Independence Day has commemorated the signing of the Declaration of Independence for over two centuries. Since July 4, 1776, a date etched into every American’s bank of knowledge, celebrations have come a long way from a group of five rather stoic men passing a quill around the table.
The holiday falls in the midst of summer vacations and is typically celebrated outdoors. Festive parades, firework extravaganzas, backyard barbecues, outdoor concerts and long anticipated family reunions are all popular Fourth of July events.
Today’s celebrants bask in the cool comfort of shorts and barely-there swimwear. When you consider how our founding fathers were dressed, be grateful stifling waistcoats, breeches with stockings, and funky powdered wigs have never revisited fashion runways.
The fare served at Fourth of July celebrations has also improved. Wild game and boiled spuds no longer grace picnic menus. Today’s grilled fowl is laden in flavorful barbecue sauces. Exotically trimmed cheeseburgers and hot dogs have joined the ranks, along with salads and accompaniments whose recipes are snatched from gourmet websites.
Independence Day immediately conjures images of colorful fireworks. Firing pyrotechnics into the sky seem far more family friendly than firing explosives at the British. Today, firework displays are choreographed to music. Despite the fact that every firework show resembles the next, people still gather, year after year, heads craned skyward. Redundancy aside, the spectacle is a time-honored tradition to which we cling.
The red, white and blue colors of Old Glory abound, from table settings to berry-covered desserts to the clothing worn by people and their pets. The star spangled banner proudly waves in every direction.
Wherever your plans to celebrate Independence Day take you, have fun as you show appreciation for the freedoms paved from that historical signing. The powdered wig is optional.