Family Traditions for the 4th of July

One of America’s most popular holidays, Independence Day is a time to commemorate one’s patriotism with fervor! Marking the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Fourth of July has been celebrated since 1776. People throughout the United States spend this day barbecuing, partying, hosting parades, and playing themed games, amongst other fun activities. While every state, town and family may have its own unique style of celebration, there are certain traditions that every American loves to follow on this momentous day.

Hoisting the Flag
Hoisting the Flag

Here are some of the most popular Fourth of July traditions in America.

Patriotic displays

Even before the day rolls around, families like to prepare for the holiday by creating patriotic displays in red, white and blue. You can find houses decorated with patriotic streamers and Independence Day crafts like pinwheels, wreaths and fireworks. On the morning of July 4th, it is common to see the American flag displayed in many houses; some families even begin the day by symbolically hoisting the flag.

Watching parades

Many cities organize parades to mark the Fourth of July. In some locations, the parade is a grand affair with bands, military units and floats. In other places, the parade is full of local flavor with school bands, girl scouts and, in some cases, even horse drawn carts! For families all over America, watching the Independence Day parade is a classic tradition that kicks off the Independence Day celebrations. People who cannot watch the parade live often try to catch it on TV.

Watching Parades
Watching Parades


Another fun way to spend the 4th of July is to visit any local carnivals your town might be having. These events usually have fun rides, live music, cool performances and exciting competitions for everyone in the family to enjoy. Of course, there are plenty of delicious dishes and refreshing drinks as well.

Outdoor parties

Whether it’s just you and your family taking a picnic to a nearby park, or a large-scale block party with neighbors you have yet to meet, outdoor gatherings are a popular family activity for Independence Day. It is common to see holiday-themed food and décor, festive outfits, and 4th of July staples like barbecue, ice cream and summer fruits such as watermelon. The pleasant weather, good company, outdoor games and great food make this an enjoyable way to spend the national holiday.


Barbecues being nearly as American as apple pie, many families find that it’s the perfect way to celebrate their nation’s great heritage. It is common for reunions to be organized around a 4th of July barbecue — with tasty, grilled food and the people you love, you’ll be feeling full and warm this holiday!


Fourth of July Fireworks

No matter how the Independence Day celebrations begin, they invariably all end the same way – with fireworks. Kids (and many adults) enjoy setting off fireworks in a nearby field as the most renowned 4th of July tradition. Sparklers, sparkling fountains, snakes, glow worms and snappers are relatively safe for younger kids, but extreme caution is advised when setting off torpedoes, firecrackers, sky rockets and bombs. Some states have even made the use of these fireworks illegal. A much safer and arguably more relaxing way to spend the evening is by watching the public fireworks displays. Grab a picnic blanket and head over to the nearest park, beach, or other venue to witness a magical, patriotic fireworks show.

Aside from these popular traditions, there are many other ways to make this occasion special and fun for the whole family. Whether it’s by going out for some ice cream, watching a movie at the theater, or catching a Major League game at the stadium, these Independence Day activities serve to bring the family together to celebrate the great history and liberation of the nation they call their own.

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