As we celebrate America's birthday this 4th of July, one of the area's biggest celebrations is set to return this year.

On the heels of last week's fireworks display to celebrate the end of most pandemic restrictions and guidelines, today's announcement is not a huge surprise but one that will be met with a lot of smiles.

Governor Cuomo announced today that the annual 4th of July fireworks and Independence Day celebration will return to the Empire State Plaza this year, according to a News 10 story. The day's festivities will kick off at 6 pm and will include live music, food, and will culminate with a fireworks display at 9:15 pm put on by Santore’s World Famous Fireworks of Schaghticoke. There will also be a pop-up vaccination clinic on-site from 5:30 to 8 pm.

Of course last year we missed out on the 4th of July fireworks in Albany because of the pandemic, and even over the last few months, the chances of this celebration actually taking place seemed slim. Thankfully, the lifting of COVID restrictions has been moving swiftly over the last few weeks as life is pretty much returning to our pre-pandemic expectations.

LOOK: Here is the richest town in each state

Just saying the names of these towns immediately conjures up images of grand mansions, luxury cars, and ritzy restaurants. Read on to see which town in your home state took the title of the richest location and which place had the highest median income in the country. Who knows—your hometown might even be on this list.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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From grazing Tibetan antelope to migrating monarch butterflies, these 50 photos of wildlife around the world capture the staggering grace of the animal kingdom. The forthcoming gallery runs sequentially from air to land to water, and focuses on birds, land mammals, aquatic life, and insects as they work in pairs or groups, or sometimes all on their own.





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