Lifestyle

Many years ago, I went to Washington, D.C.’s Independence Day celebration on the National Mall with my then-boyfriend. Taking the Metro from my home in Springfield, we pressed into the standing-room-only car, with my boyfriend actually carrying our cooler on his head because there was no room on the floor for it. Once there, we elbowed our way through the crowds to pack ourselves like sardines with the other locals and tourists to watch the fireworks. 

While the crush of people was exciting back then, even the thought of that kind of crowd gives me the heebie-jeebies now. But that certainly doesn’t mean we can’t be festive and patriotic this year.

Check out these brand-new ways to celebrate our country’s independence in 2020.

Can I Watch Fireworks?

Many metropolises like New York City and Washington, D.C. and even smaller cities across the U.S. are still hosting fireworks displays this year. In fact, New York is putting on a whole week of fireworks in all five of their boroughs. You can enjoy these shows from the comfort and safety of your home by tuning in on television or live-streaming the fireworks on your computer or mobile devices. Sparklers are yet another fun way to light up the sky without the crowds; simply buy a box and create your own personal light show!

How Can I Experience a Little History?

Feel like doing some sightseeing or learning some Revolutionary history on the Fourth? With Philadelphia’s online tour, you can experience historical sites like Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and the Betsy Ross House, including video, narration and 360-degree photos. Or listen to Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech at the Second Virginia Convention at St. John’s Church in Richmond, VA. You can even experience attractions like Smithsonian National Museum of American History and George Washington’s Mount Vernon – all from the comfort and safety of your own home.

Is Live Music Out?

While you probably can’t listen to music in person this year, you’ll have the unique opportunity to sample a variety of live July 4th concerts from across the country online. Philly is delivering seven nights of music and events, while Boston is hosting a retrospective Independence Day concert, featuring rock, country, military bands and the Boston Pops. Not to be outdone, Nashville will offer a star-studded lineup at their Music City Independence Day celebration.

What About Parades?

It’s not likely that you’ll see any Uncle Sams or red, white, and blue floats heading down Main Street this year; however, you can put together a fun, festive neighborhood parade of your own. Simply festoon a convoy of vehicles with balloons, streamers, flags, signs and whatever else strikes your fancy; turn up the patriotic music on car stereos; and from there, slowly wend your way through the neighborhood. A great appetizer to backyard barbecues, this celebration is sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit!

Check out even more socially distant Independence Day ideas here!