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How to Celebrate July 4th: United States Independence Day

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Flying of the U.S. Flag

Flying of the U.S. Flag

The 4th of July Is America's Birthday!

On July 4th 1776, what was then merely thirteen colonies (but would later become the United States of America as we know it today) asserted their will and determination to be separated from Great Britain. The historic Declaration of Independence was formally adopted on that day.

Today, we celebrate independence day annually on July 4th. Everyone celebrates in their own way, but I've described some of the most popular 4th of July activities below.

How Do Americans Celebrate Independence Day?

  1. Flying the U.S. Flag
  2. Picnics
  3. Outdoor Games
  4. Parades
  5. Fireworks

Independence Day Background and History

Notable acts of defiance such as the Boston Tea Party preceded what is now commonly called Independence Day. The colonists did not wish to be taxed by the "mother country" of Britain without having representation in parliament.

Most of the people crossing the Atlantic left their homes seeking a better life with more freedom. Many knew that it was a one-way journey, and most of the early colonists knew that they would never see their home countries again.

They were a spunky and brave lot, and it is somewhat understandable that they wished to make their laws of government and set about determining their fate after the trials and tribulations that made them want to cross the Atlantic in the first place.

Today, centuries later, we people who call the United States our home celebrate Independence Day with zest and enthusiasm which would undoubtedly have gladdened those drafters of the Declaration of Independence and made them proud.

Waving U.S. flags

Waving U.S. flags

1. Flying the Flag

These symbols of our country are seen in abundance on the Fourth of July.

U.S. flags are attached to houses, are flown on flagpoles, are attached to trees such as in the first photo, and smaller versions are stuck into the ground or in flower pots as people wish to show their patriotism on that particular day.

Many government buildings, as well as businesses and private individuals, fly the U.S. flag year round.

Flags are also handheld and waved in the many parades that take place on this memorable day.

Politicians often wear U.S. flag pins on their lapels almost year round now. Pins representing the U.S. flag are also worn as adornments on clothing by others, especially on Independence Day.

Read More From Holidappy

Speaking of clothing lots of red, white and blue in all patterns including those symbolizing the flag are worn by many people on the 4th of July.

Evolution of The U.S. Flag

June 14, 1777, was the first official U.S. Flag and changes have been made over the years concerning how many stars are on it, each one representing a State of our Union. From 13 stars representing the 13 colonies to now, the flag has been altered twenty-six times to our current total of 50 states being represented.

The 50 five-pointed white stars are on a bed of blue in the upper left-hand corner of the flag with the top red horizontal stripe alternating with the white lines and ending in the red.

The seven red and six white stripes have remained the same throughout all of this time, and the stripes represent the original thirteen colonies of the New World.



2. Picnics

Since the 4th of July happens to be in the summertime, often the first thing that people wish to do to celebrate this special day is to plan a picnic with family members and friends.

When I was growing up in the 1950s, we often had relatives join our family for outside picnics. My dad was generally in charge of the grilling of hotdogs, bratwurst, and hamburgers.

My mother and grandmother would have made and served the other picnic fare such as homemade potato salad, their home canned pickles and pickled peaches, fresh corn on the cob and other goodies. Of course, there were the buns, ketchup, mustard, and other typical accompaniments.

Some of the relatives would also add to the assortment of food served on that day.

Old family photo of some of our relatives getting ready to enjoy a picnic outdoors.

Old family photo of some of our relatives getting ready to enjoy a picnic outdoors.

Generally, we ended our feast with cutting into giant watermelons. After everyone had a piece, we kids enjoyed a game of seeing who could spit the watermelon seeds the furthest. Ha!

We lived in the country on large lots so the seeds would naturally compost. The lawns were thick enough that they never got a chance to sprout and grow.

There was plenty of garden space for that. My grandfather had several huge gardens, and we ate year round from his gardening efforts and the canning and preserving of food that my mother and grandmother did. Together they most often worked together on those projects while visiting and keeping each other company.

We benefited from their seasonal efforts year round.

