Independence Day Essentials

independence-day-fireworks

If you’re new to America (fuck yeah), you might not know that tomorrow is the day when we take to backyards, parks, and baseball fields all over this great nation and blow shit up. This is a culturally significant celebration whose true meaning is more or less completely lost on everyone except Glenn Beck and that one crying bald eagle, so here are a few things you’ll need to blend in with the bloated, drunk, and dangerous U.S. population on July 4, Independence Day:

The Day Off

Independence Day was first recognized as a paid federal holiday in 1938. It’s also smack in the middle of summertime. You need the day off to drown your liver in Sam Adams, the unofficial official beer of Independence Day, named after a founding father or something — I don’t know, ask Sarah Palin for clarification. If you’re working on this day, something is wrong with your boss, and you should really call in sick. Tell them I sent you.

Food

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Also a no-brainer, food is super-American as we’re the 9th fattest nation in the world. Typical fare is barbecue: iced tea and lemonade, burgers and hot dogs (I recommend veggie ones for animal kindness as well as calorie-saving), corn on the cob, potato salad, watermelon, and strawberry shortcake. Ideally, you’d want to make your party a potluck so that you can be lazier and spend less money. Remember to start prepping the food and the grill super-early in the day; few things are worse than rushing to get dinner on the table when you’re already drunk and the fireworks are starting.

Booze

independence-day-sam-adams

I mean, duh. Make sure to have not only Sam Adams but also Pepsi, wine coolers, Tennessee whisky, and a shit-ton of ice on hand or in your cooler. Consider adding food coloring (red, white, and/or blue, of course) to normally colorless drinks. Maybe you would like to throw back to your college days and procure a beer bong. Is there anything more American than a drinking holiday?

Space

A park, a driveway, a front lawn, a rooftop, whatever you can find. This is essential for your picnic setup, your grilling room, and your games and fireworks (more on those later). If you’re leaving the house, arrive at your planned destination early for prime seats and room to spread out and take over, American-style.

Games

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I hate baseball, but for some reason, people want to start pickup baseball games on this holiday. We all want to act athletic today, but I prefer games like Frisbee, volleyball, badminton (even though it began in British-colonized India), basketball, even football (not the soccer kind — we’re in ‘Murrica, okay, bub?). Heck, dig your neglected roller blades out of your closet, and zoom around while walking your dog. We may be the 9th fattest nation in the world, but on Independence Day, we can do anything. American Dream, y’all!

A Flag

independence-day-tiny-flag

A tiny American flag is convenient to carry around and wave at Independence Day parades, ceremonies, and political rallies. Show your spirit all day long by tucking it into your hat, your bra, or the basket of your Hoveround (I won’t judge) once the event is over.

Things That Explode

independence-day-fireworks

Ah, the most important and most recognizable facet of Independence Day: fire and brimstone. Here in the U.S. of A., we’ve outlawed fireworks sales in some states. However, if you truly want sparklers, bottle rockets, poppers, firecrackers, fountains, spinners, smoke bombs, and other things designed to blow up, you can find them no matter what (there’s that American Dream again). Prefer to play it safe? Okay, you’re lame, but lucky for you, nearly every city hosts Fourth of July fireworks shows once it gets dark.

Really, though, have fun, be safe, and be nice to each other. It’s the American way. USA! USA! USA!

Images courtesy of AFSA Chapters, The Daily Green, Bottles of Barley, Mitchell Republic, Inmagine, and coliwabl

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About the author

Sarah M. Smart - Red-Light Special

Sarah M. Smart was summoned into being on a distant ice cream planet through an unholy union of Two-Buck Chuck and unicorns. They sent her to Indianapolis and then the University of Missouri's School of Journalism to spread peace and big hair. Perpetually in mourning for the comma, she has worked for a variety of print media, including Indianapolis Monthly, Global Journalist, and Vox. Since moving to San Francisco for the booming dumpster-diving scene, she has been an online operative for such fine folks as Horoscope.com , Neo-Factory, and Academy of Art University. After a day of cat-feeding, hat-making, dog-walking, vegan baking, and daydreaming about marrying rich, all she wants is a margarita as big as her face.

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