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7 Ways to Make Your July 4th Memorable

Jun 21, 2012 09:15AM ● By Erin Frisch

4th of July Fireworks

As we make our way into July, our nation is getting ready to celebrate its 236th birthday. Independence Day is an important day in the history of the United States, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. It is a day filled with traditions that bring us together in patriotism and pride. Why not start a few traditions of your own? Make the Fourth of July extra-special with these ideas.

1. Make it a beach day. Since 1938, this day has been an official paid holiday for most companies. Seeing as it falls smack-dab in the middle of summer, it is the perfect opportunity to soak up some sun and go swimming with family and friends. Pack a cooler with snacks and drinks. Bring a Frisbee or football, or a net and ball for beach volleyball, and have fun playing in the sun and enjoying good company.

2. Attend a parade. Round up your friends and family, and head to one of the many parades in your area. Hanover holds a parade in the morning, starting near Dartmouth Green. Grantham has a parade followed by a day of fun family activities including games, bounce houses, face painting, exhibits, pony rides, and more!

3. Fire up the grill. Barbecues are a traditional part of Fourth of July celebrations and a great way to spend time with your favorite people. Make your event memorable by decorating your deck, yard, or house in a patriotic red, white, and blue theme. Hang your flag, put up some streamers, and include your plates and napkins in the theme. Provide the usual fare (burgers, hot dogs, and corn on the cob), and top it off with a themed dessert, such as white pound cake with blueberries and bright-red strawberries or Jell-O cut into star shapes.

4. Put your picnic on wheels. If you’re traveling to a destination for Fourth of July activities and fireworks, get everyone together and take the party along. Load up a wagon or rolling cooler with drinks, watermelon, granola bars, fruits and veggies, and sandwiches. Then stake out your spot in the grass and chill while you wait for the festivities to begin. Don’t forget the insect repellent and sunscreen!

5. If it’s rainy, hit the mall! Because they’re enjoying time outside, most people don’t realize that retailers offer major sales on the Fourth of July. Spending time with friends and family is important, but if the weather doesn’t cooperate, take advantage of the bargains. Most sales are focused on summer, and there are plenty of warm days ahead to enjoy your finds. Look for bargains on patio furniture and grills (Home Depot, Sears), home decor (Crate and Barrel), swimsuits, dresses, and sandals (Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Gap), and camping and outdoor gear (REI, EMS).

6. Take a mini vacation. Since the Fourth of July is a paid holiday for many companies, it’s the perfect time to take a couple of extra days and make it a long weekend. Travel experts note that travelers can find deeply discounted, last-minute deals on airlines, hotel chains, and packages. Check,, and for great deals, whether you plan to travel far or near.

7. Fireworks! Fireworks shows are the traditional culmination of any Fourth of July celebration. Attend a local display—find one near you here (and be sure to check back for updates as the holiday gets closer). If you can’t travel to a local show, you can always tune into the annual Boston Pops performance and fireworks show on the Charles River Esplanade. It’s a one-hour special broadcast nationally on CBS.

Happy birthday, America!!

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