Playing Croquet

Playing Croquet

3. Outdoor Games

Since the 4th of July was a reason for the gathering together of our extended family members as it is for many people, we would often play some outdoor games such as badminton, crochet and even some baseball in the mowed field adjacent to our home.

There was lots of laughter, visiting with one another and some cheering when one team would be declared a winner.

I am sure that many other types of games are played outdoors on the 4th of July. The weather makes it pleasant for the playing of tennis, golf, and even water sports.

For people living near the coast, beaches are a big lure for partying on Independence Day as well as other days of the year. Every family undoubtedly has its traditions and favorite ways to spend the day.

Playing at the beach

Playing at the beach

4. 4th of July Parades

What would the day be without a celebratory parade?

In towns and cities all across our fair land, there are parades with marching bands and participants dressed in colorful costumes on foot or floats or vehicles of every sort imaginable.

From fire trucks to tractors, vintage cars to wagons, bicycles to horses, this is a day in which people line up along the parade routes ahead of time to set up their lawn chairs and enjoy the drama that is about to unfold before their eyes and ears.

Smiles adorn faces and photos which are taken freeze that moment in time for later viewing and enjoyment.

5. Fireworks

And then there are the fireworks!

Whatever traditions and festivities are enjoyed during the day, the nights would not be complete without the bombastic fireworks displays presented in places all across the United States of America on this celebratory day.

While other countries also use fireworks to celebrate and bring in the New Year as well as other notable events each year, we get a presentation of fireworks displays mid-year on America's birthday in towns and cities all across our country.

The selling of firecrackers is big business. Some places like the Walt Disney resorts, showcase pyrotechnic events each night. But for most of us who live in the U.S., the 4th of July and New Year's Eve are the most significant nights to watch and enjoy fireworks.

As a child, I have fond memories of waving some lit sparklers in the night air. The effects reminded me of the fireflies that would also light up the night air with their transient lights. The sparklers, of course, were more intense but also lasted a brief time.

Fireworks set off over the lakes of Wisconsin with their reflections sparkling in the darkened waters below are a special memory of mine.

Of course, no matter where the skies are lit up by wonderful displays of firecrackers with patriotic music being played as is common in larger city displays it is a sight to behold and an experience to be remembered.

Celebrating the 4th of July

For people unfamiliar with how people in the United States celebrate Independence Day, you now have some idea. Of course, in addition to the traditional parades, picnics, and fireworks displays, there are the many patriotic songs that are heard.

If you celebrate the 4th of July, aka Independence Day in America, and I have not mentioned your particular custom, please mention it in the comment section below.

The cute Shih Tzu dogs below belong to my first cousin and his wife. She grooms and shows her dogs, and they have won many awards. Aren't they cute?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 09, 2018:

Hi Patricia,

It sounds like you had lots of fun with this holiday when you were young and surrounded by your cousins. Nice to be able to look back at those times of days gone by. Although we do have neighbors setting off fireworks in our subdivision which is outside of the city limits (no fireworks except for city sanctioned ones are allowed inside the city limits) generally we view them on television these days.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 09, 2018:

You covered this amazing holiday and all that it encompasses so well, Peggy. It is a holiday that we celebrated in a special way every year when I was growing up in Virginia. Usually cousins from New Jersey and Richmond came for several weeks each summer and they helped us celebrate too. I still love love the fireworks. Hoping all is good with you and your hubby. Angels are on the way to you this morning s

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 13, 2017:

Hi Rajan,

Nice to know that while different, we also share commonalities with respect to celebrations in countries wide spread all across our planet. Except for many flags adorning our homes during the 4th of July, it is during the Christmas season that numerous homes are festively lighted and people make night drives to see them. That is fun. Some neighborhoods really excel in having most of the home owners participate in outdoor lighting exhibits. People drive from distant points just to get to see those neighborhoods.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 12, 2017:

I can relate to so many common things that we do as well. I can remember children & adults would load into trucks and enjoy a long long ride at night to feast on the brilliant lighted homes, buildings, markets and the festive atmosphere on the streets. It was a memorable time.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 02, 2016:

Hi Robert,

Glad you enjoyed this hub. We fly our flag all of the time not just on special occasions.

