Here’s What’s Open and What’s Closed for the 4th of July Observance

A ferry crossing the Savannah River.

By Kurt Stolz on 3 July 2020
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Today is the Third of July, not the Fourth, but because Independence Day in the United States falls on a Saturday, the holiday is being observed on a Friday in terms of what is open for business. This year the observance of the holiday will differ from past years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Independence Day a federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence after the Continental Congress declared the thirteen American colonies to be a new and independent nation, no longer part of the British Empire.

The holiday is associated with family picnics, barbecues, fireworks, parades, and baseball games among other festivities. John Adams, the country’s first vice president and second president, predicted that the day would be celebrated as a “great anniversary Festival” and he wanted it to be commemorated with “Pomp and Parade, with Shews [shows], Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more,” he wrote in a letter to his wife, Abigail Adams, on July 3, 1776.

As a footnote, both Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the nation’s third president, died on the same day, July 4, 1826.

Adams did not write this during a pandemic, however.  This year, gatherings will be small, and few and far between.  Macy’s, which sponsors what many consider to be the unofficial national fireworks display, is revamping its plans and began to offer smaller fireworks displays at various locations across New York City, only revealing the time and location shortly before the show to keep down the number of people in attendance.

On the Fourth, it will present a resplendent fireworks show atop the Empire State Building.  In addition to the Fireworks Spectacular, the show will feature  performances from music superstars including The Killers, Black Eyed Peas, John Legend, and Tim McGraw.

Here’s what you need to know about what’s open for business and operating in the United States – and what isn’t – on Friday and Saturday.

All Federal government offices are closed on Friday and Saturday, as will be almost all city and state offices.  For most Federal employees, the Third of July will be treated as a holiday.  State government office closures will vary by location. The same goes for local municipal offices.

Open on Friday. No regular mail delivery on Saturday except for Priority Mail Express, formerly known as Express Mail. Regular service resumes on Monday.

Financial institutions will be open on Friday and closed on Saturday.

Varies by store. Some may be open but have shorter hours.

Any that are open during the pandemic will likely be closed Friday and Saturday.

The nation’s stock and bond markets will be closed on Friday and Saturday. The bond markets will close early on Thursday at 2 p.m.

Most local transportation systems, such as buses, subways, and commuter rail systems, will operate on Sunday or holiday schedules Friday with weekend service on Saturday. Airports are open although most flyers will make it to their destinations in advance of the holiday. Expect traffic on highways leading to beaches.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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