By Katie Reilly NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans marched in star-spangled parades, ran relay races, gathered for fireworks shows and crowned a new world hot dog eating champion as they celebrated Independence Day in traditional style on Saturday. Possible security threats, wildfires in the West and rainy weather on the East Coast apparently did little to dampen the spirits of celebrants decked out in red, white and blue from their headbands to their shoelaces. Crowds at Boston's Old State House erupted in applause and cannons shot out tri-color confetti after the annual July Fourth reading of the Declaration of Independence.
More than a thousand marijuana enthusiasts and entrepreneurs met in Oregon on Friday to swap samples, contacts and business tips in hopes of profiting from the state's new law allowing the recreational use of pot. Licensed growers handed out free tastes, gardening experts displayed organic plant food and artists sold marijuana pipes to participants at the "Weed the People" event. ?Cannabis is a great opportunity for us," said D.J. King, a labor organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers who wants to unionize workers at marijuana grow operations, distributors and retailers.
"We are keenly aware that New York State remains a top target for terrorists," Cuomo said in a statement. The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have issued an alert calling for local authorities and the public to remain vigilant for possible threats following recent calls for violence by Islamic State militants. In New York City, the nation's largest municipal police force assigned about 7,000 officers and nearly all its counterterrorism personnel to handle security around Independence Day events.