Robert Sacchi on June 01, 2016:

Fun article. Ironic you have a picture of the RAF demonstration team, The Red Arrows.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 12, 2015:

Hi poetryman6969,

You are not alone in your thinking! Ha!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 12, 2015:

Hi Au fait,

Amazing but true that this next Independence Day celebration is right around the corner. It is hot, hot, hot! in Houston also with the humidity factored in to the equation. Have some shrubbery to trim outside but just not in the mood. Someday! :) Thanks for the share.

poetryman6969 on June 11, 2015:

Nothing says freedom like burned meat! I love a good, colorful air show as well.

C E Clark from North Texas on June 10, 2015:

It won't be long before the 4th of July will be here again. Thought I would share this so that people could incorporate some of the great ideas you have here into their celebrations. Who doesn't love a cookout or a parade, or both? And who would want to miss the fireworks?

These ideas might be especially helpful to new Americans who have only recently been naturalized or who have recently arrived and are in the process of becoming citizens.

An excellent article and as I said, will share with followers.

Too hot to think up here Peggy. 99 degrees here right now.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 10, 2015:

Hi louise-barraco,

Well here is to your bombastic celebrations on your own birthday up in Canada as well as the timing of the birth of our country in the U.S. :))

Louise Barraco from Ontario on May 10, 2015:

I am Canadian but am born on Independence Day so I celebrate just like you with family ,friends,food,cake and fireworks it's the Fourth of July after all you always need fireworks

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 04, 2014:

Hi Peg,

Glad you liked some of the patriotic songs in this post and that old family photo that I had taken when I was probably 10 or 11 years old with my Brownie camera. Happy July 4th! :)

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on July 04, 2014:

What a gorgeous collection of patriotic photos and videos to display on this 4th of July. I loved the old picnic photo of you and your family. Boy, that brings back some great times from the past.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 04, 2014:

Hi Jackie,

Happy Independence Day to you also. I agree that we should be very grateful to be able to live here with the freedoms that we enjoy. :)

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on July 04, 2014:

Great tribute and fun photos. The 4th is one day we should be so thankful for and hope we can celebrate many more! ^

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 04, 2014:

Hi Faith,

So glad you enjoyed what was written as well as the photos. Thanks for the shares and Happy 4th of July to you!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on July 04, 2014:

Awesome and beautiful hub, Peggy! What a most wonderful tribute here. I really love all of your great photos and music choices, especially your old family photo and that one of the Shih Tzu.

This should be HOTD! Voted UP ++++ and sharing everywhere

Happy Fourth!!!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 03, 2014:

Hi Rebecca,

That old family photo goes back to the 1950s! Glad you liked it. Happy 4th of July tomorrow! :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 03, 2014:

Hi ChitrangadaSharan,

Very happy that you liked this and can now understand better what your son will be experiencing while in the U.S. on that celebratory day. Thanks for the share and tweet. :)

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on July 03, 2014:

Lovely, patriotic hub. It is a good read for today and tomorrow reminding us of our brave roots. Love that old photo of your family picnic!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 03, 2014:

Thank you for sharing such an amazing and informative hub!

My son lives in USA and thus I have some idea of the celebrations of the US Independence day.

Happy Independence Day to you and I really enjoyed going through this hub.

Voted up and shared on HP and Twitter!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 02, 2014:

Hello AKChenoweth2014,

Wishing you a very happy 4th of July and Independence Day also! Enjoy! Glad you got some ideas from reading this hub. :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 01, 2014:

Hello starstream,

Our freedoms truly are priceless and hopefully we will enjoy them in the centuries to come. Happy 4th of July!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 01, 2014:

Hi Stephanie,

So glad that you have similar memories of celebrating the 4th of July. I have not played croquet in some time now but it would still be fun. Have you? Thanks for the votes and the share.

