It’s the weekend of July 4th. Here’s what you need to know.
Planning to leave for July 4th? Be prepared to share the road, as more than 47.7 million Americans are expected to travel on Independence Day. In the nation’s capital, President Joe Biden is expected to welcome a group of essential workers and military families to the South Lawn of the White House. And a bit of history in case you attend barbecues this holiday weekend: July 4 was not the only day the Continental Congress voted for independence. Twelve of the 13 colonies also approved a resolution calling for independence on July 2, 1776. Another funny fact: many original signatories did not put their names on the declaration of independence until August 2, 1776.
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Officials in Florida are scrutinizing the safety of other buildings
Concern is mounting for other buildings in Florida a week after a 12-story condominium collapsed in the town of Surfside. Officials from nearby North Miami Beach on Friday ordered the evacuation of a 156-unit tower after an examination found it structurally and electrically unsafe. “It could have been our building instead of Surfside,” said city commissioner Fortuna Smukler. The mayor of Miami-Dade County had suggested an audit of buildings 40 years and older to ensure they comply with the local recertification process. The condo in North Miami Beach is the first to be evacuated.
Hurricane Elsa hits the Caribbean. Is Florida next?
Elsa, the first hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic storm season and Category 1 starting Friday, flies over the Caribbean this weekend. This could affect Florida as Monday approaches. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Friday he was considering an emergency order because South Florida – the site of salvage and rescue efforts for the collapsed Surfside condominium – could experience storm force winds tropical Sunday evening. Hurricane watches or warnings have been issued in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba.
Trump to attend Florida rally before July 4
Former President Donald Trump will bring additional fireworks to the July 4 holiday weekend in Sarasota with an appearance on Saturday at the Sarasota Fairgrounds, his first large gathering in Florida since the election. The Sarasota region has been a source of strong political support for Trump and a launching pad for his political ambitions, making it an ideal location for one of his first post-presidential rallies, which are a potential prelude to a Presidential race of 2024. Trump’s campaign-style rally comes at a difficult time for him: The organization bearing his name in New York was indicted this week, and a potential presidential rivalry with Florida governor and protege Ron DeSantis could be on the horizon.
The Hot Dog Tasting Contest returns to Coney Island
Nathan’s hot dog eating contest is set to return to Coney Island on Sunday. Last year, the annual July 4 event was held in a private location with plexiglass between competitors due to COVID-19 restrictions. Hot dog-eating juggernaut Joey Chestnut, the world record holder – 75 hot dogs with buns eaten in 10 minutes – will be aiming for his 14th mustard belt title in 15 years. The Women’s Championship kicks off at 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN3 before the men’s competition is broadcast live at noon on ESPN.