Make it a July 4th to Remember

Independence Day 2020 is almost here. And this year, that old Liberty Bell may have a slightly different ring to it.

But the Fourth of July show must go on! In spite of evolving guidelines and social distancing, we can still celebrate. It might not be the same. But it can still be a bang-up occasion.

Here are some easy ideas to set you up for a memorable 4th with all the fixin’s. You may already have some of what you need around the house, but if you need anything, we’re here for you, with delivery, curbside pickup or in-store shopping. Let’s get started!

Have a parade.

Organize your own! It could be family members only, or get the neighbors involved.

  • Have everyone decorate bikes, trikes, strollers and other wheeled conveyances. You can use everything from red, white and blue crepe paper, ribbons and streamers to balloons and flags.
  • Dress up for the occasion. Don an Uncle Sam hat or a Lady Liberty crown. Dress like Betsy Ross. Decorate your dog. Do it up!
  • Parade through the neighborhood while staying at least six feet apart. If you choose to wear a facemask, make it a red, white and blue one.
  • Carry signs of encouragement for local first responders and other front-line workers. Example: “Hooray for the Red, White and YOU!”

Keep it crafty with tie-dye.

Tie-dye is definitely back in style (did it ever go out?). It’s a great activity for the whole family, as everyone’s creation will be unique.

  • Avoid harsh chemicals by making your own natural dyes using vegetables, spices and flowers: use beets for red and blueberries or black beans for blue.
  • You’ll also need salt, vinegar and rubber bands to create the tie-dye patterns.
  • Dye July 4th t-shirts, tea towels, napkins, headbands or face scarves. You can find lots of helpful how-to guides online.

A taste of tradition.

Mmm, don’t you just love the smell of grilled foods wafting through the air on the 4th of July? This year might be a good one for going traditional all-American fare with a menu poised to please.

  • Serve burgers and hot dogs, baked beans and potato salad. For dessert, make a red velvet cake frosted in fluffy white icing and scattered with red, white and blue sprinkles. Or a strawberry shortcake, and red, white and blue freeze pops. Use July 4th-themed party to set the mood.
  • Jazz things up by using a cookie-cutter to make watermelon stars that can float in cold drinks. Pop blueberries and raspberries into white wine for a star-spangled sangria. Keep cans of soda, water, beer or other drinks cold in an ice-filled cooler.
  • Serve a special drink for the kids. Use equal portions of blue-colored fruit drink and lemon-lime soda, pour over ice and float a red Swedish fish candy or two on top.

Whether it’s just your family, or you’ve invited a few guests for a socially distant celebration, a traditional menu like this is easy and enjoyable.

The rocket’s red glare.

It’s easy to light up your own back yard!

  • After dark, switch on some white twinkle lights or set out some candles and lanterns.
  • Make fun confetti launchers by cutting a balloon in half crosswise and knotting the end. Cut the bottom out of a paper or plastic cup (red, white and blue, of course) or use decorated toilet paper tubes. Stretch the balloon taut across the opening and tape it with sturdy tape. Fill the tube with confetti. Have the kids pull the knotted balloon end down as tight as they can and then let go. Pop! The confetti will fly!
  • Don’t forget the sparklers. To keep little hands safe, stick the end of the sparkler through the bottom of a disposable plastic cup. Children can then place their hand inside the cup to hold the sparkler safely.
  • Blast some patriotic John Philip Sousa tunes and proclaim “Let freedom ring!” as you raise a glass.