Organizing a Memorable Fourth of July

July Fourth, Independence Day, is a day to celebrate being an American for those both born here or those who emigrated for the promise of a better life. Don’t let this Fourth of July pass by without a proper celebration.

Sarah on “Planning Ahead”

“If you wake up on the morning of the Fourth wondering what you’re going to do, it’s probably not going to be too memorable. Take a few minutes this week to plan out some activities that will make the day feel special. If you’re stumped for ideas, break down the day into four parts: a special Fourth of July breakfast event (often a parade), a lunchtime or afternoon event, dinner, and fireworks. Our favorite tradition is to start the day with a flag pancake breakfast, where blueberries and bacon serve as the stars and stripes on the square ‘flag’ pancakes, then take in a small town parade, then have an afternoon barbeque with good friends we don’t get to see too often, and finally top off the day with fireworks – sometimes a big show, and sometimes a little one – no matter the size, fireworks are always a treat.”

Alicia on “Lightening Your Load”

“You don’t have to do all the planning yourself. The day will be a lot more fun if everyone gets to put their special stamp on it. Call a good friend if you are single and plan a fun filled day together. Split the day in half – have one person plan the day and the other plan the late afternoon and evening. If you’re wrangling a family, don’t be shy in asking them to help map out the day. Give each family member one part of the day to plan something fun. It’s always neat to see what others come up with.”

Here are a few ideas for planning a memorable Independence Day.

1. Read the Declaration of Independence Aloud After Dinner

Whether you’re celebrating alone or with lots of friends and family, take ten minutes after your dinner (but before the fireworks) on the Fourth to read the Declaration of Independence aloud. You’ll appreciate it more if you read it out loud rather than silently. It is short, to the point, and elegant, so it’s not a difficult assignment. It is an incredible reminder of the powerful ideals that shape this country, and is a wonderful way to reaffirm your American citizenship.

2. Do Something Quintessentially American

Find a rodeo nearby and attend. Visit an amusement or water park. Check out a parade big enough to feature at least a few fire trucks and marching bands. Have a root beer float. Play a game of touch football, horseshoes, or badminton. The beauty of looking for something quintessentially American to do is – almost anything goes. Americans are masters at assimilating and absorbing aspects of other cultures and making them our own.

3. Host a Pot Luck Barbeque for the Neighborhood Before the Fireworks

Hosting a barbeque with neighbors and good friends is an excellent way to celebrate the Fourth. Make it a pot luck with instructions for everyone to bring their signature Fourth of July side dish, desert or drink. That way, you won’t be slaving in the kitchen all day or spending a fortune to feed everyone.