There are plenty of ways to celebrate our nation’s independence on the 4th of July – here are 10 ideas:
1. Barbecue: A holiday isn’t complete without some amazing food, and the Fourth of July is for some great barbecue delights! Classic burgers, brats, hot dogs, ribs, steaks, chicken, ears of corn – and don’t forget watermelon, cold or grilled.
2. Dress Up: Dress for the day in red, white and blue and/or other patriotic symbols like the flag and Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam; wear flag-themed hats and star-shaped sunglasses. The more creative the better! Be a part of the trend and show your red, white and blue spirit!
3. Dessert: This holiday, just like any other holiday, has some perfect classical desserts that make everyone happy, like homemade apple or cherry pie topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Or, look online for red-white-and blue recipes for cakes, jello, ice creams, popsicles and more.
4. Honor Our Troops: We wouldn’t be a country if it weren’t for those brave men who fought for our freedom from Great Britain 243 years ago. We still have brave men and women who are serving our country. Stand when they march by in a parade; send out a tweet or a Facebook post to proclaim your support for those who protect our nation.
5. Fireworks: No Fourth of July is complete without some sort of firework celebration! You can watch a firework show at a local stadium after a baseball game or some local parks have their own shows. You can (depending on the laws in your state) buy and launch your own fireworks! You can also buy some sparklers and pop-rocks and celebrate that way. For a list of fireworks shows and times throughout the suburbs and in Chicago, see the list on WBBM Newsradio 780’s website.
6. Music: This Fourth of July celebrate by listening to the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America and Amazing Grace! Kick off your Fourth of July by listening to some country Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue by Toby Keith. If you prefer something more contemporary listen to Miley Cryus’ “Party in the USA” or Demi Lovato’s “Made in the USA.” There are a lot of playlists out there!
7. Movies: If you want to feel patriotic and to get in the real spirit of the holiday try watching a feel good American movie. One of my favorites to watch during this holiday is The Patriot. Some other movies to get you in the Fourth of July spirit include Independence Day, Air Force One and the Marvel favorite, Captain America. All are great movies filled with speeches on freedom and America’s kicking some bad guy butt!
8. The Flag: Display the American flag to show your pride in your country. It doesn’t have to be the biggest on on the block; any display shows your support for this nation.
9. Party: The Fourth of July is a celebration of camaraderie! A block party is big, friendly and be a way to meet your neighbors. Or have a pool party with friends, or meet up at the beach or lake.
10. Parade: Watching a parade or being part of one is a great way to celebrate this Fourth of July! Here’s a list of Chicago-area parades and their start times, from NBC Chicago:
Arlington Heights: Oakton at Dunton to Miner, 10 a.m.
Aurora: Benton and River Streets, 10 a.m.
Barrington: Barrington High School to train station, 10 a.m.
Beecher: Corner of Miller and Elliot, 4 p.m
Bensenville: Downtown Bensenville, 10 a.m.
Carol Stream: Corner of Lies Road and County Farm Road, 10 a.m.
Chicago: Independence Park, 10 a.m.
Darien: North on Cass Avenue to 71st Street, 9:30 a.m.
Deerfield: Deerfield High School to Park Avenue, Noon
Des Plaines: Main and Grant Streets, 12:45 p.m.
Elgin: Slade and Douglas Streets, 9 a.m.
Evanston: Central Street, 2 p.m.
Flossmoor: Ridge Road to Izaak Walton Preserve, 10 a.m.
Glencoe: Central School, 2 p.m.
Glen Ellyn: Ellyn Avenue, Noon
Glenview: Harlem Avenue and Glenview Road, 11:15 a.m.
Hawthorn Woods: Falkirk and Carlisle, 10 a.m.
Highland Park: Laurel and St. Johns Avenues, 10 a.m.
Hinsdale: Sixth and Garfield Streets, 10 a.m.
Hoffman Estates: Illinois Boulevard, 9 a.m.
Lisle: Travels through Downtown Lisle and ends at Museums of Station Park, 11 a.m.
Lincolnshire: Kings Cross Drive to Lincolnshire Drive, 11 a.m.
Lyons: 46th Street and Lawndale Avenue, 1 p.m.
Mount Prospect: Corner of Emerson Street and Prospect Avenue, 1 p.m.
Morris: Behind junior high school, 2 p.m.
Morton Grove: Dempster and Central, 2:30 p.m.
Niles: Notre Dame College Prep to Grennan Heights Park, 9 a.m.
Northbrook: Cherry Lane and Western Avenue, 2:30 p.m.
Oak Lawn: 95th and 51st Avenue, 10 a.m.
Oak Park: Longfellow Park, 10 a.m.
Palos Hills: Harlem Avenue to 119th Street, Noon
Park Forest: Corner of Main Street and Orchard Drive, 6 p.m.
Skokie: Oakton Community College to Oakton Park, Noon
South Elgin: Wedgewood Dr. to LaFox, 10 a.m.
Vernon Hills: Corner of Deerpath and Atrium Drive, 9 a.m.
Wheaton: Liberty Drive to Main Street, 10 a.m.
Winnetka: Elm Street and Glendale Avenue, 10 a.m.
Yorkville: Yorkville High School to Church Street, 9 a.m.