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Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States of America that celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1976. On July 2nd 1976, the Continental Congress voted in favour of independence from Great Britain. 2 days later, on July 4th, representatives from the 13 American Colonies formally declared their freedom from the British monarch, King George III, and were now united, free and independent states.

Since 1976, July 4th has been commemorated as the birth of American Independence and is celebrated with a whole range of festivities. Falling in the peak of summer, the Fourth of July is the perfect day to spend with family and friends, either outdoors or indoors.

Go to a firework display

Fireworks are a classic Fourth of July activity. If your family and friends aren’t planning on setting any fireworks off in their backyards, then you can attend a local firework display. Your local community is bound to have some sort of firework display event happening in the evening. Seniors with limited mobility should check whether these public firework displays have accommodations for them.

Standing for long periods of time can be tiring, so remember to bring a deck chair with you to ensure that you stay comfortable. Check the weather forecast in advance so that you know whether to take a blanket or jacket if the evening will be a little bit chilly. If you’re sensitive to sound, it might be a good idea to bring earplugs along with you. Alternatively, if you are physically unable to attend a firework display, you can watch fireworks from the comfort of your home, as they tend to be broadcast live on TV.

Attend a local parade

Another classic activity, parades are a fun and fantastic way to get into the festive spirit. Make sure that you check the weather forecast. If it’s going to be a hot, sunny day, take precautions such as regularly applying sunscreen to protect your skin and bring a hat to protect your face from the harsh sunrays. At this time of year, the weather can be particularly warm, so make sure that you stay hydrated. Standing up for too long can be tiring for anyone, but particularly for seniors. A deck chair or garden chair will provide maximum comfort and ensure that you can enjoy the day for longer.

Attend a barbecue

Backyard barbecues are not only a summer staple, but also an Independence Day staple. Whether you’re invited to a family gathering or you’re hosting the barbecue, make sure that there’s enough shade in your garden and remember to stay hydrated. Hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken wings are all popular Fourth of July delicacies, as well as lighter foods such as potato salad and coleslaw.

Eat red, white and blue food

There’s no other day as acceptable as Independence Day to get creative and playful with your food. Have a go at creating red, white and blue food to impress your friends and family. You could make healthy fruit skewers, using cookie cutters to carve stars in foods such as strawberries, blueberries and bananas. Fresh fruits are beneficial in the sense that they are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If you’re feeling particularly confident with your baking, a Fourth of July flag cake will go down a treat and is a perfect showstopper for any social gathering.

Watch patriotic movies

If you’re not up for going out this Independence Day, then don’t worry because there are plenty of activities you can do from the comfort of your own home, such as having a movie screening. Some popular choices might be Forrest Gump, Independence Day, Glory, The Patriot or Born on the Fourth of July. Alternatively, watch a classic movie like Singin’ in the Rain. There’s nothing stopping you from making traditional, festive food as suggested above to eat as a mid-movie snack.

Honor Veterans

Independence Day is not only a day to celebrate our country, but also a day to think of those who have served our country. Take some time to honor those who have fought or are currently fighting for our country and the freedom from which our great country was established on. Visit a memorial so that their memory will live on or spend time with family members who have served.