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The Real Cost of July 4, from NYC to Nashville

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

Photograph by Alex Maclean/Getty Images

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According to the National Retail Federation, 64 percent of Americans celebrate the Fourth at cookouts, barbecues or picnics. The average U.S. adult having a cookout on the Fourth spent $61.16 on it in 2011, up 12 percent from $54.62 in 2010. Hamburgers ($6.19), hot dogs ($2.91), charcoal ($7.41), watermelon ($4.41), popsicles ($3.44) and mayo ($3.31) accounted for a significant portion of the cost. According to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, we consume 150 million hot dogs on the Fourth, enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. more than five times. The NRF estimates total cookout spending to be $2.3 billion.