Fireworks fill the sky, marking the anniversary of US independence along the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago.
At an Independence Day parade in Miami, a boy cheers as a float full of sweets passes by.
President George W Bush spent Independence Day with military members and their families at a base in West Virginia.
Democrat Barack Obama was one of several presidential candidates who chose to mark 4 July in Iowa - a critical early-voting state in the primary elections.
The town of Clear Lake in Iowa welcomed Democrat Hillary Clinton to its 4 July parade. Her husband, former US President Bill Clinton, accompanied her.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney also appeared at the Clear Lake parade to meet his supporters. He exchanged a brief greeting with the Clintons.