Posts Tagged “Fourth of July”

Celebrating America’s 248th Birthday!!

By |

Read more »

Road Tripping Across the Great USA

By |

By Nora Trueblood ALC Marcon

“Road trip,” “Shotgun” are some popular sayings for the non-truckers on the road. Summer is here and the uptick in travelers on the road increases, as provided by Headlight News:

With more folks on the road for summer vacations traveling by car, motorhome, or other means, commercial vehicles must be aware of more drivers who can clog the various “truck” routes. As a transportation broker, we see the effects that traffic, construction, and events can have on a driver’s ability to deliver freight in a timely manner. Whether you are a long-haul driver or a family heading out on a summer vacation, everyone is affected by the conditions of our roadways. This goes especially for holidays, and with the 4th of July upon us, here are a few hints, favorite road trips, and, just for extra fun, the best fireworks displays.

According to Headlight News, this year’s projected number of travelers for the holiday period represents a 5.2% increase compared to 2023 and an 8.8% increase over 2019.

“With summer vacations in full swing and the flexibility of remote work, more Americans are taking extended trips around Independence Day,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “We anticipate this July 4th week will be the busiest ever with an additional 5.7 million people traveling compared to 2019.”  

To better plan your trip (if you are not the truck driver who knows the best routes), here are a couple of the most popular routes or cities being traveled to over the holiday and their fireworks plans for 2024:

Los Angeles to New York City

  • Top destination
  • From Los Angeles – route via I-80 vs. I-40 (from personal experience, I-80 from Glenwood Springs to Denver, CO, is absolutely gorgeous). This is the primary artery, so both commercial truck drivers and personal vehicles will experience the same conditions.
  • The number one viewed fireworks show, in person and televised, is sponsored by Macy’s. The city of New York is giving away 10,000 free tickets this year, so maybe you stay home in New York, or at least plan to arrive there by Wednesday, July 3rd.

Washington D.C. to Los Angeles

  • Los Angeles is a top destination year-round, but not the highest-rated city for fireworks. So, if you decide to stay home or do not have a load to keep you on the road this 4th of July, you can see far better public displays in Washington D.C.’s Fireworks on the Mall and other great rooftop locations.

Some less than large cities, that are not necessarily traveled by big rigs, but offer spectacular fireworks displays:

Bristol, Rhode Island

Cape Cod, MassachusettsFirst state to make the 4th of July a state holiday. Their celebrations and fireworks begin June 28th, and displays continue through the 4th.

Best tips for personal vehicles to practice when sharing the road and traveling alongside big rigs.

Just in case you need some ideas, here are the most popular summer vacation road trips.

Following best practices while sharing the roads across America will help you get to where you want to be, safely. The best tip: leave early, adhere to speed limits, and get to your final destination without an incident. Then, watch those wonderful fireworks that celebrate this great country.


Nora Trueblood began her career with ALC in 2002 as Director of Marketing & Communications. Prior to joining the company, Trueblood worked as the event manager with the Montrose Arts Council and Alpine Dance in Montrose, CO., had her own production and event planning company, and spent 7 years with Lorimar Television.

Read more »

The 56 Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence: What Happened to Them?

By |

4th Of July:

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the evolutionary War. They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants; nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well-educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton. At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.

Also approximately 1/5th of the colonists fought against the British. So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It’s not much to ask for the price they paid.

It’s time we get the word out that patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more MEANING to it than beer, fireworks, HOT DOGS, and picnics.

Read more »

Northwest-Grown Sweet Cherries are on Shelves Now

By |

DSCN9636By Northwest Cherry Growers

YAKIMA, Wash. — This year’s crop of Northwest sweet cherries is arriving on grocery store shelves in full-force across the U.S., putting the classic Americana fruit front and center.   Volume was good for the Fourth of July holiday and will be even better in the weeks ahead.  Despite a late start due to one of coldest winters in the Pacific Northwest in decades, growers in the Northwest anticipate a record crop size lasting through August.

“A lot of risk and investment by our growers throughout the five states allow for different orchards to be picked at different times as the summer progresses,” said James Michael, with the Northwest Cherry Growers, a growers’ organization collectively representing Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah.  “Together with a cold-chain that typically starts in the orchards and a top-speed packing and distribution system, that means our growers are truly delivering their peak of the season onto grocery shelves all summer long.”

The Northwest is known for seven varieties including Bing cherries, the most popular cherry in North America, and the unique golden-blushed Rainiers, born at Washington State University in 1952 and celebrated each year on July 11 as National Rainier Cherry Day.

A beloved Independence Day treat for baking pies with less sugar or eating fresh from the stem, sweet cherries can also be enjoyed year-round by simply rinsing, packing and freezing them.  To freeze cherries, select four to five pounds of firm, ripe cherries. After rinsing and draining, spread whole cherries with stems in a layer on a baking sheet, freezing until firm and then packing into freezer-proof containers or plastic freezer bags being sure to remove excess air and cover tightly.  Add frozen, pitted cherries to smoothies or juices, defrost and put in hot cereals, pies, turnovers, cobblers, or enjoy frozen as sweet late-night treat.

