In a few days, we will celebrate the 4th of July in the United States. It’s a day set aside for us to say, “Happy Birthday, America!” According to Wikipedia, “Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.”
As a child, my 4th of July memories include the parade through downtown Ypsilanti. I was in the Drum and Bugle Corp and marched each year-wool kilt and all! Some years my family had a picnic with friends- I remember we had relay races and everyone received lots of candy! And of course, the fireworks that were set off at Buhr Park were a highlight of the holiday!
How will you celebrate the birthday of our country? What traditions do you have to commemorate this holiday? What ways will you create memories that will be cherished 50 years later?
Here are a few 4th of July Activities you can do with your family:
- Look for a parade in your city or nearby town to attend. It’s fun to hear school bands playing patriotic songs, while watching groups and floats pass through downtown streets. You may even be able to buy a red, white, and blue popsicle!
- Have a neighborhood parade. Buy crepe paper and other decorations and allow your kids to go to town decorating their bikes, big wheels, and other moving toys. End the parade at someone’s house for a pitch in meal. My daughters still talk about that event!
- This holiday lends itself to gatherings with family and friends. Maybe your theme is a water day. Participants can bring their water toys and you can pull out your sprinkler and other ways to have fun with water. Tons of fun and easy clean up!
- Make a special dish or dessert with your children. One year, I baked a tollhouse pan cookie. My 2 daughters used icing in a tube to decorate it as a flag. We sang, “Happy Birthday” to our country as we talked about our history. Such a fun memory!
- Get out the grill and try a new recipe! The 4th of July is certainly the holiday for outdoor cooking and eating. Ask family and friends over and have each person bring their specialty summer dish. You may end up with several new recipes!
- Check out what day fireworks displays will be showing in your area. Grab a chair and enjoy the magic in the sky. Or, better yet, lay on the hood of the car like we did back in the day!
Share your 4th of July memories and traditions in the comment section below.
“American, The Beautiful”, lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates- 1913
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!