Celebrating Independence Day in the United States of America began July 4, 1777. It was officially recognized as a national holiday in 1870. Although the details are often overlooked, basically, it’s the day the 13 original colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence and broke away from the British monarchy following the American Revolutionary War.
- Check out PBS for a little more about the origins of celebrating Independence Day or
- Read up on History.com for more tidbits about the Fourth of July (did you know George Washington doubled his soldiers’ rum rations to celebrate?)
What started with some radical celebrations (like mock funerals held for King George III and bonfires), has evolved into a day to celebrate patriotism, family, freedom and (of course) the founding of the country. It’s notoriously punctuated with parades, fireworks (often choreographed to the 1812 Overture and/or Stars and Stripes Forever), American flags everywhere, barbecues….the quintessential summer party!
Here are a few of our favorite bits and baubles for celebrating Independence Day in the good ol’ US of A.
think red, white and blue, stars and stripes, and symbols of America (the flag, Statue of Liberty, Bald Eagle, Uncle Sam)
“traditional” American food. Pretty much anything you can toss on the grill (ribs, burgers, hot dogs), southern “soul” food (grits, collard greens, cornbread), and summer-y sweets treats (apple pie, watermelon, strawberry shortcake)
festive and upbeat is the best way to keep any party going. Mix it up a bit, though, because playing nothing but patriotic tunes or songs about fireworks/explosions can get really old really fast for your guests.
parade, beach, pool, boating, party in the park – whatever you decide to do, plan to finish with a “bang.” Celebrating Independence Day without fireworks just won’t do. Check timing/location for your local display, buy your own (exercise caution when setting them off) or catch them on TV (Macy’s Spectacular, Boston Pops Spectacular, or the PBS’s Capitol Fourth are usually great family-friendly options)
Whatever you decide to do to commemorate this momentous day in our nation’s history, be safe, be honorable and take a few moments to remember where we started as an infant nation. Go red, white and blue!