For more information on sweet Northwest Cherries, seasonal and preservation recipes, health information and more, visit

About Northwest Cherries and Washington State Fruit Commission

Washington State Fruit Commission is a growers’ organization funded by fruit assessments to increase awareness and consumption of regional stone fruits. The organization is dedicated to the promotion, education, market development, and research of soft fruits from Northwest orchards. It began in 1947 and has since grown to include five states – Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana. For more information, visit or

Read more »

Summertime Shipping Update for Garlic, Watermelons and Walla Walla Onions

By |


It’s summertime in overdrive and here are some loading opportunities you might not have thought of including garlic, watermelons and sweet onions.

Watermelon Shipments

Nationally summertime watermelon shipments have been decent so far this season, with heavy volume available for shipments arriving at destinations in time for the Fourth of July holiday.  Strong shipments will continue in the weeks ahead as several states are just starting, or will be soon getting underway.

Georgia is leading U.S. shipments averaging around 5,000 truck loads per week.  Volume will start declining in a few weeks.  However, South Carolina’s watermelons shipment are underway and increasing.  Carolina moved nearly 400 truck loads in the past week, but volume will be higher with each passing week.

Texas is in a similar situation, particularly in the eastern part of the state.  It shipped about 400 truck loads last week, but volume is rapidly picking up….While the desert areas of California are winding down with watermelon loadings, the San Joaquin Valley, particularly in the southern area around Bakersfield, is building.  Around 500 truck loads were shipped a week ago.

Onion Shipments

Sweet onions shipments out of Walla Walla, WA started in mid June and this season there should be more normal conditions in terms of volume and and timing, at least compared to 2016.

Last year, Walla Walla sweet onions had an early start and finish to the season

Garlic Shipments

California garlic shipments got underway in mid June and will continue until mid September.  Christopher Ranch of Gilroy, CA, as well as other operations were off in volume 15 to 20 percent last year.  However, shipments this year are expected to be more normal with fewer quality issues.

Christopher Ranch is celebrating its family owned farming heritage with colorful, new boxes for its 2 lb. and 3 lb. fresh garlic bags. The new box is in full color using custom artwork representing a California garlic field.

It is hoped by the shipper that the new  look will make it easy for consumers to find fresh California Heirloom Garlic in the midst of all the other shipping boxes.

The company has the only garlic in the U.S. commercially grown from heirloom seed, the same seed discovered by Don Christopher in the 1960’s.

Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $5400 to Chicago.




Read more »

What to Look for with Produce Shipments for the Fourth of July

By |

DSCN9472Wanting to spend the Fourth of July with family and friends instead of on the road?  Here are some of the better opportunities for produce shipments leading up to the celebration of our nation’s 241st celebration of independence.

Avocado Shipments

Avocado loadings will be good, but certainly not great.  When you take Mexico pretty out of the mix, because this time of year shipments are at a seasonal low, you are pretty much left with Southern California, as well as imports from Peru arriving at various ports.  Still there will be 40 to 45 million pounds of avocado across the U.S. being shipped weekly.  We’ll also mention Southern Florida avocado shipments.  Florida’s biggest avocado shipper, Brooks Tropical of Homestead will be having its heaviest loadings in two years.

Blueberry Shipments

New Jersey blueberries will be in peak season, mostly from the Southern part of the state.

If you loaded British Columbia blueberries last season in time for Fourth of July activities that won’t happen this year.  BC  blues are a month later, which is more normal, and shipments won’t get underway until the first week of July.  The region should ship about 170 million pounds this season, lasting into mid September.

Strawberry Shipments

On the West Coast, Mother Nature has been kind to strawberries from the Watsonville area.  Heavy shipments are now occurring and will remain that way through mid July.  There also will be much lighter loadings of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, which will start hitting stride around the Fourth of July.

Salinas Valley berries and vegetables – grossing abut $7900 to New York City.

Watermelon Shipments

Early season watermelons from Texas have probably been the best quality in a few years and that hopefully will continue with maturing fruit coming on in Oklahoma…..Meanwhile, Northern Florida and Georgia are looking to have a decent amount of shipments, although volume has been heavier in some other years.

Central Florida watermelons – grossing about $2800 to New York City.

Vegetable Shipments

Decent supplies of vegetables are coming out of Southern Georgia.  For example, the Moultrie area is loading items ranging from sweet corn to squash, cabbage and green beans……North Carolina vegetable shipments are ranging from bell peppers, hot peppers and eggplant….Moving to California, the Gilroy area has some of the state’s largest shipments of sweet corn…..The roller coast ride for Salinas Valley head lettuce has continued since last spring.  Shipments should be a little more steady now, with volume better than last year time, but still not heavy.

