Independence Day is one of the most popular American holidays – for a lot of good reasons! It hits the sweet spot on the calendar – early summer! – and boasts some of the most appealing traditions. To celebrate Independence Day, we thought we’d bring you a very unofficial list of the Best Things about this red, white, and blue extravaganza.
Frozen treats are one of those traditions that we can all get behind! But did you know that it was a big morale booster for American troops in World War II? It was associated so strongly with the United States at the time that Mussolini had it banned in Italy!
After the war, our country went on a major ice cream kick, with Americans consuming over 20 quarts of ice cream per person in 1946. To this day, we love our dairy desserts, with many gatherings breaking out the trusty ice cream maker on the 4th. If you’re trying to stay with the theme, work with the colors of the day: maybe strawberry or watermelon, vanilla or white chocolate, and bubblegum or blue raspberry.
Not coincidentally, National Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day is celebrated this weekend! Better head to the freezer section at your local grocery store to beat the rush!
School’s out, Summer’s officially here, and it’s time to go swimming! As Americans descend on beaches at lakes and oceans over the July 4th holiday, it’s a national fixation. But don’t despair if you’re stuck at home. It’s just as enjoyable to dip your feet into the wading pool, watch kids run through the sprinklers, or watch your crazy cousins do cannonballs into the backyard setup. Heck, it might be a good time to vote on a new pool border! Check out some ideas here.
Maybe you’re heading to “The Lake” over the weekend? Cabin stays or camping out, this is one truly American pastime. It’s a big weekend for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. No matter how you’re enjoying a cool break in the water – just be glad you’re not celebrating National Sidewalk Egg Frying on the 4th. (But if you do want to attend the Solar Egg Frying Contest, that’s in Oatman, Arizona!)
If you’ve been holding off on visiting the fireworks stand – what are you waiting for? For many Americans, watching fountains of color make for unforgettable Independence Days. Remember trying to write your name with sparklers?
Many cities called off big fireworks displays in the past couple of summers, but will return to the dramatic spectacles this year. Get ready by brushing up on your trivia: For example, did you know that the types of big fireworks you’ll see each have names? Many of them are related to plants and flowers. You can impress your friends and family by learning some of the most popular: like Peony, Chrysanthemum, Willow, and Palm. There are more than a dozen different types to watch for at a big show.
Just remember: Your family pets may be frightened by all the noisy celebrations! Here are some tips to help them get through without issues.
Just like other public events, live concerts have taken a hit in the past years. Luckily, there’s likely to be a fun outdoor music experience near you to enjoy. Go ahead – dress up the family in red, white, and blue, and head out for some al fresco entertainment!
On the other hand, there are some great concerts you can enjoy at home! A Capital Fourth is presented on PBS, and is the perfect watch party! Dish up some home-grilled burgers, and tune in on Monday the 4th as Mickey Guyton leads an all-star cast in a patriotic evening of unrivaled musical performances. Top stars from pop, country, R&B, classical and Broadway will perform with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of premier pops conductor Jack Everly. Find it streaming live here – or on your local PBS station.
If your musical tastes run more towards the hammock-swinging rhythms, you’ll be glad to know that International Reggae Day will be celebrated all weekend! Did you know that reggae music was added to UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage List in 2018? Break out the easy relaxed sounds, and get ready for our next July 4th Weekend suggestion!
This perfect summer holiday is the time to break out those flip-flops, kick off your shoes, and get barefoot. We’d like to think that the most popular footwear for Independence Day is no footwear at all. Time to liberate your toes, and enjoy the warm days and nights!
While you’re enjoying what’s underfoot, it’s a good time to consider some floor upgrades. Check out a whole range of mosaic floor carpets for your home and outdoor spaces. We have something for any décor, including the charming ode to beach life and sandy feet above.
Flying The Flag
Flying the American flag is a wonderful way to celebrate Jefferson’s final version of The Declaration of Independence that was adopted by the Second Continental Congress. Following a decade of agitation over taxes and a year of war, representatives made the break with Britain on July 4th, 1776.
Remember – it’s not just a symbol – it’s an inspiration! Did you know that after a British bombardment, amateur poet Francis Scott Key was so inspired by the sight of the American flag still flying over Baltimore’s Fort McHenry that he wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” on Sept. 14, 1814? It officially became our national anthem in 1931. Later, In 1892, the flag inspired James B. Upham and Francis Bellamy to write The Pledge of Allegiance.
If you’re hankering to burn off some energy over the long holiday weekend, we have some great inspiration! July is a significant month for enjoying outdoor activities. How about Family Golf Month? Throughout July, PGA and LPGA professionals offer reduced or no-cost activities for golfers of all ages and skill levels.
Taking a camera and visiting the local wildlife is a great way to celebrate Wild About Wildlife Month. While you’re appreciating your animal neighbors, think about signing up for a local park clean-up, or uploading your sightings to iNaturalist. Get a particularly amazing photo? We can turn it into a piece of custom mosaic art!
And, if you’re just in the mood for a drive – you might consider celebrating National Independent Beer Run Day on July 3rd! It encourages Americans to support their local breweries by stocking up before Independence Day.
Grilled, chilled – on the cob, or in your spoon – this is the day to celebrate fresh fruits and veggies. We’re at the peak of berry harvests and fruit pies – not to mention the American Classic: Corn on the Cob! Ice cream calories don’t count when you’re also indulging in tangy blackberries, sweet strawberries, and succulent fresh veggies on a skewer.
Check out local farms for opportunities to pick your own produce this long holiday weekend. You might just find that there’s a new tradition being created! If your sweet tooth isn’t strong, consider more savory options for your bounty – like strawberry mango salsa.
Did we miss a favorite tradition of yours? Let us know in the comments! And, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter so that you never miss the latest news on the mosaic arts and related subjects.