Weirdest Fourth of July traditions from across the nation

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Hannah Cooper/Staff

Most people are familiar with the typical Fourth of July parades, barbecues, fireworks and even Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island, but what about the other traditions? The Clog has brought to you all the ones that have us baffled, bewildered, bemused and desperate to try for ourselves.

Lobster racing

Yes, we’re going to hit you with this one right off the bat. The city of Bar Harbor, Maine, brings out its pedigree lobsters to race against time and each other. People even place bets and egg the lobsters on, though the animals don’t quite know what’s going on. Some go forward, some stay put and some leave the track entirely but it’s entertaining and hilarious AF.

Marshmallow fight

The people of Ocean Beach, California, celebrate the defeat of the British by chucking marshmallows at each other! Though in previous years the fight has gotten out of control and become violent, it has recently calmed down and is once again a place for fun and stickiness. We definitely wouldn’t mind getting some marshmallows thrown into our mouths.

Computer trap shooting

Only in Kentucky can you find the great Fourth of July tradition of shooting obsolete electronic devices. Participants donate their old computers and Kentuckians with guns go to town blowing up every piece of circuit board and screen they see. What a great way to let out all your technology-related anger (we mean you, budding CS majors!).

Tug of war

Now tug of war generally seems pretty normal, right? Well, not the way the towns of Bolinas and Stinson Beach do it. Every Fourth of July, the two towns reignite a feud, pulling a rope back and forth across the Bolinas Channel that separates them with both men’s and women’s competitions. But this ain’t no small skirmish. Bolinas apparently has a 200-pound weight minimum and has fed its participants whale blubber meat in the past. Stinson has previously utilized 500-pound Samoans, the UC Berkeley rowing team, the San Francisco Golden Gate rugby team and a Jeep to pull them to victory (on separate years, of course). Talk about dedication!

Road Apple Roulette

The name says it all. Residents of Hailey, Idaho, gather each year to play this glorious game in which participants buy squares out of 10,000 of the annual Fourth of July parade’s path, complete with horses that drop “road apples” along the way. If these “apples” land in the square you bought, your name goes in a drum and you can win big in prizes. Just be sure not to step in any while you’re jumping for joy.

If you ever make it to any one of these eccentric events or are even a part of them now, bring some excitement to your friends at the Clog and let us know how they go!

Contact Pooja Bale at [email protected].