Are you out grabbing the last package of brats?  Or restocking the almost empty beer fridge?  How about trying to find some red, white, and blue water balloons for the kids this Fourth of July?  You, my friends, are not alone!  I know this because I’m about to walk into Safeway, and I’m dreading the lines!

Americans consume around 155 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July each year.  They also spend $92 million on chips, and $167.5 million on watermelon.  And of course, to wash it all down, Americans spend $341.4 million on beer to celebrate our nation’s birthday. [1]

Starting the long-standing American tradition of boozing on the 4th, George Washington ordered a double ration of rum for his soldiers to celebrate the holiday!  Free drinks all around!

The 4th, of course, is about much more than kicking back with a cold one and bumping the Hamilton soundtrack (although that sounds like a pretty awesome way to celebrate).  There are a ton of great events happening around the Valley, with something sure to please everyone, including a Fireworks Family Night featuring a family friendly movie showing, bounce houses, 3 on 3 basketball tournaments, and of course some of those good ol’ fashioned hot dogs and chips!  Westworld is also having a great 4th of July festival with live entertainment, traditional fireworks, and a BMX stunt show!  Or you can indulge in another great American pastime, baseball!  The D-Backs will take on the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field, followed by a fireworks show!  Check out a full list of events going on around the Valley here.

With temperatures reaching around 108 degrees, it is forecasted to be the typical, hot summer holiday here in the Valley, so while you may be tempted to reach for yet another cold one (hey, just honoring George, here!), remember that alcohol lowers the body’s tolerance for heat and acts as a diuretic—meaning it speeds up dehydration and urination—and affects the body’s ability to regulate its temperature.  Additionally, the body is sweating in the heat, losing more fluids and necessary minerals and electrolytes.  If these fluids in the body are not replaced, dehydration can be life threatening. [2]

Remember, independence signaled the birth of our nation’s criminal justice system and your friends in blue will be out in full force.  The 4th normally sees an uptick in DUI related accidents and arrests. So stay safe out there, drive sober, and have a great holiday!

[1] Business Insider (2016). 10 Unusual Fourth of July Facts. Web. June 28, 2018. http://www.businessinsider.com/10-unusual-fourth-of-july-facts-2016-7

[2] Coast Guard News (2009). Heat and Alcohol a Bad Combination. Web. June 28, 2018.