Oh how I love me some Independence Day – – no, not the corny ’96 Will Smith sci-fi flick — the 4th of July!
For as long as I can remember, I have had an internal struggle between whether 4th of July or Christmas is my favorite holiday. Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is great… but I LOVE America. BBQ, lemonade, bald eagles, apple pies, picket fences, and American flags make me nostalgic. The holiday reminds me of golf cart parades on Bald Head Island and long nights at Hot Fish Club in Murrells Inlet. Firework displays at Memorial Stadium in uptown Charlotte, watermelon and picnics under the southern summer sky. The 4th of July truly marks the start of summer for me, and today I’m here to share some tips for successfully pulling off your patriotic pride:
1. America Playlist: Lucky for me, I fell in love with a guy who loves the U.S. of A. as much as I do. Along with his cute self and beaming personality, he also came with an ever evolving “America Playlist” that has been growing and accumulating over the years. Don’t let Uncle Eddie’s cassette’s ruin the cook-out, create your own playlist with a few of my favorites:
- Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen
- American Girl – Tom Petty
- Young Americans – David Bowie
- American Pie – Don McLean
- America the Beautiful – Ray Charles
- My Country ‘Tis of Thee – Aretha Franklin
- Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus
- American Baby – Dave Matthews Band
- On the Fourth of July – James Taylor
- Independence Day – Martina McBride
- Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue – Toby Keith
- Proud to be an American – Lee Greenwood
- America Saturday Night – Brad Paisley
- My President is Black – Young Jeezy
- Made in America – Jay-Z & Kanye West
2. Charlotte Events: Charlotte has a whole host of different events ranging from a night at Carowinds for the kids, to fireworks at the speedway for NASCAR fans (Go, Junior!); Pops in the Park for the symphony-lovers, and for the outdoorsy types, the National Whitewater Center has free music and amazing fireworks on the 3rd and 4th of July. For a complete list of activities, click here.
3. Budweiser AmeriCAN: Beer is not my alcoholic beverage of choice, but I will drink the shiz out of of some Budweiser IF and ONLY IF it’s pouring onto my lips from a can donned in stars and stripes. Clever marketing scheme Anheuser-Busch, real clever.
4. American Apps: Since it’s 2013 and not 1776, of course there are many apps for the holiday. A few favorites of mine include:
5. Give Back: We are all so blessed to live in the amazing country, so don’t forget the people who fight for our freedom. Make cookies for the firefighters, EMT, police in your neighborhood – they don’t have the luxury of enjoying this day off. Send a card or care package to someone serving overseas. Fly a recycled American flag, instead of buying a new one. RecycledUSFlags.com is a great green option – they’re made of recycled water/soda bottles! Thank your favorite teacher. Volunteer at the local parade or invite a needy family over for corn hole and hot dogs.