Dreamer at heart from Northern California on July 01, 2014:

This is a fine article giving many traditional and fun ways that we celebrate the 4th of July in the United States. It brings back many memories of the gala events I attended over the years. Thanks for sharing. Our freedom is priceless!

Stephanie Henkel from USA on July 01, 2014:

Your personal anecdotes add so much to your hubs! When I read the description of a typical Fourth of July family celebration, I could only nod my head...yes, we had hamburgers, corn on the cob, watermelon and homemade pickles; watched the parade in the morning, stayed up late to see the fireworks at night. We even played croquet on the front lawn! Thanks for an informative hub and a great trip down memory lane! Voted up and shared!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 22, 2014:

Hi Au fait,

Appreciate the sharing of this and the pin. Our country's Independence Day is not far off now! The 4th of July is fast approaching! Hope you will be celebrating it in style! ☺

C E Clark from North Texas on June 21, 2014:

This is another of my favorite hubs that you've written because it is packed full of interesting information and ideas for celebrating the 4th of July, with recipes, and great photos. This hub was the first on my "Celebrations & Holidays" board. This time I'm Going to pin it to Awesome HubPages and share it again, because I have a lot of new followers since last year and the 4th isn't very far off anymore. Everyone can find something useful in this hub, it's so full of ideas!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 28, 2014:

Hi The Dirt Farmer,

In addition to crochet, we also pitched horseshoes and occasionally also played badminton. Those are fun memories. Glad they brought back similar ones for you. ☺

Jill Spencer from United States on April 26, 2014:

Your mention of croquet brought back memories of 4th of July picnics with croquet and pitching horseshoes after dessert. Enjoyed the hub very much.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 12, 2013:

Hi texassizestoryteller,

You must mean that you found my name on that site which is PeggyWds. This is the only place that this hub is published. I did leave a link to HubPages on my profile page there. Thanks for checking my HP articles and glad that you liked this. Will check out your posts when Bubblews is up and operational again. They are down for service right now with their upgrades to the site.

texasizestoryteller on August 11, 2013:

I just found your post here on bubblews.You are awesome.This post was amazing! I can tell you put a lot of effort into it.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 16, 2013:

Hi Rebecca,

That would be fun to see the red, white and blue jet trails. Hope your July 4th celebration was a good one! :))

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on July 15, 2013:

Great Hub! I love July 4th. Your ideas and photos are awesome. I have been to several air shows with the fighter jets over the years, but never saw the red, white and blue jet trails. How cool!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 07, 2013:

Hi Vinaya,

Thanks for your comment. I think it is natural for people to yearn to be free no matter where they live in the world. Thanks for describing what it is like in your country.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on July 06, 2013:

Peggy, Nepalese freed themselves from autocrats in 1950, However ten years later democracy was hijacked by the king. Democracy came to Nepal second time in 1990. However because of armed insurgency and king's autocracy, democracy was just a definition to us. Our country was announced a republic in 2008. I'm telling you this because I want you to tell, the movement of freedom started by United States in 1776 had a lasting effect around the world.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 04, 2013:

Hi Suzanne,

Hope you are having a very happy 4th of July today. Thanks for the FB share.

justmesuzanne from Texas on July 04, 2013:

Shared on Facebook just for today!

Happy 4th!


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 01, 2013:

Hi Vinaya,

Nice that your country has that history. What date is your Democracy Day? Do you celebrate it in much the same way as we do? Thanks for your comment and 4th of July wishes.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on June 30, 2013:


We were always a free country, so we don't have Independence day. However, we do have Democracy Day,which we celebrate with much fanfare.

I enjoyed reading this interesting hub.

