In the United States, Independence Day or the Fourth of July is a national holiday that marks the anniversary the country’s independence from Great Britain. Traditionally, many people celebrate this day with picnics, parades, and fireworks, and you can join in the celebrations anyway you’d like.
Summer is always just around the corner, which means you need to get ready for your Independence Day celebrations.
1. Visit the nation’s capital for the National Independence Day Parade.
Every year on July 4th, Washington DC has a big parade that anyone can attend. If you go, you’ll see military demonstrations, floats, bands, and more. Usually, the parade is held at 11:45 am.
In the evening, you can also attend a free concert at the Capitol fields with fireworks afterwards, this concert, “A Capitol Fourth”, is aired nationally on PBS.
While you’re in DC, you can visit some of the major landmarks, such as the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. You could also visit the Smithsonian or the National Gallery.
2. Watch local fireworks or shoot your own fireworks 🎆
Most cities have free or cheap fireworks displays.
Check your local paper or online for the location of local displays. There will usually be designated areas to watch both, though you’ll likely be able to see the fireworks from many parts of the city, or just shoot your own fireworks.
Be safe. Before shooting fireworks, clear out a fire-safe area by removing any flammable materials, such as dead leaves or grass. You can also water down the area to help prevent it from catching fire.
Make sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand, and use longer lighting devices (such as a grill lighter or fireplace matches).
Most states have laws against fireworks for personal use depending on the type or size. Some states also have laws about when you’re allowed to pop fireworks; for example, most states require you to stop fireworks by midnight or 1 am.
Many of the national firework displays are shown on television, so if you don’t want to shoot off your own fireworks, turn the television on.
3. Go to a concert.
Early 4th of July celebrations included concerts, and today is no different. Many local orchestras and bands will put on concerts, and well-known rockstars and bands often play on the 4th of July, as well.
Check with your local concert venues to see what concerts are planned. You can also contact organizations that might be having concerts, such as military bases or your local orchestra. The parks and rec department might also host some concerts in parks.
4. Eat at a community picnic.
Many organizations host community picnics and cookouts on the 4th of July, including churches, companies, and military bases. Find one in your area to join the fun. You’ll be able to enjoy typical 4th of July food, such as burgers, hot dogs, BBQ, corn on the cob, baked beans, watermelon, salads, and patriotic desserts.
Many events will have activities such as dancing, water gun fights, watermelon-seed spitting contests, and food-eating contests. Jump in there, and enjoy the fun!
5. Show symbols of American pride.
Because the day celebrates America’s independence from Britain, displaying and wearing American symbols is a great way to celebrate. Fly American flags, dress in red, white, and blue, and plaster the walls with stars and stripes.
6. Enjoy some crafts at home.
If you have children (or even if you don’t!), celebrate the day by making some patriotic crafts. Any American-themed craft is fair game on Independence Day, so reach for the red, white, and blue.
Make an American flag lapel pin.
Create a homemade paperweight, and paint it with patriotic designs and colors.
Design a greeting card using a patriotic theme.
Make a yarn wreath using patriotic yarn colors.
Craft a glowing star lamp in patriotic colors, and hang it up at your celebratory party.
7. Hold your own cookout.
A great way to celebrate at home is to invite friends and family over for a cookout. Make it a potluck to take some of the stress off yourself, and include some fun games to stay cool, such as water-gun or water-balloon fights.
- We have loads of recipes for the Independence day in the food category in this blog.
Some traditional 4th of July foods include burgers, hot dogs, and BBQ. Finger-foods, such as corn on the cob and watermelon slices, are always a good choice. You could also make red, white, and blue foods, such as a strawberry, blueberry, and marshmallow salad. Desserts are a great place to show your patriotism. You could make a cake with whipped cream frosting, decorated with blueberries and strawberries, or you could make cookies with stripes of red, white, and blue frosting.
8. Visit Philadelphia for historic re-enactments.
In Philadelphia, you can visit Independence Hall, where you’ll see historical scenes acted out. You can also listen to a reading of the Declaration of Independence.Go view the Liberty Bell while in Philadelphia.