Guess what America? Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, is here like an expensive fireworks display. And what better way to celebrate than to remember why it is we are (kinda, sorta) free (#’Murica), what traditions have remained awesome since the date became a federal, paid holiday, and what wild traditions you should be adding to your upcoming shebang.
As we all know from that class we slept through in middle school, July 4th is a celebration all about the Thirteen Colonies freeing themselves from the clutches of the Kingdom of Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson, as main author, penned the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and Congress was like, “cool story, bro,” making it official and ushering in a yearly barbecue, beer-binging session (and fireworks show!) celebrating the fine work of Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, other people, and America! The 4th is important actually because it is the day the Continental Congress approved the final wording, but as a hot-blooded American I’ll continue to lump the whole freedom thing together.
Whether or not people really dig or understand the history seems to be of far less consequence than the holiday traditions. As it’s an off day for the whole country, families use it as an opportunity to get out of town, most folks setting up their picnics and barbecues in earnest, shoving as many burgers and dogs in their faces before sundown, when fireworks can be heard from sea (ocean) to shining sea (ocean). For a basic 4th of July blowout, check out Wikihow’s handy guide. Or check out the Rough Guide’s travel guide to see where to enjoy Independence Day.
But what else can you do to mix it up and make your America day feel more creative? First off, you can go gourmet all over it, making the everyday Americans firing up their boring grills and cooking boring frozen burger patties look super lame. Check out some pretty sweet recipes or plunge into the gourmet world of Epicurious.com, then put some personal spins on the dishes, like covering them with bacon (what’s more American than bacon?) or beer battering them then deep frying them. This last suggestion may even urge you to buy that extra 12-pack of beer you secretly wanted all along.
In terms of what to do when the family and friends are hanging around your backyard being all bored and awkward, you can always try playing some games (Huffington Post must think you are very unoriginal). For those who need something more interesting, try wiffle ball (thanks, cheezburger.com) or some goddamn kick the can. Or, if you desire being unable to recall the colors of the fireworks or which aunt you embarrassed yourself in front of, try your hand at New Girl’s epic True American drinking game, despite the nebulous rules and inevitable loss of friendships.
But really, there is only one true way to celebrate this hallowed day in American history. And that is by firing up the grill and buying every single six-pack as usual, but also pulling out the backyard projector, leaving your brains at the door, and watching Will Smith punch an alien straight in the face. Drinking game: every time it’s so stupid it’s actually amazing, take a shot or shotgun a beer (you’re welcome).
No matter what you do to enjoy the 4th of July, though, remember, the holiday is not about getting tanked on your front lawn and firing guns into the night sky, but about independence and human rights. So, thank you America, for continuing to make those two very important things synonymous with swilling alcohol, lighting stuff on fire, and defending the constitution till the death. God bless us, and every one.