Happy Fourth of July!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 30, 2013:

Hi Suzanne,

We also stay put on the 4th of July to try and keep our pets from being so frightened. We have people in our own subdivision that shoot off many firecrackers and even some fireworks that light up the sky. Rather scary as we still have dead trees standing across a road just about a block from our house due to the last few years of drought. We watch great fireworks displays on television from around the country combined with concerts. Thanks for the votes and shares.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 30, 2013:

Hi moonlake,

That must have been a thrill to see the Blue Angels performing their aerial maneuvers in person. Thanks for the pin and may you enjoy our upcoming Independence Day.

justmesuzanne from Texas on June 29, 2013:

I am able to see a few good fireworks displays at a distance from my location, and that's about all I do for the 4th. I'm just not a crowd kind of person, and I like to make sure my pets are home safe on the 4th. Great and complete info as always, and I am especially glad of the instructions on how to fold and handle the flag properly. That is a skill that is very lacking in the US today! Voted up, useful, tweeted and shared! :)

moonlake from America on June 22, 2013:

Pinned this to my military board. The planes remind me of when we saw the Blue Angels years ago in California.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 19, 2013:

Hi Au fait,

I remember all of our huge family gatherings when I was a child. That was a fun time! :)) Hope your upcoming holiday will be a fun filled one. Thanks for your comment, pin and the share.

C E Clark from North Texas on June 19, 2013:

This is another of my favorite hubs that you've written because it is packed full of interesting information and ideas for celebrating the 4th of July, recipes, and great photos. You will be the first on my "Celebrations & Holidays" board. Going to share this here with my followers too because the 4th isn't very far off anymore. Everyone can find something useful in this hub, it's so full of ideas etc.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 23, 2013:

Hi pstraubie48,

You are so right in that we are blessed to be living in this country thanks to your dad and others like him who served our country well. Thanks for your comment and the share plus the good thoughts of angels being sent this direction. Every time I see your lovely comments, my thoughts and best wishes are always sent back your way. :))

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on May 23, 2013:

Love this, Peggy. We should never take for granted what this flag represents, what the holiday represents. My Daddy flew a flag high on a flag pole every day of his life till he became bedridden at age 91. He fought in many wars and instilled in us a deep abiding love for our mother land.

We are so blessed to live in this country...there are issues but the privileges and blessings far out weigh any negatives. It is on us to help make it better and to keep it strong.

Sharing this, Peggy. have a lovely day Angels are on the way ps

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 08, 2013:

Hi Suzanne,

I tend to agree with you in that we should seek out American flags made in America if at all possible. Most are not as you undoubtedly know. As to seeing the flag flying at night brightly illuminated, I have no problem with that. Our weather can change so quickly here in Houston and with our normal summer temps there is always a chance of a late afternoon not to have the flag flying in inclement weather would be a bit tricky where we live. Thanks for your comment and votes.

justmesuzanne from Texas on May 07, 2013:

Great ideas for celebrating the 4th. Although the rules handling the flag have been relaxed in recent times, I still hold with the old ways that I learned as a child. I really hate to see the flag flying at night and in all kinds of weather, and I am opposed to having it used to adorn clothing, drape windows and whatnot.

I hope that people celebrating the 4th and proclaiming their loyalty to our nation will treat the flag with care and also be careful not to purchase an American flag made in another country.

Voted up and useful! :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 29, 2013:

Hi Indian Chef,

It was nice that you added information about India's Independence from the British as a comment. It is fun learning from one another here on HubPages. Thanks for the votes and tweet.

Indian Chef from New Delhi India on April 28, 2013:

India got its independence from British on 15th Aug 1947 and it is usually celebrated by our Prime minister giving a speech from Red Fort in Delhi. The show of strength we do is on 26th Jan , the day on which we got our constitution. Voting up and awesome and sharing on twitter.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 12, 2013:

Hi Au fait,

Thank you so much for the many compliments on this hub. May our 4th of July celebrations representing our Independence Day long continue! I also thought that the videos were informative. Glad that you liked them.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 11, 2013:

Hi Vinaya,

4th of July celebrations over here are always fun. Independence Day is like the grandest and most widely celebrated birthday party ever! Do they celebrate with fireworks in Kathmandu? Just wondering because it is a big part of our celebrations over here. Thanks for your comment.

