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The Real Cost of July 4, from NYC to Nashville

By Lewis Braham - 2012-06-26T20:34:29Z

Photograph by Allison Shelley/The Washington Times/Landov

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Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Fourth

"American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips -- or Phil2 as he's called -- will headline D.C.'s celebration, to be televised on PBS. Expect a cavalcade of celebrity guests, perhaps the historical highlight of which will be "Sesame Street"'s Elmo, who has appeared twice before at the event. Fireworks are launched from the National Mall and last 17 minutes. There's also America's National Independence Day Parade, featuring marching bands from all over the country. The parade costs $100,000, which includes inflatable balloons, floats, permits, street closures and security. The marching bands spend upwards of $2 million on travel.