ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - More than 153 million Americans are celebrating in front of the grill spending an estimated $6.2 billion on barbecue favorites. But you might have noticed a bit of sticker shock this year.
The Benson-Allen July 4th holiday in Carondelet Park is more than a celebration. As patriarch Ivory Reed explained, "It's fantastic! We enjoy it. It's like a vacation."
A vacation with a feast for 200 to 300!
But over the past 10 years, beef prices have climbed 44 percent, according to the research firm Rabo AgriFinance. Pickles are up19%, bread up 16%, lettuce up 11% and the average backyard barbeque costs a family just under $70. But that is not going to stop Americans from chowing down this holiday!
Reed said his family reunion is no average barbeque and you can't put a price on family or tradition.
"We've been doing it for 45 years. My great grandfather started it 45 years ago right here in Carondelet Park," Reed said
According to the National Retail Federation and the American Meat Institute, American's will consume 150 million hotdogs today. That is enough to stretch from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. more than five times.
We met the Nguin and Scott families in Carondelet Park, who explained cost wasn't something that changed their plans.
"This all goes back to when I was a kid," said Daryl Scott. "The fireworks, the smell of the barbeque. Everybody out in the sun having fun. The real fun comes when it gets dark and you can light off the fireworks and have a good time."