C E Clark from North Texas on March 10, 2013:

This is a wealth of information all in one place! Great ideas for someone who might be looking for something new to do on the 4th of July, and fabulous photos that bring back memories of one's own celebrations. I really like the videos on the history of the flag and how to fold the flag. Also, the video of the Star Spangled Banner. There's so much information here and so much anyone can learn if they don't already know these things.

Your hubs and photos are always top drawer, but truly you have outdone yourself on this one. I hope anyone who hasn't read this hub and spent time on it will do so, and everyone else needs to do it again because I guarantee they missed something the first time!

Voted up, BAUI, and will share!

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on March 09, 2013:

I have watched fourth of July events on TV, it is really fascinating. I have watched Independence Day celebrations in Embassy of United States in Kathmandu

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 08, 2013:

Hello DIYmommy,

I know how thrilled you must be to have your husband home from Kuwait and in time to celebrate this year's Independence Day. Thank him for his service to country and thank you for being there to cheer him on. Congratulations on your new family addition! :))

Julie on February 08, 2013:

Great hub! My husband was overseas, serving with the U.S. Army in Kuwait during last year's Independence Day....I'm really looking forward to having him home for this year's Independence Day. We just had our son 2 months ago, so that's an extra bonus for this coming Independence Day. I hope he will love the fireworks, and won't still be too young that they will scare him.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 23, 2013:

Hello DDE,

Most countries probably all have specific holidays that are their own. July 4th, also called Independence Day is a special day of celebration in the U.S. Most people gather together on that day and have some fun. Thanks for your comment.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 23, 2013:

Sounds a wonderful idea thanks for sharing such informative Hubs

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 17, 2013:


That's funny that the dogs would howl when you would sing. We actually had a dog that did that but it was only to one particular song and she would actually beg for us to start singing the Indian Love Call every day. She would then toss her head up in the air and begin her singing (howling to others, I am sure.) Ha! It is still the 4th of July to me also when referring to our Independence Day. The flag flying is nice year round, I agree. Thanks for your comment.

DREAM ON on January 17, 2013:

Family get togethers and we tried singing patriotic songs.The dogs would howl but our hearts where in the right place.I wish more people would hang flags out all year to show their deep appreciation .Love to see the fireworks too.Great hub and wishing everyone a wonderful Independence day still the 4th of july to me.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 01, 2013:

Hi teaches,

I think that a lot of Dads like to do grilling. Mine certainly did. Nice that you have good memories of the 4th of July and all that it concerns. Thanks for your comment.

Dianna Mendez on January 01, 2013:

Peggy, my dad was always in charge of the food - grilling was his favorite this time of year. My mom also enjoyed making the pies and treats. I have fond memories of this holiday. Thanks for the reminder of how we should celebrate The Fourth.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 31, 2012:

Hi vespawoolf,

As yes...badminton, croquet and summertime picnics...those were fun and for us, July 4th was fortunately during that season of the year when those things could easily be enjoyed. Glad you like my old family photos which made you think of your childhood. And those Shih Tzu's...they are cute, aren't they! Appreciate your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 31, 2012:

Hi Jakob Barry,

Yes...Independence Day in the U.S. is definitely a day for smiles and waving the red, white and blue. Appreciate your comment.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on December 31, 2012:

Oh my goodness, more adorable shitzu photos! I love seeing your old family photos, too. This brings back sweet memories of my childhood. Who doesn't enjoy fireworks, grilling sausages and watermelon?? We often played croquet and badminton, too. Thank you for sharing these great family ideas.

Jakob Barry on December 31, 2012:

Nice hub. I love the site of lots of smiling people waving the red white and blue!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 24, 2012:

Hello gags3480,

So happy to hear that you liked this hub. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 24, 2012:

Hi Prasetio,

Nice to know that you enjoyed reading about how many of us celebrate Independence Day in the U.S. Appreciate your vote up. Holiday greetings to you also!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 24, 2012:

Hi Aurelio,

Good point made. When we have flown our flag at all times, it has always been where we have a light shining on it. When it becomes tattered and worn, there are proper ways to dispose of it also. In our area, the Boy Scouts accept worn flags and then dispose of them properly and with respect. Thanks for the votes and share.

