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July 4th 2014: Are banks, post office, liquor stores nationwide open or closed?

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What is open and what is closed on Friday for the 4th of July 2014 holiday? This year the holiday offers up a long weekend for most folks. Friday July 4th is a federal holiday, so this means most local, state and federal government offices are closed, according to the Washington Post on July 2.

Since July 4th is a big day for backyard picnics, parties and gatherings, the grocery stores and the liquor stores are a few places many will make a trip to in preparation for these events. In case you don't get a chance to get your shopping done on Thursday and you plan to head out Friday morning, you might want to check with some businesses first before making the trip.

*Is the U.S. Post Office open?

No, this is a federal holiday so the U.S. Post Office is closed. There is no mail delivery on Friday July 4.

*Are banks open or closed?

Most banks are closed nationwide, but they are not legally bound to follow the federal holiday and some do open. While banks were traditionally closed for federal holidays, in the last decade or so some have opted to open on holidays, especially the banks that you find inside supermarkets. If your bank is one of the banks that open on Sunday, then it may be open for this holiday. You need to call ahead to make sure because it is up to each bank individually if they will open or not for the July 4th holiday.

*Are grocery stores, supermarkets and retail stores open?

The majority of the stores are open on July 4, but some have reduced their hours of operation for the holiday. Like the Big Y in Westfield, Mass. is opening an hour later than they usually do on a Friday. So before heading out for your early morning shopping, it is a good idea to call ahead anywhere you live for the store hours.

*MTA, Metro North and Mass transit systems nationwide schedules:

Many mass transit systems nationwide are running on a different schedule than their regular Friday schedule for Friday July 4. According to MTA, they are offering an enhanced Friday rail service to help folks get to their holiday destination. The Metro North also has different schedules for the holiday weekend. Check here on the MTA website for the schedule changes for July 4 for New York and surrounding areas.

*Stock markets:

Stock markets are closed for the July 4th holiday.

*Will there be garbage pickup on Friday July 4?

Most municipals will not offer garbage pickup for the holiday. The majority will revert to their holiday schedule, but check with your local town or city for their schedule.

*Libraries, museums, beaches and parks are they open or closed for the holiday?

Most libraries and museums are closed, but again check ahead. This is a big weekend for state parks and beaches, but call ahead to make sure where you headed to is indeed open. An alert has been issued for the Atlantic coast line. With a hurricane churning out in the ocean, the rip tides and under tows are extremely dangerous.

East Coast beach warnings: According to CNN News today, with Hurricane Arthur churning out in the ocean there are dangerous rip currents up and down the U.S. East Coast. Even if the weather is sunny and beautiful where you are, the rip currents can still be present. This storm is expected to cause "dangerous rip currents that authorities warned could sweep even the strongest swimmers out to sea."

*Are liquor stores open?

This depends upon what state you live in. In some states liquor stores opening on a holiday even vary from town to town. Connecticut liquor stores are open for July 4th and they are also open in neighboring Massachusetts. The hours of operation may vary from store to store.

Utah is a state that does not allow stores to sell liquor on the 4th of July. Pennsylvania's liquor stores will also be closed, according to WTAE.com. Some states will open or close their liquor stores by county or even by town or city.

To find out if your state, city or town is selling liquor in its stores on this 2014 July 4 holiday check here at the States Liquor Control Directory. This lists each state so you can check with their website. The best thing to do is call ahead. It would be a good idea to put those calls in today, Thursday, in case they are closed.

Most importantly, drink responsibly. You need to think twice before you get behind the wheel of a car even after one drink because this holiday prompts many municipals to put up DUI roadblocks. Just the smell of alcohol on your breath while you're behind the wheel when pulled over will most likely put you in line for the DUI side of the road test. Most of all remember that you save lives by not drinking and driving.

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