More Than Fireworks and Hotdogs


This Independence Day, let’s do more than wilt on the curb while people throw candy at us. A few ideas?
Buy a packet of sparklers, set your camera’s shutter speed to turtle-esque and write gorgeous, sparkly messages in the air. Here’s how.Bake the ubiquitous flag cake. Eat it with your hands and several of your closest friends.

Rock red, white and blue underthings.

Put on your bikini and run through the sprinkler. Bonus points for setting up a Slip n’ Slide.

Make an Independence Day play list. Mine would include Ryan Adams’ New York, New York, Steve Earl’s City of Immigrants, Ani DiFranco’s Independence Day, and inexplicably, Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer.

Read about America’s Five Most Badass Presidents of All-Time (Andrew Jackson almost beat a would-be asassin to death with his cane?!)

Try these patriotic cocktails.

Take this quiz to determine how independent you are.

Dig out last year’s Halloween costume, buy a bucket full o’ candy and join the nearest parade.

Make a list of things you love about your country – America or otherwise. I love this list.

Rewatch Team America. Talk like MATT DAMON.

Jump off a rope swing into a swimming hole.

Put new things on the grill – peaches! pineapple! beets!

Kiss someone under fireworks.

Thus far, my plans for the long weekend involve a haircut, painting my living room the color of mermaid, vintage aprons, sweet corn ice cream, maybe an Elvis Costello concert (or maybe White Snake) new and old friends. What about you?



Excellent ideas, all. But the 4th just isn't the 4th without a barbecue of some sort. Just like our founding fathers used to celebrate.


I am kind of a hideous traditionalist myself, actually. The country club where I work always throws their party on the 3rd, so after feeding 500 people, all the staff gets to watch the fireworks along with the partygoers. Then my family always goes over to the country club that my Dad's friend manages, and participates in their party. I always rock something un-ironically tacky.

This year I am definitely looking forward to kissing the mister under the fireworks, as I have been apart from my misters for the past few July 4ths.


My future in-laws are visitng, and we can legally shoot off fireworks in our yard (yeehaw Tennessee), so I think we'll likely get drunk and try not to burn our hands off. Or at least my fiance and I will while the adults chat. I forgot about sparklers though!


Great suggestions, lady! I'll be stimulating the economy at the flea market, myself. What could be more American?


I will be watching the fireworks on a sailboat in the middle of Resurrection Bay here in Alaska. The extra twist…it really doesn't get dark so the explosions go off at midnight when it is a tad dusky out. Fireworks really aren't the same in the low light of the midnight sun….


I want to do the beets on the grill and the sparkler photos. Also, I love you for just suggesting that we talk like MATT DAMON. Seriously. Amazing.


I love Independence Day!!! I miss it so much!Our military base puts on a pretty decent show, and they invite all the local Brits to join the party, which is, well, hysterical…
"Hey everybody, come and celebrate the fact that we kicked you off our continent!"
…but it's not the same when you are an ocean away. This year we went to Bruges for the long holiday weekend and missed the fireworks all together…although we did have a picnic in a park that consisted of French wine and Belgium truffles, so can't complain too much.
Anyway, these are some GREAT ideas, and I can't wait to put them to good use next year!


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