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An Insider’s Guide to Celebrating The Fourth of July

fourth of july fireworks dc

Every year, the land of the free and home of the brave ushers in the full summer season with a patriotic celebration full of beer, barbecues, beach time, and so much more. We know it as the Fourth of July and this year, Independence Day is ringing in 240 years!

So how exactly do you celebrate the big ol’ July 4? A little like this…

Make EVERYTHING Red, White, and Blue

We love to bring out every combination of red, white, and blue we can come up with for the Fourth of July.  From vanilla frosted cakes topped with blueberries and strawberries to colorful American flag-striped shorts, we honor the day of Independence by wearing the three colors proudly displayed on our nation’s flag:  red, white, and blue (and usually we say it in that order too.)  There is absolutely no amount of the red, white, and blue combination that isn’t acceptable, so feel free to cover your houses in bunting, rock that American flag swimsuit, and go ahead, make those red, white, and blue Jello shots.

red white blue shoes

Fire Up the Grill

Nothing represents Independence Day more than firing up the barbecue grill and munching on burgers, hot dogs, and skewers packed with meat and vegetables.  With the temperatures rising and summertime in full swing, cooking outdoors with a beer in hand is so much more appealing than slaving over a hot stove in your kitchen. It also becomes an opportune time to play outdoor games like beer pong and corn hole (also known as a bean bag toss).

shish kebab bbq

Ain’t No Party Like a Floatie Pool Party

We’re not talking about the floaties you wore when learning to swim.  Fourth of July celebrations traditionally mean sitting back and relaxing, and that usually means on a pool float.  Whether you prefer donut rounds, pineapples, or flamingos, hot July summer days = cool swimming pool time. Bonus points if you also get a pool float for your drink.

summer bikini float

Fireworks Spectaculars & Lighting Our Firecrackers

It wouldn’t be a Fourth of July celebration without an explosive fireworks show.  All nifty fifty states in the USA feature fireworks shows that can rival New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world.

One of the best fireworks shows happens in Boston (one of the original 13 colonies when America was founded). The show is run by the Fireworks by Grucci group, holders of the Guinness World Record for the “Largest Fireworks Display” ever recorded and “Largest Pyrotechnic Image,” so you know it’s a show-stopper with a soundtrack provided by the legendary Boston Pops orchestra.

Meanwhile, in some American towns across the country, the ubiquitous fireworks and firecracker stands line the streets so families and friends can purchase their own combustibles to light up the night.  Neighborhoods close off their streets as Americans create their own pyrotechnic shows in their front yards and kids light sparklers.

A person holding a sparkler in front of an American flag to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Independence Day Parades

If you want to get a bit historical, thousands of Americans gather in the early morning, proudly wearing red, white, and blue and waving tiny American flags, as celebration parades that capture colonial America make their way through towns.  Calling back to the days of the American Revolution and the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, parade-goers can watch fife and drum musicians, parade floats, and even famous local heroes appear in the parades celebrating all things Americana.

A group of men in red and white uniforms playing drums on the fourth of July.

Party Like It’s 1776

While the Fourth of July is a celebration of America’s independence, this holiday has grown into an annual tradition of getting outdoors, spending time with loved ones, and reveling in the summer and all its glory. It isn’t unlike the Swedish midsummer, except there are less flower crowns and pickled herring.

So load up on sunscreen, gather your closest friends, and raise a class (or red Solo cup) to the land of the brave and home of the free.  Wishing you all a safe and memorable Fourth of July weekend!