GAGANPREET SINGH BHATIA from Kanpur, India on December 24, 2012:

Really liked this hub. Following you now.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 23, 2012:

Hello everythingdazzles,

So glad that you liked reading this hub. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 23, 2012:

Hi Mary,

Any celebration that brings families together is always a good one. I know what you mean about the original intention and meaning sometimes slipping away from all holidays. Thanks for commenting about this Independence Day hub. Our animals could also nicely do without the fireworks! Appreciate your comment and the share.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on December 23, 2012:

I found many joys here. I am so happy to know about the tradition to celebrate the US Independence Fay from you, Peggy. Very well written and I love all the pictures here. Thanks for share with us. Voted up and Marry Christmas.

Best Wishes,Prasetio

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on December 23, 2012:

Excellent suggestions, Peggy, but I'd like to add that if you're going to fly the flag, please do so with the proper decorum and respect. That includes putting it up at sunrise and down at sunset, or, if you don't want to do that, having it lighted at all time. Voting this Up and Useful. SHARED.

Janelle from Houston on December 23, 2012:

Great hub with lots of cool info. Thanks!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on December 23, 2012:

My family always celebrates Independence Day with a cook-out. It's just an excuse to get together. We celebrate anything to get a goodmeal! It really is a good reason to celebrate; I think sometimes we forget just what the holiday is all about. Kind of like Christmas: we tend to forget why we are celebrating that Holiday, too.

I don't care for the fireworks, though, and neither does my little dog, Baby.

I always enjoy looking at you old family photos!

I voted this Hub UP, and will share, too.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 23, 2012:

Hi kashmir56,

So glad to know that you enjoyed this hub about how we celebrate Independence Day in the U.S. and also nice to know that you liked the photos. Merry Christmas to you at this festive time of year! Thanks for your comment and votes.

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on December 23, 2012:

Hi Peggy great hub and loaded with all great information about Independence Day and celebrating it. Loved all the beautiful photos has well .

Vote up and more !!!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas !

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 22, 2012:

Hi Om, have some time to think about it and plan your activities. Ha! Thanks for your comment on how to celebrate the U.S. Independence Day.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 22, 2012:

Hi moonlake,

Yes, bratwurst is almost a given if grilling for the 4th of July in Wisconsin. We have often carried on that tradition here in Houston just for "good old times sake." Glad you liked the old family photo. Thanks for the vote up and your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 22, 2012:

Hi Alicia,

Canada's and the U.S. Independence Days are only a few days apart. Nice that you enjoy your special day as we do ours. If you wish to see many more of the dogs dressed in costumes, click on the highlighted Shih Tzu link near the end of this hub. You will be amazed! My cousin's wife works with them from the time they are puppies.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 22, 2012:

Hi Frank,

I know the timing of the publishing of this hub may be a bit crazy, but I had it ready to go so thought, why not. You have heard of Christmas in July...why not a July holiday in December? Ha! After a point in time it will be in the mix and no one will notice. :)) Thanks for your comment. Those Shih Tzu dogs are cuties!

Om Paramapoonya on December 22, 2012:

What a festive hub! My husband and I usually don't do much on the 4th of July, except barbequing. Your other suggestions also sound good, though. Maybe we'll try something new next Independence Day.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 22, 2012:

Hi Pamela,

Nice that we share some of the same memories regarding Independence Day. As to saying the Pledge of Allegiance, we always started the day in school by doing so. Are you telling me that they no longer do that? Thanks for the vote up.

moonlake from America on December 22, 2012:

I love the old pictures you put on your hubs you have such good ones. I like anything red, white and blue. We also have 4th of July at some family members house the men always handle the grill and in Wisconsin it's always brats.

