Gas and groceries going up as holiday draws near

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The cost of celebrating the Fourth of July is up. Gas and meat prices have increased compared to last year's holiday.

Region 8 residents will pay 20 cents more per gallon this year and almost 35 million Americans will travel by car during the holiday. That's a one percent decrease compared to last year.

Many attribute this to the increase in gas prices, but also blame the shorter traveling window, since the fourth falls on a Thursday.

Many Region 8 families said they're staying more local for the holiday, but some decided to go the extra mile. "My sister is. They live in Wisconsin and they're going up to Canada to visit my other sister. I thought they would be flying, but they're driving," Brookland resident Vicky Kinder said.

That's an 800-mile drive one-way. Kinder said this is proof if people really want to travel to see friends and family this holiday, they will make it happen.

It will also cost more to light up the grill on Fourth of July. The higher meat prices stem from the drought in Region 8 last summer.

"We've had a few faxes sent over to price change a little bit. Steaks especially have gone up. Beef is a little bit higher," Meat wrapper Sara Elgin with Bill's Fresh Market said.

But families are still celebrating. "Everybody's been coming in getting ready for the holiday. A lot of burgers, hot dogs and brats being sold because everybody likes to grill out for the fourth. It's been really exciting," Elgin said.

Elgin said these higher prices have not hurt business at Bill's and many Region 8 residents said they also won't allow the prices to ruin their fun. "I don't think it's an issue, you know, when it comes to seeing your family," Kinder said.

Kinder said this holiday is a special time to honor the family members she couldn't celebrate with. She has nieces and nephews who are currently serving our country.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.