In recent years, the 4th of July has become a cookout, beach and shopping-heavy holiday. It’s a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family, but it’s also easy to get tired of hot dogs and fireworks. Are you looking for unique and affordable ways to celebrate the holiday? Check out the suggestions below for inspiration.
CHECK OUT LOCAL PARADES
“Attend a parade in your local community, in your state capital and/or in Washington, D.C., and enjoy the pageantry of what our nation’s founding principles represent,” Paul Lawrence Vann, producer/host of The Wealthy Speaker Talk Radio Show, suggests. If your neighborhood or town isn’t staging a parade, chances are good that the next one over is. You don’t have to travel far to get into the spirit and have fun.
HOST A FAMILY REUNION
Rather than a small neighborhood cookout, use the holiday as an opportunity to get together with family. “Host a family reunion while celebrating our nation’s independence,” Vann continues. “It’s all about family, and Independence Day celebrations provide a perfect opportunity for relatives to get together and share the progress they have made as citizens of the U.S.” Make it a potluck get-together and make it easier on you and your wallet!
VISIT AN HISTORIC SITE
Vann suggests visiting Mount Vernon, the home of President George Washington and the recently opened Washington Library, which is adjacent to the Mount Vernon Estate.
Another historic site option is the Strawbery Banke Museum. It tells the history of America through 32 historic houses for touring, costumed role players, traditional craftsmen and hands-on experiences (weaving, dress-up, historical children’s games), covering 1695-1954 in the same Portsmouth, NH waterfront neighborhood. For July 4, the museum will host “An American Celebration,” adding live music, Civil War re-enactors, picnic foods, kite-flying and a children’s bicycle/wagon parade.
If you don’t feel like hitting the road for the holiday, take a look at your own town. “Take time to celebrate history in your hometown — local history,” Michael Vyskocil, publisher of Gettysburg Macaroni Kid, suggests. “Check with your local historical society or local tourism council for family-friendly historical attractions that are open during the Fourth of July holiday weekend and immerse yourself in learning about local history and its connection to the ‘bigger-picture’ events of American history.”
Why not take time to give back to your community on Independence Day? “The 4th of July holiday has become about barbecues and swim parties, but a great way to celebrate and honor those behind the holiday is to rekindle the understanding of national freedom that this holiday commemorates,” April Masini of AskApril.com, says. “What better way than to do some volunteer work with those who serve our country in the military? Call your local VA hospital or VA administration and ask how your family can help out on the holiday weekend. If you have children, this is a great way to set an example of how to honor others, go beneath the shallow meaning of holidays towards the meat of life, and to be community leaders. You can ask another family to join you, and set the scene for a different and more interesting 4th of July holiday.”