Voted up.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 22, 2012:

Hi Rajan,

As you stated, many countries probably share similar ways in which they celebrate their own Independence Days. I agree that the special times spent with family members are the most memorable of all...particularly as we age and start losing many of those family members. The memories become even more precious! Thanks for the votes, comment and the share.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 22, 2012:

This is an interesting and informative hub, Peggy. The Independence Day celebration sounds like great fun. Many of the things that you mention are also done on Canada Day (July 1st) where I live. I always enjoy this day. I loved the dog photos at the end of your hub. It's amazing that all the dogs cooperated!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 22, 2012:

Hi Gus,

Congratulations on your upcoming 60th wedding anniversary which also coincides with the U.S. Independence Day. It would be difficult to forget your anniversary! Ha! It is nice to see the flag flying year round. You just keep those people who sell flags busy sewing!

You are several years ahead of us. We celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary last October. Something very nice about sharing one's life with a loving soul for so long a time.

Speaking of hubby's grandparents had their second child...a boy...18 years to the day after their first child (my hubby's mother). My hubby's grandfather used to kid that EVERYONE was celebrating his son's birth because it was Flag Day. Now you know the date! :))

Thanks for your comments. I have them set to my approving them before they show...that is why you did not see your first one. Enjoyed both of them.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 22, 2012:

Hi Billy,

The fireworks displays put on by towns and cities are generally spectacular to watch. I agree with not liking the ones put on in the neighborhood as much. The noise and smoke in the air also disturbs most animals. They allow the selling of fireworks outside of city limits (where we live in the county) at Christmas-time also. So we are about to be bombarded again in a few days. Glad that you liked this hub about celebrating Independence Day in the U.S.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on December 22, 2012:

a very good share and I love the dogs LOL July 4th in december i can go for that LOL :)

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 22, 2012:

This is an excellent hub about history, the flag and what many of us were taught growing up. I cannot understand people not wanting to say the Pledge of Allegiance as we stood and said it with pride when I was in school. I have many of the same good memories as you with the cookouts, etc. Voted up!

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 21, 2012:

Very interesting learning about how Independence day is celebrated in the United States as well as your memories associated with this day. Truly it is a great festive moment. I think most of the countries follow the common practice of having these parades and floats, the speeches, the playing of the national anthem, the hoisting of the national flag and the bursting of the firecrackers.

But the most enjoyable part of this wonderful moment is getting together with the family and spending a day of fun and frolic.

Really enjoyed this hub and the colorful photos that accompany it.

Voted up, interesting, beautiful and sharing.

Gustave Kilthau from USA on December 21, 2012:

Howdy Peggy - Well, I must not have hit the "Post Comment" deal earlier because the original comment did not make it to the page, so I will again comment that your article here is very much to my liking (I am a flag nut). The pix are great and all were appreciated.

Your title concerns what one should do to celebrate Independence Day. That's pretty easy for my bride and for me, too. The 4th is our anniversary day (hard for even me to disremember the date...) and, this year will be our 60th. Not easy to understand how the boss of this establishment has allowed me to hang around all that while, but tolerance must have been taught to her both strongly and early.

Anyway, keep the flags flying. I have one out in front of the house all year long.

Gus :-)))

Gustave Kilthau from USA on December 21, 2012:

Howdy Neighbor Peggy - Hey, I really appreciated this fine article and all of its great pix. I am a flag-lover, and you helped me to satisfy some of that today with such pictorial generosity ( ! ). Around my house, every day is "flag day." I wear out more flags per year almost than I have years in which to wear them out... People are forever asking me what holiday it is. Some folks don't think that our flag belongs out front except on the 4th of July.

As to your hub title - how to celebrate Independence Day - my boss and I do that day up quite appropriately - it is our wedding anniversary - and this one, coming up, is # 60. How that gal could withstand so many years of it is beyond my comprehension - but I'll take whatever her patience provides.

Gus :-)))

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 21, 2012:

A truly great holiday. Great suggestions. I love everything about Independence Day....except the fireworks in the neighborhood at midnight while I'm sleeping. :)

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