How my family celebrates the 4th of July in the United States

The 4th of July is ushered in by fireworks displays which commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4th 1776. The congress met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to formally declare their independence from Great Britain.

Here is Neil Diamond singing his ode to America.

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Written by: Neil d’Diamond

Far / We’ve been travelling far / Without a home / But not without a star

Free / Only want to be free / We huddle close / Hang on to a dream

On the boats and on the planes / They’re coming to america / Never looking back again / They’re coming to america

Home, don’t it seem so far away / Oh, we’re travelling light today / In the eye of the storm / In the eye of the storm

Home, to a new and a shiny place / Make our bed, and we’ll say grace / Freedom’s light burning warm / Freedom’s light burning warm / Everywhere around the world

They’re coming to america / Every time that flag’s unfurled / They’re coming to america / Got a dream to take them there

They’re coming to america / Got a dream they’ve come to share / They’re coming to america

They’re coming to america (4 times)

Today, today, today, today, today / My country ’tis of thee(today) / Sweet land of liberty(today) / Of thee I sing(today) / Of thee I sing(today)

On the 4th of July, there are picnics, barbeques, patriotic parades and the fireworks shows. A typical picnic will feature potato salad, hot dogs or hamburgers, apple pie, games like a three legged race, relay race, and gunny sack race, and croquet and badminton. And here is the July 4th celebration with the Boston Pops. ( Click here )

When my children were growing up, we traditionally took them to see the parade in our local community and to have an ice cream cone out at Baskin Robbins. Some years they participated in the parade. They decorated their bicycles with crepe paper streamers in red, white and blue, and wore red white and blue clothes and rode their bikes in the parade, following the high school marching band, marching mothers who had decorated their baby’s strollers with crepe paper streamers and pushed their babies on a long walk in the parade, veterans, fire engines, police, and floats (big motor powered wagons that have been decorated with a theme to make a statement about the holiday). We made potato salad and packed sandwiches and filled the cooler with soda and perishable foods to barbeque and headed out in the van for a picnic at the Willows or to Ridley Park State Forest. We played soccer and badminton and ball, and feed the geese bread. This is a three legged race. You and a partner tie your legs together and run in competition with other pairs similarly encumbered. Our three legged races did not include the jug filling activity featured here in this video, but it looks like good, clean fun in the spirit that is felt during the 4th of July celebrations across the country. ( Click here )

After our barbeque picnic, we went to an official fireworks show. They start at dusk, and families camp out on blankets or on their car roofs for a better view, to watch the festivities. Fireworks shows at Pen’s landing and Narberth Park are coordinated with a soundtrack of patriotic music and local bands also perform before the fireworks display. The children love watching the fireworks, and one can see children waving sparklers in circular figure-eight patterns, wearing luminescent necklaces that glow in the dark, catching fireflies in jars, running around jubilantly, laughing, singing, playing tag, and feeling free. It is a very patriotic day. Some families bring their own fireworks to the public fireworks displays and set them off to entertain their children while they are waiting for the professional fireworks show to begin. Before they were outlawed, we used to buy firecrackers, roman candles, pop-bottle rockets, stink bombs, snakes, fountains, and exploding stars, and whirligig spirals (not the official name, but I can’t remember what they were called back then). Our dogs liked the picnics, but they barked at the noise of the firecrackers, which they didn’t like. This is the 4th of July Celebration at Disney-MGM Studios 2005. ( Click here )

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

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Alessandro Brandão

Alessandro Brandão é coordenador caseiro do English Experts e do Fórum de idiomas. Trabalha também em projetos na área de Comércio Eletrônico e Ensino a Distância (EaD).