This July 4th, Americans will spend more on beer, wine than fireworks

Americans will spend $1.6 billion on Fourth of July beer and wine, surpassing the amount they are expected to spend on fireworks, according to a new report from WalletHub.

And AAA found that a record 48.9 million Americans plan to travel over the holiday, a 4.1 percent increase from last year.

“This holiday builds on the strong travel demand seen for Memorial Day, and with schools now out of session across the country, families coast to coast are eager to travel,” Paula Twidale, vice president of AAA Travel, said in a news release.

For those living in Philadelphia or spending their holiday in the city, Visit Philadelphia compiled an Independence Day guide describing the annual Wawa Welcome America festival, which includes the Party on the Parkway, free or pay-as-you-wish entrance to 22 museums and attractions, and a birthday party at the Independence Visitor Center with Betsy Ross.

AAA warned travelers of delays near major cities, and the mix of commuters and holiday travelers on Wednesday was expected to make it the worst day for traffic. Delays nationwide are expected to increase about 9 percent, but around major cities, commutes could take up to four times as long.

“With record-level travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays around our major metros,” said Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX Inc., a Washington-based transportation analytics company.

The Fourth of July celebrations include an expected $1 billion being spent on fireworks, $6.8 billion on food, and $5.4 million worth of imported American flags, according to the WalletHub report. And 150 million hot dogs are eaten each year.

Although more Americans (61 percent) plan to have a cookout than celebrate with fireworks (40 percent), Philadelphia city leaders still encourage residents to leave the fireworks to those trained to set them off.
Last year, five people died from fireworks-related injuries nationwide, according to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
“While it can be tempting to get in on the action on July Fourth and other holidays, we always encourage Philadelphians to leave fireworks to the experts,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement.

Most Americans do celebrate the nation’s Independence Day, but the National Retail Federation found in a separate report that total spending on food items is down about 5.5 percent from a high of $7.15 billion in 2017.
Still, Americans seem to be getting into the patriotic spirit. Two-thirds of Northeast Americans own an American flag and say they have themed apparel, according to the report from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Americans seem to be spending more on Independence Day in the Northeast, too. The retailers’ group found that this region will spend an average of $78.40 on food, anywhere from about $7 to $12 more per person than the Midwest, West, and South.

 

Tales of Rock – The Best Band You Never Heard – Full Devil Jacket

Musicians Josh Brown, Mike Reaves, Kevin Bebout, and Keith Foster all met at Josh Brown’s brother’s tattoo shop in Jackson, Tennessee and formed the band Voodoo Hippies. Jonathan Montoya was the last addition to the band as the second guitarist. While still playing gigs in Jackson, the band caught the eye of rock producer Malcolm Springer (Matchbox 20Collective Soul).

Before being signed to Island/Def Jam Records, the band changed its name to Full Devil Jacket. There are two stories on how the band chose this name. One is that the band was named after a song written by lead singer Josh Brown, called “Full Devil Jacket”. Another story is that the band simply pulled the name from a magazine article.

While signed to Def Jam Records, the band had a successful career. They first released an EP titled A Waxbox To Put Your Frankenstein Head In… in October 1999,[1] followed by an eponymous LP in March 2000[1] that was quickly certified gold.

The band toured with CreedNickelbackType O Negative, played at Woodstock 99, and was featured on the Tattoo the Earth tour with MudvayneSlipknotSepulturaSlayerDrain STH, and Coal Chamber with Metallica headlining one show. However, while on tour with Creed, Josh Brown suffered a drug overdose and subsequently quit the band.[2] An unfinished album from this time remains unreleased. Some of the songs the band was working on were “Shelter”, “All Apologies”, “Superdysfunctional Hero”, and “Bottle”.[citation needed]

After the departure of Brown, Michael Reaves also left the band. Full Devil Jacket recruited a new lead singer (Ben Hatch; then Jamie Martin) and a new second guitarist (Dave White) and recorded an unreleased EP under their new name of WaxBox before dissolving altogether. This incarnation of the band worked on some of the same songs that they started with Brown. The EP included “Shelter”, “All Apologies”, “Superdysfunctional Hero”, and “Sober”.

Reunion

Full Devil Jacket announced a one-time reunion concert on June 19, 2010, in Jackson, Tennessee, to benefit the James Michael Reaves Medical Expense Fund. This led to more live performances as well as recording new material.[citation needed] On July 27, 2011, James Michael Reaves died after battling cancer.[3] Every Mother’s Nightmare guitarist Jeff Caughron joined the band after Reaves’ death.

Brown and Montoya also formed a new band with Jason Null from Saving Abel named A New Rebel. FDJ members Keith Foster and Kevin Bebout were also involved.

In 2013, the band started a Kickstarter page to help fund and promote a new album. On January 14, 2015, it was announced that FDJ signed a worldwide deal with eOne Music. Their album Valley of Bones was released on March 31. It contains 10 new songs and feature cover art of a painting by singer Josh Brown.[4]

In September 2015, the band toured with American rock band Bridge to Grace from Atlanta, Georgia.[5]

The band’s current lineup consists of Josh Brown (vocals), Brian Kirk (guitar), Paul Varnick (guitar), Moose Douglass (bass) and Keith Foster (drums).

Band members

Josh Brown

In 2000, Brown nearly died of a heroin overdose. While recovering in rehab and working on their second album, he converted to Christianity and left the band, retreating to Jackson, Tennessee.

After several years, Josh Brown re-entered the music scene with his new project Day of Fire which was signed to Essential Records until 2007. Their self-titled debut won a Dove Award for Rock Album of the Year and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Gospel Album. Day of Fire released their second album titled Cut & Move on Sony‘s RED Distribution/Essential Records in 2006. Following two years of going unsigned, DoF signed with Razor and Tie Records, and released their third album titled Losing All in January 2010. In June 2010, the band announced they would be taking an indefinite hiatus.

Jonathan Montoya

After working with some local Jackson, Tennessee projects such as One Less Reason, Montoya formed his current[when?] project Supernova Syndicate. As history would repeat itself, the band recorded a debut CD that was never released. They are currently[when?] back in the studio and working on their debut album again.

Montoya also filled in as a guitar player for the band Saliva on their European tour. He was eventually invited to be a full-time member of the band. On August 30, 2010 he was released from Saliva. As of 2015, he is back with Saliva full-time.

Michael Reaves

After Full Devil Jacket, Reaves toured Europe with a band called Travisty and briefly worked with the pop singer Jasmine Cain. He also wrote and recorded with Randy Lovelace around Jackson, Tennessee. Reaves lived in Dyersburg, Tennessee and was with a band named 3 Legged Dog. He died from prostate cancer on July 25, 2011 at the age of 52.[6]

Keith Foster

After Full Devil Jacket and WaxBox, Keith Foster played drums for Danny Archer in the band Love Over Gravity around Jackson, TN and Nashville, TN. Along with guitarist Greg Scallions (brother of Fuel frontman Brett Scallions) and bass player Brad Singleton, they recorded eight songs with record producer Michael Wagener (Ozzy, Metallica, Skid Row, etc.). The songs were never officially released, but can be found online.

Kevin Bebout

Bebout is currently working for Epiphone as Kramer Project Manager. He is thanked by Jonathan Montoya in Saliva’s latest CD liner notes for endorsing the band with custom Kramer guitars. He also plays bass in the Nashville-based Humorcore band called Holy Crap!. In 2016, Kevin joined pop artist and former co-writing partner of Mike Reaves, Jasmine Cain as part of her touring band.

 

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