Santa Barbara
75° F
Santa Maria
77° F
San Luis Obispo
76° F
74° F

Creative ways to celebrate 4th of July

By Alison Ward, Contributing writer
Published On: Apr 10 2012 02:08:40 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 08 2013 10:38:05 AM CDT
Boys, American Flags, Fourth Of July


Every year on July Fourth, America celebrates its birthday and its independence.

Too often the holiday slips by in a dizzying blur of spectacular fireworks and enjoyable barbecues that, while certainly celebratory, do not convey the deeper meaning of the July Fourth holiday.

Try these alternative ways to mark the Fourth of July respectfully, including ways to teach the holiday's importance to your children.

Visit A Local Cemetery: Cemetery custodians will be happy to point you in the right direction. This simple gesture of kindness for those who gave their lives for this country costs very little, but means a lot.

Call Your Local Military Base: Find out if they are accepting care packages for soldiers stationed overseas. One small box packed with items most of us take for granted, such as shaving cream or candy, is a precious commodity overseas, and can let a soldier know just how much you appreciate his or her sacrifice. Again, this is an idea that costs very little, but will mean a lot. To take this to a larger scale, contact others in your community and organize a larger donation. Every care package helps.

Visit A Historical Site: On July Fourth of every year, according to, Thomas Jefferson's home hosts one of its biggest attractions: the Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony. Soon to be sworn-in American citizens take their oaths on Monticello's vast West Lawn.

Throw A Patriotic Potluck: If you want to host a party, why not a red-white-and-blue-themed potluck? Chances are great that not only have you never done this, none of your friends or neighbors have ever attended a party like this, either. All the food must be in the colors of the American flag.

Teach Your Kids About The Day Go with them to your local library to check out books about the heroes who fought for our country. Take them with you to the parade, or to the cemetery to place flowers on a soldier's grave, and explain to them the concept of fighting for something bigger than themselves. Many Web sites, such as and, offer all sorts of history-based educational activities, from crafts and jigsaw puzzles to coloring pages and word searches. Doing these with your children makes for family bonding and an educational Fourth of July.

Regardless of how you celebrate, it is important to stop and think about what Independence Day means. Though it may mean something different to every person, the key is to do something to commemorate the occasion meaningfully. Trying something new doesn't have to be a bad thing. In addition to your typical barbecue or fireworks celebration, these ideas are a wonderful place to start.


The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Body of Isaiah Sanchez Recovered at Cachuma Lake

    Santa Barbara County sheriff rescue crews have found a body near the place where Isaiah Sanchez went missing.

  • Ellwood Fire

    Explosion at Goleta Apartment Complex Leaves One Man Hospitalized

    Santa Barbara County Fire crews responded to an explosion and fire at an apartment complex on 447 Ellwood Drive in Goleta.   Fire officials received the call at around 7:00 p.m. One person was injured and taken to the hospital with severe burns.  The apartment manager helped put out a small fire that broke out after the blast. The explosion and fire are still under investigation.  The fire did not spread to any adjoining apartments.

  • Santa Paula Reserve Police Officer Resigns After Posting Video About Bicyclists

    Volunteer posted a YouTube video joking about running over bicyclists.

  • Juvenile Hall Court to Host Gang-related Murder Trial

    The so-called "U-Haul murder trial" is expected to be another high security, gang-related trial that requires extra time and money to make it work at the Santa Barbara County Juvenile Hall courtroom which is seen as the most practical venue.

  • What You Need to Know Before Accepting an Ice Challenge

    It's a challenge that has gone viral. It's known as "The Cold Water Challenge," but could this latest trend be harmful to your health?

  • dangerous dogs

    Orcutt Family Starts Petition to Change County Ordinance

    An Orcutt family is fighting to keep their dogs from being euthanized, and is now trying to change a county ordinance on aggressive dogs. The family has an online petition spreading their message on the internet in an effort to get the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisor's attention.

    Peggy Henning remembers the day her family welcomed Daisy and Duke into their family like it was yesterday.

    "They immediately just became part of the family," said Henning. "They were very friendly with all the guests we had coming over."

    But things changed when Daisy and Duke got loose. They liked chasing cats.

    "Dogs are pack animals and that is their default instinct," said Henning. "If they are bonded or litter mates, it intensifies that. They would get out of the confines of our house or yard and this instinct would come to the surface."

  • inspection_report_public_health_notice

    Health Inspectors Look Into Restaurant Bug

    Old Town Mexican Café in Old Orcutt has never failed an inspection in the past according to the Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services Department. On satruday several diners spotted bugs at the restaurant

  • New Family Friendly Tasting Room Opens in Solvang

     A new winery in Solvang recently opened their doors, and they are making their tasting room open to everyone.

  • Slideshow: Rescue Crews Find Body In Cachuma Lake

    Santa Barbara County sheriff rescue crews have found a body near the place where Isaiah Sanchez went missing.

  • Slideshow: Blondes VS Brunettes Charity Football Game

    A charity football game at the Polo fields in Carpinteria pits the Blondes vs Brunettes. The all-women football teams duked it out on Saturday to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association. Both teams fought fiercely but in the end, only one came out the victor.

    Photography by Oscar Flores.