It's been 240 years since 56 delegates set pen to paper and declared the USA's 13 original colonies to be independent states. That's 240 years for Americans to perfect their Independence Day celebrations. And perfect they did! From flags to fireworks, the 4th of July is a day filled with uniquely American traditions. That's not to say we here in Australia can't take part, though. Here's how to get your Independence Day on no matter where you are in the world!
USA fun fact: Benjamin Franklin was the oldest signer of the Declaration of Independence at a spritely 70 years of age. Edward Rutledge was the youngest at 26.
It's A Perfect Day For A Picnic
Warm weather. Families gathered. Sounds like everything you need for a good ol' fashioned 4th of July picnic. This pastime is popular with people of all ages across the nation and can easily be replicated no matter where you happen to find yourself this 4th of July. Grab a blanket and a few friends or family to head for your favourite green space. Red, white and blue-themed food adds an extra dash of patriotism if you're up for the task.
Take Me Out To The Ballgame
There are few things more American than baseball, and the 4th of July tends to draw the crowds to the park whether watching the local team or slugging homers in a game of their own. Even if you don't have a diamond, it's easy to set up a game on the fly. All you need is a bat (or stick), ball and a few friends. Not familiar with the rules? Don't worry, just give everyone a turn at bat and let the good times roll.
USA fun fact: An estimated 150 million hot dogs are eaten on the 4th of July.
Fire Up The BBQ
American summers are all about the backyard BBQ. In fact, Americans will jump at any excuse to bust out the briquettes and the burgers, but a BBQ on the 4th of July it's almost a requirement. If you're not hosting one, you're going to one. There's no question about it. Luckily, Oz shares this enthusiasm for grilling meat, so there's no excuses. Get out the Weber, swap the dogs for snags and get to grillin' this 4th of July.
Light Up The Night With Sparklers
While commonly reserved for New Years Eve or birthday celebrations in Australia, sparklers are a staple for the 4th of July in the USA. There probably isn't a kid (or kid-at-heart) out there that doesn't light one up and practice writing their name in the air for the perfect photo opp. While regulations here might put a stop to lighting up the night with fireworks, you can still get in the spirit with a sparkler or two.
USA fun fact: The first 4th of July fireworks display was held in 1777 as a way to celebrate the first anniversary of America's independence. The tradition has continued across the country since.
Get To The Movies
Movie blockbusters are a big part of the summer in the USA. It's no wonder with everyone out of school and crowds looking for an easy way to beat the heat. Movie theatres are the perfect option so, it comes as no surprise that many 4th of July revellers fit in a matinee somewhere between an early picnic with the family and BBQ dinner before the big fireworks extravaganza! With many of the same blockbuster movies showing the world round, get to the movies for an authentic 4th of July experience.
Let's Get Together For A Block Party
The 4th of July is all about getting together to celebrate, whether it be with friends, family, neighbours and/or the entire neighbourhood! Perhaps more common in smaller towns across the USA, block parties are the perfect chance to roll a BBQ and picnic into one mega freedom celebration that involves everyone in the neighbourhood. Achievable on a small or grand scale, you can invite a few friends over or get everyone on your street in the spirit of celebrating life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.