We put together 4 options for having an amazing 4th of July. We understand that this will probably be an Independence Day unlike any we have experienced but it can still be awesome.
HOW TO THROW A 4TH OF JULY PARTY
The best Independence Day parties have tons of people, but this year may be a little different due to social distancing. This doesn't mean you can't have a party. Back yard barbecues are perfect for social distancing, fresh air and games. Everyone's favorite thing about Independence Day parties is obviously the food, so you'll want to make sure you have enough and that the food is yummy. If you don't want to spend the whole day cooking, consider turning the party into a potluck and asking the attendees to bring a dish. It might be best to assign the dishes so that you don't end up with 40 watermelons, unless you really like watermelons. The food doesn't have to be fancy but brownie points if it's themed red, white, and blue! After all, who doesn't love a delicious neon blue cupcake?
Another important part of any good Independence Day party is the drinks. The first thing you need to determine is whether or not your party will be BYOB. If people will be bringing their own alcohol, it's always a good idea to have non-alcoholic options like soda and juice for people that would rather not drink. If kids are on the list, be sure to have some kid-friendly options as well. Another thing you should have on hand if kids are attending is entertainment. It can come in the form of cornhole, horseshoes, water balloons, frisbee, or whatever else you think kids like to do. If it's just adults coming, alcohol will probably be the only entertainment needed because one of the most important part of the Independence Day party is the best kind of entertainment: the explosives! Make sure to stock up on lots of fireworks with a good variety. Follow your local laws, of course, but if they allow aerials be sure to get some of those because they are fun. It's also enjoyable to get stuff like sparklers and snappers for a more interactive fireworks experience.
4TH OF JULY JELL-O SHOTS
Can you think of a better way to celebrate being an American than by enjoying colored JELLO-O shots? We can't, which is why we're sharing this awesome recipe with you all! These JELL-O Shots are layered with red, white, and blue coloring, making them perfect for any patriotic holiday. Best of all, they're easy to make! We got this recipe from Princess Pinky Girl and can't shout its praises enough. You'll need 3 cups of vodka, 3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin, 3 cups of boiling water, 1 box of blue JELL-O, 1 box red JELL-O, and a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk. The directions for all of the layers are pretty much the same and you can layer them any way you want. I do recommend putting the white layer in the middle, however. Because of the sweetened condensed milk, this layer is opaque and provides more color definition between the red and blue layers.
To make each layer, you'll start with one cup of vodka. Sprinkle one envelope of unflavored gelatin on top and let it rest for two minutes. Add the JELL-O and one cup of boiling water and mix until everything is dissolved. Cool for 5 minutes and pour into a shot glass, filling it 1/3 of the way. Chill for one hour before putting in the next layer. For the white layer, you won't add JELL-O when mixing in the boiling water. Start by adding the gelatin to the vodka and then add the boiling water, but as soon as those ingredients are all well mixed, add the sweetened condensed milk and stir extremely well. You can serve these shots as-is or you can put some whipped cream on top and add sprinkles, pop-rocks, crushed hard candies, hot tamales, or whatever else you can think of.
HOW TO NOT BURN UP YOUR NEIGHBORS YARD - FIREWORK SAFETY
Fireworks are arguably the best way to celebrate the 4th of July, but they're also by far the most dangerous. According to the National Safety Council, an average of 10,000 people each year are treated for fireworks injuries. This doesn't mean that you can't use fireworks on Independence Day at all, just be smart about it and prepare well! Also, make sure to test safety equipment beforehand to ensure it's working. Several years ago, our marketing director and his friends were celebrating July 4th by lighting off fireworks and an aerial tipped over and shot into their neighbor's yard, starting it on fire. People ran to grab fire extinguishers but they were old and didn't work. Luckily, the fire was small enough that they were able to put it out with rakes and shovels.
This story got us thinking and we decided it would be good to quickly share how to put out a fire from fireworks in case this happens to any of you this summer. The very best way to put out a fire is to prevent one from happening in the first place. Make sure you have several buckets of water handy and when a firework is used, let it sit for 30 minutes and then soak it in water overnight. If a fire did occur, it would be easy to grab those handy buckets of water and immediately put it out. If you want to be extra prepared, you could make sure you have some fire extinguishers, a hose, or even some sand. Most people tend to panic in an emergency situation and having what you need right at hand saves you time and helps you react more quickly. As long as you're prepared you'll be sure to have the best time ever celebrating our liberty in our unique American way.
GET AWAY FROM IT ALL
For those who love the outdoors, spending Independence Day getting away from everyday life is the perfect way to celebrate. You don't need a huge neighborhood get together or pool party or anything of the like because you just need something that makes you feel relaxed. We all know that the United States is gorgeous and has so much natural diversity. One of the best ways to celebrate its independence is to enjoy its unique beauty. You can backpack into the mountains and set up camp for a couple of days, go on a long mountain bike ride, take your family to a national park, or even go rock climbing. Just be aware of local laws regarding fireworks. National parks don't allow fireworks and in most cases, you can't even have them in your possession.
If you just can't miss those fireworks, consider hiking to the top of a mountain overlooking a valley to get a spectacular view. I did this one year with my boyfriend and it was unreal. We could see fireworks all over the valley exploding beneath us which is an experience I highly recommend people do at least once in their lives. With this activity, you'll still be in nature and enjoying the outdoors while also seeing what makes Independence Day so fun. If you're traveling with kids, it might be fun to rent an RV and drive somewhere new. Road trips are an iconic American pastime and one of the many perfect ways to celebrate the 4th of July. Independence Day was created to celebrate the freedom of this country, and is there a more appropriate way to spend it than to enjoy the day seeing it's gorgeous natural beauty? I don't think so. However you choose to celebrate the 4th of July, spending it away from everyday life is a choice that you won't ever regret.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anne is the Marketing Outreach Coordinator at 3V Gear and ardently loves dogs of all kinds (except Chihuahua's). If she isn't at work you can find her at school or reading the latest political thriller. She loves traveling and experiencing new adventures with her husband and has a goal to visit all seven continents. Anne is currently studying International Affairs and Global Studies at Brigham Young University.