If there is anything better than life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it is a national holiday falling on a Friday.
So go forth in Brooklyn this Fourth of July and pursue happiness at these Independence Day activities around the borough.
The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest will once again bring the nation’s top competitive eaters together at Coney Island to gorge themselves on franks in this annual tradition. Festivities begin at 10 am with entertainment, followed by the women’s contest at 11:30 am, and the men chowing down at 12:40 pm. The event will also air on ESPN2, for those who would prefer to enjoy their wiener with some air conditioning.
10 am at Nathan’s Famous Restaurant (1310 Surf Ave. at Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island, www.nathansfamous.com). Free.
Salsa in the sun
While you’re at the People’s Playground, check out Salsa Salsa Dance Studio’s Fourth of July Beach Party, where you can dance the night away with salsa specialist DJ John John, plus booze, food, and fireworks.
9 pm–midnight on Coney Island Beach (Boardwalk between W. 21st Street and Kensington Walk in Coney Island). Free.
Light ’em up
The Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks is finally returning to its rightful place on the East River! Head down to Brooklyn Bridge Park, find a friend’s barbecue on a Dumbo rooftop, or bring a blanket to Williamsburg and camp out at East River State Park for some of the borough’s best views come 8 pm.
Sign of the times
Declare your own independence at Lefferts Historic House, which will allow you to put your own John Hancock on its faux Declaration of Independence. You can also make your own plumed hat to wear while signing to ensure maximum authenticity and great Instagram photos.
1–4 pm at Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park (452 Flatbush Ave. near Empire Boulevard entrance in Prospect Heights, www.prospectpark.org/lefferts). $3 suggested donation.
A bigger boat
You yell shark, we’ve got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July! Both Williamsburg’s Nitehawk Cinema and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAM Rose Cinemas will screen “Jaws” — the most famous film set on Independence Day that isn’t “Independence Day.” Nitehawk will also have a special themed menu, including a highly appropriate Bloody Mary and an all-American egg sandwich.
Noon at Nitehawk Cinema [136 Metropolitan Ave. near Berry Street in Williamsburg, (718) 384–3980, www.nitehawkcinema.com], $11.
4 pm and 7:30 pm at BAM Rose Cinemas [30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street in Fort Green, (718) 636–4100, www.bam.org]. $13.
Throw back to the classic Americana of the 1950s, when events company Dances of Vice stages its annual July 4th Rockabilly Night Market. The bazaar will include live music, a vintage car show, burlesque, and a pin-up photo booth, plus plenty of homemade and vintage goods for sale. There will also be an open beer bar from 5 to 6 pm.
5 pm at SRB Brooklyn (177 Second Ave. at 14th Street in Gowanus, www.dancesofvice.com). $10–$15.