Independence Day Without the Fireworks: 5 Ways to Celebrate That Won't Start a Wildfire


Chances are, you’re spending this 4th of July in a state suffering from a heat wave, a drought, or both. Many states and counties have instituted bans on fireworks in an attempt to prevent fires, so you may be forced to forgo the traditional fireworks. Don’t worry, though: here are five ways to celebrate the 4th without burning down a forest.

Log out of your Facebook account, turn off your cell phone, and pretend it’s 1776. Whether you get swept up by revolutionary zeal, debate whether the founding fathers were just committing treason, or simply see who can put on the most pompous fake accent, take this opportunity to remember why July 4th is a holiday in the first place.

2) Cook up some 4th of July desserts

Whether you put your time and energy into complicated tarts or simply put some strawberries and blueberries on vanilla ice cream, get your anti-oxidants and your sugar fix in one patriotic sitting by taking advantage of the bright colors of summer fruits. If you’re over 21, mix a 4th of July cocktail and be thankful we repealed prohibition.

3) Watch a West Wing marathon

I’m shocked no channels will be showing this political classic, but if you know anyone with a DVD box set, you absolutely must watch at least one episode and feel proud to be an American. No DVD’s? Most stations will be running all-day marathons of some show or another, so here’s a list of what every channel will be showing. My not-so-secret inner nerd recommends sci-fi cult classic Firefly, which will be showing on Science from 8-2 AM. Hey, battles for independence count whether they happen in the past or the future, right?

4) No TV marathon? Why not run one. 


Even if you’re not in shape for the full 26 miles, get outside and go for a run. Towns across the country are hosting 5K, 10K, and half-marathon length races, and what better way could there be to work up an appetite for your celebratory picnic (see item #2). Just make sure to hydrate.

5) Go stargazing. 

Just because there may not be fireworks doesn’t mean the night sky won’t be beautiful. Sunset will be around 8:30 p.m. on the 4th, so find somewhere away from city lights to lie down, bring a star chart, and absorb the wonders of the cosmos.

Bonus Video (Don’t Try This At Home):

The guys behind Epic Meal Time, draw some inspiration from soon to be released video game Assassin’s Creed 3, cook up a bison, bacon, and mashed potato flag that has to be seen to be believed and will have meat eaters contemplating vegetarianism and vegetarians wishing they still ate meat. And of course, despite their Canadian roots, they do it all in revolutionary garb.