Emily&'s Top Ways to Celebrate the 4th JulyAs an American living in a foreign country, I find myself each year trying to explain to people what all the buzz is about 4th of July. It always turns out to be surprisingly difficult because we grow up with it, it’s practically intrinsic to us Yanks. For us, it's time for fireworks, family reunions, concerts, barbecues, picnics, parades, baseball games and celebration. Where patriotism and red, white and blue reign supreme.
The basics.Contrary to popular belief, the 4th of July is not actually a celebration of us Yanks beating the Brits in the Revolutionary War. It is actually the day that the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress officially declaring and explaining the separation of the Colonies from Great Britain. We actually celebrate declaring our independence (the winning part is just an added bonus).
We celebrate the outdoors.The US has hiking day trips galore to choose from, suitable for even the munchkins! Looking for a nice day hike to do before heading back into town for the fireworks? Visit the (you’re state).gov website for recreation, historic and scenic trails to explore. Most national and state parks put on events during 4th of July weekend, and even better most are free! These include hikes, ranger talks, and much more. If hiking isn’t your thing, many cities have a variety of races the whole family can participate in (even potato sack races if you’re lucky!).
Think big!Parades- If you want to celebrate the 4th in the most American way possible why not get down to Bristol, RI where the oldest (and longest) Annual 4th of July Celebration in the nation takes place. Held yearly since 1785, the celebrating starts on Flag Day (June 14th) and concludes on Independence Day with a 2.5-mile parade. The celebration includes a concert series at Independence Park, a 4th of July ball, and of course a fireworks show (and much more). Fireworks: No 4th of July, or 4th of July weekend, celebration is complete without a fireworks display! Head in to the nearest city and take in a free show of bright lights and echoing booms across the night sky. The biggest displays in the nation are New York City, NY, Chicago, IL, San Diego, CA, San Francisco, CA, St. Louis, MO, Boston, MA, and Washington, D.C.. As the fireworks are always at night and parades are in the late morning to early afternoon you don’t have to compromise...
Get the grill on.In America we like our food, and this weekend is all about those classic American summer staples. Every family has their own food traditions, but sure to be crowd pleasers and staples in my neck of the woods are:
- Corn on the cob
- Apple pie
- Patriotic fruit tarts
- And because we’re spoiled where I’m from, fresh lobster.
Family reunions.This generally revolves around cooking and the aforementioned grill. Families also go to local parks or even the beach for picnics, where usually there are grills available (just pick up your trash). Family reunions are also popular during 4th of July weekend as it typically is a longer weekend. Tip: The week of the 4th is one of the busiest travel periods in America. Roads can be crazy, so set off early, fly or better yet take the scenic backroads (just watch out for those potholes and moose). If you aren’t in the US but want to experience it why not head to Denmark, national parks in Denmark are said to hold the largest July 4 celebrations outside of the United States.
To celebrate 4th July Stateside next summer, contact our team (firstname.lastname@example.org) who are always on hand to offer adventure inspiration and advice.