Southern Georgia vegetable shipments – grossing about $2000 to New York City.





Read more »

Some Interesting Facts about Independence Day

By |

Tkpicfor47As we prepare to celebrate our Nation’s 237th Birthday on Thursday, here are some interesting details about how we have observed this holiday through the years.  Source:  Wikipedia

  • In 1777, thirteen gunshots were fired in salute, once at morning and once again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island. Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary in a manner a modern American would find quite familiar: an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, and fireworks. Ships were decked with red, white, and blue bunting.
  • In 1778, General George Washington marked July 4 with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute. Across the Atlantic Ocean, ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France.
  • In 1779, July 4 fell on a Sunday. The holiday was celebrated on Monday, July 5.
  • In 1781 the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration.
  • In 1783, Moravians in Salem, North Carolina, held a celebration of July 4 with a challenging music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. This work was titled “The Psalm of Joy”.
  • In 1791 the first recorded use of the name “Independence Day” occurred.
  • In 1820 the first Fourth of July celebration was held in Eastport, Maine which remains the largest in the state.
  • In 1870, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees.

In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.

Read more »

Here are Some Unique 4th of July Grilling Ideas

By |

IMG_6554The grilling season continues with the Fourth of July holiday, and Frieda’s, Inc. has some delicious and different holiday favorites.  These colorful suggestions will make your produce department stand out.

“Fourth of July grilling is all about summer traditions like hot dogs and burgers, but consumers are also looking to change things up a bit and make their menu a little healthier by adding more fruits and vegetables,” said Karen Caplan, Frieda’s President and CEO. “They look to Frieda’s to add more flavors and colors to their summer barbecue.”

The grilling season, which kicked off with Memorial Day, continues with Independence Day and concludes on Labor Day weekend. 

Here are some of Frieda’s featured Fourth of July grilling items that shoppers will be looking for in their favorite retail stores:

Star Spangled Spuds

Nothing says Fourth of July like red, white, and blue potatoes!  Parboil them and finish on the grill. Or follow a delicious recipe for potato salad on the package.

Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes

Our brilliant colored tubers will liven up any gathering. Cut into wedges or ½ inch-thick slices, toss in olive oil, and put them right on the grill.

Fresh Ghost and Trinidad Scorpion Chiles

No chile lover would pass up the opportunity to test their limits with two of the world’s hottest chile peppers. Use sparingly in a salsa or homemade hot sauce as a condiment on grilled meat and vegetables.

Maui Onions

Brushed with olive oil and grill or served up fresh, no hamburger is complete without these sweet, pungent slices. 

Angelcots®, Fuyu Persimmons, and Fresh Figs

Grilling adds depth to sweet and succulent fruits. They are transformed altogether once wrapped in bacon and grilled, lightly brushed with balsamic vinegar.

Yellow Seedless Watermelons

Simply brush slices with honey and grill until marked. Make into a salad with feta and fresh mint, or just finish with a squeeze of lime for a refreshing dessert.

 About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Inc. celebrates more than 50 years of innovation in fresh produce. Founded in 1962 by Frieda Caplan, Frieda’s was the first wholesale produce company in the U.S. to be founded, owned and operated by a woman, and is still a family- and women-owned business today. With the mission of changing the way America eats fruits and vegetables, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 specialty items to U.S. produce departments, including Kiwifruit, Spaghetti Squash, Habanero Peppers, Black Garlic and many more. Frieda’s officially declared 2013 as The Year of Purple. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce and

Source: Frieda’s Inc.

Read more »

Will Produce Rates Increase for Fourth of July?

By |

Normally we would see a bump in rates for hauling produce as the Fourth of July holiday approaches – when Independence Day falls on any day but Wednesday.   This is not to say there will not be a increase in produce rates, but some observers are saying it may not be as high, or may not even occur this year for the holiday.  Regardless, strong demand for refrigerated equipment will continue before and after the Fourth, and rates are expected to remain healthy in the coming weeks.

In Southeastern Arkansas, peak tomato shipments are continuing.  While it has been an excellent growing season, triple digit temperatures have moved in.  If the extreme heat continues the mid July conclusion to tomato shipments may happen even before that.

In Virginia, some are not aware the state ranks fourth nationally in tomato shipments, and 6th nationally in potato, apple and snap bean volume.

Moving to the Northwest, Washington state cherry shipments are in heavy volume.  Loadings should continue until September and the state is on a course for record shipments.

In California, rates have had only minor fluctuations since early June.  The Salinas Valley has lighter than usual volume with broccoli and cauliflower, plus lettuce shipments have been hampered as East Coast receivers took advantage of coastal shipping areas such as New Jersey, which started weeks earlier than normal.  This put Eastern lettuce shipments on a collision coarse with West Coast lettuce shipments.  Eastern receivers could save $7 to $8 per carton on lettuce, just on shipping costs, when they purchased eastern lettuce as opposed to that product from California.

Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $8500 to New York City




Read more »