Fourth of July Celebration Ideas
The 4th of July is right around the corner. Whether you got your summer body ready in time or not, the seasons have changed. In our country, Independence Day is one of the biggest holidays of the year. We all like to make the most of it, plus we get to blow some stuff up. Who doesn’t want to cut loose a little?
If you’re feeling short on creativity, you’re not alone. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, so we’re going to help you out with a little inspiration. These are some straightforward ideas for celebrating the 4th that pretty much anyone can do. It’s not the ultimate list. It’s just a little prod to get your creative juices flowing.
Raise your hand if you’ve never been camping for the 4th. Why is your hand in the air? You look like a weirdo.
But seriously, camping is a great way to remember America’s birthday. Depending on where you go, you can enjoy the fireworks from the serenity of nature, or you can skip the show and do your own thing. There’s nothing to say you can’t make a little light show of your own (campfires really are a special joy in this world).
If you want to camp for the 4th, you have to decide how hard you want to go. Driving into a light campsite with some booze and a tent is perfectly acceptable. It’s a holiday, so you don’t have to film your own episode of Brave Wilderness.
On the other hand, the founding of our country was pretty rugged, taking on the British and all, so you might find it appropriate to really commune with nature and rough it.
Here are some quick reminders for anyone who wants to camp their way through America’s rowdiest holiday. First, think about safety. Check the weather. Know where you plan to camp. Make sure you have plenty of water. Most of all, be responsible with the pyrotechnics. We might celebrate the birth of the country with fire, but not wildfires.
Second, don’t overdo it. The 4th is notorious for some pretty hard partying. Make sure you don’t overextend. The wilderness is not a good place to have an excruciating hangover — much less a medical emergency.
Enjoy the Water
Water trips and camping trips are not mutually exclusive, but let’s focus on the water for a minute. Some of you are pretty far away from a significant body of water. Feel free to move on to the next idea — unless you enjoy reading about things you can’t have.
Since this is intended for everyone, we have to be a little generic. Plenty of you live by the ocean. For others, the water you have in mind is a lake, pond, or river. Maybe you live near something truly unique and cool.
Here’s the real point. You won’t be the only one heading out to the water to enjoy the 4th, and that’s the general idea. Go be social (even if you have to do it distantly). Share hot dogs with a stranger. Show off that beach body you worked so hard to sculpt. Or, put your dad bod on full display. It’s the 4th. It’s not a time to be uptight and worried. You’re going to eat simple food, drink tasty drinks and watch some explosions in the sky. If a little water makes the hot summer more pleasant, make the most of it.
Have a Lil Quaranteam Party
Holidays are for celebrating. What says celebration better than an epic party? Since pandemic times have changed things, you can still party, but safely. Get together with your quaranteam and pretend like you’re in college again (or keep doing what you’re doing if you’re that age). Get out the pong and other drinking games. Maybe invest in kegs. Get one of those ridiculously huge sandwiches or pizzas and go hard.
Invite the peeps you've been safely social distancing with, but expect rowdiness. Plan for a mess and a few broken things. It’s ok. You planned ahead. Anything that can’t stand up to an old-school party is stashed somewhere safe.
If you’re ready to commit to this, here are a few party tips to help. Go with cheap drinks. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’ve spent the past few years becoming a classy gentleman. Remember, part of being a gentleman is catering to the comfort of those around you. That means that for an easy-going 4th party, you can relax and cut loose. It will make the people partying with you more comfortable.
Additionally, if you have carpet, protect it. Things will be spilled. If you have to lay something over the carpet, do it. If you need to keep the drinks outside, that’s fine too. Just a few minutes of planning and preparation will be enough to keep you from at least this form of partier’s remorse.
As a caveat, there is another option. If you don’t feel like throwing an epic party, there’s a good chance you can attend one. Just remember the golden rule: bring more to eat or drink than you plan to consume.
Respect the Quarantine
We have to stop and address the elephant in the room. Eventually, this will date the blog, but at the moment, we’re in the midst of a pandemic, and a lot of social restrictions are in place. Some of you might be in areas where you have the freedom to do whatever you want. Others aren’t so lucky. That’s all right. There are ways to stay socially distant while genuinely celebrating the holiday.
The first is to scale down your plans. Restrictions allowing, you can camp, hit the water, or throw a small social gathering with your closest family/friends. That’s the easy out. If restrictions are too harsh — or if you’re just not comfortable with socializing right now — you can play the modern game and still make the most of your 4th.
You’ve been using Zoom or Skype or FaceTime or Discord or something comparable (that’s a nice list of options for you by the way) to interact with people anyway. Whether it’s for work, school or just to keep in touch, you’re familiar with these resources. You can use them on the 4th too.
It might feel like a sad alternative at first, but it’s definitely better than drinking alone. You can use Netflix features to sync up a movie. You can play Jackbox (or a similar streaming game) together. Heck, you can even play Battleship remotely. The important thing is to spend some time connecting with people who matter to you. In a time of heightened tension and anxiety, it’s extra important to have some level of human interaction on a holiday.
Class All the Way
We just spent the last few minutes talking about how Independence Day is a casual holiday. For some of you, that doesn’t matter. You feel the need to be fancy and classy. You probably live in Connecticut and think that casual means sipping vintage wine on a sailboat or something. That’s fine. You’re welcome here, too.
If you want to have a classy holiday, you shouldn't feel any pressure to abandon what sounds fun. It’s a celebration. What matters is that you enjoy it.
You already know this, but here are some reminders on necessities for a classy 4th celebration. First, you need a good vantage. Fireworks are still part of the deal, so enjoy them. Second, plan for the heat. This is peak summer. Typically speaking, sweat stains disrupt an elegant air. Third, book things now. If you need a venue, caterers, or entertainment, you’re already behind the curve. Get aggressive or you might have to downgrade your plans.
Grill It Up
Let’s be real for a minute. The 4th of July is all about the backyard grill. We brainstorm and throw ideas around because creativity is fun and everyone enjoys shaking things up a bit. But, when you get down to it, there’s something truly natural about ringing in the 4th in a backyard with a grill running.
You can scale your grill up to an epic party or down to social distancing rules. You can adjust it as needed. What matters is that you have some eats and some friends around. That’s all any of us really need anyway.