Where did the first Independence Day celebration take place? Why in New Jersey, of course.
On July 4, 1778, Gen. George Washington, who was stationed at Piscataway at the time, ordered 11,000 soldiers to line the banks of the Raritan River and fire their guns in a salute called feu de joie (fire of joy.) It seems fire and bangs went along with July 4 celebrations since the beginning.
This weekend there will be plenty of revolutionary war re-enactments and other celebrations to enjoy. A list of events is available online.