America's Oldest Parade - Bristol, R.I.
Credit: Ann Hermes / The Christian Science Monitor / Getty Images

This small New England town held its first Independence Day parade in 1785, and liked it so much that they've kept the tradition going every year since, making Bristol home to the nation’s oldest continuous July 4th celebration. But that much history can’t be squeezed into just one day anymore, so the modern blowout is a three-week series of events that begin on June 14, Flag Day, and culminate with the time-honored parade, fireworks, and a Fourth of July Ball.