perry, the ex-Chicago Bears star, will compete this year.
FIREWORKS . . .: Nelson's Fireworks in Roanoke, Va., is offering a pyrotechnic display with a picture of Saddam Hussein wearing a striped prison uniform. Light the wick and a fiery jet spews out of his head.
A viewing guide for fireworks
Lots of small, random trails of fireworks
Loud bang and light in the sky
Like the chrysanthemum but with a different color on the inside
Popular pattern that leaves long trailers in the sky
Firework charges travel up and out, and then explode like a palm tree
Explodes in a spherical shape
Symmetrical ring of stars
Stay visible until they almost hit the ground
Circle of stars that burst one after the other
Sources: How Stuff Works; Zambelli fireworks