Independence Day is THE summer event if you're in the United States. Colours, tastes, sounds - it's just awesome.
The federal holiday celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, which declared the country independent from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Signed on the 4th of July, 1766, the day is celebrated annually with what has become some iconic traditions that make or break your experience.
To make sure you get the most out of our Independence Day experience, here's 4 MUST DO's for the 4th of July.
1) Go to a parade
A 4th of July parade is a saturation of US patriotism which is a wonder to experience. You'll see marching bands, baton twirling, kids riding bikes covered in bunting, dogs with flag bandanas, roadside burgers and beers, Uncle Sam costumes, aircraft flyovers and some of the most unbelievable floats.
One thing's for sure, there will be a lot of red, white and blue - and we have one thing to say to that, what better way to celebrate your nation and your community than something like this. Pretty much every major city will have an official parade, but if you want a true taste of Americana, have a search for some of the smaller ones - they're usually the most eclectic!
2) Have a BBQ
There really aren't too many things more American than a good old fashioned BBQ. While the meat is of course the central focus of the expereience - with burgers, steaks, ribs and of course hot dogs taking centre stage - there's so much more to a 4th of July BBQ. Let's start with the array of chips and dips, so many colours and flavours from salsa and guacamole to a homemande spinach cob dip, they'll all be there. Your meat can be accompanied by multiple sides including what's usually a huge variety of salads, including your Auntie's coleslaw & of course Grandma's potato salad, as well as the all-time favourite, corn on the cob.
Unbutton your shorts. This is THE BBQ of the year.
3) Get your red, white & blue on
The Aussies wear their green & gold, the Kiwis don their black and the Brits dress in white and red - as do the Canadians. No matter what nation you're from, you probably have national colours, and these are usually reserved for some kind of sporting event.
No one dresses in national colours the way Americans do & this features most prominently on Independence Day. To say they go all out is an understatement, but who says all out can't be tasteful?
4) Watch the fireworks
Fourth of July Fireworks are an institution. Walking outside after dark on this day you'll be hard pressed to take two steps without hearing explosions in the distance - or right next to you. In keeping with our aforementioned theme, you can expect starbursts of red white and blue to decorate the sky, a plethora of glowsticks, picnics & the national anthem.