Independence Day isn’t all about the fireworks. Although, a good fireworks display can really inspire the ooh and ahhs inside each of us. If you’re looking for more than just a glittery showcase in the night sky, and want to expand your horizons past the typical marching band and fried dough, here are a few places that are worth seeking out or sharing a laugh about with your friends.
Round Rock, Texas
Spend your day celebrating your forefathers independence by participating in a rubber duck race, cowboy sing-a-long, hot pepper eating contest and shootout and stuntmen spectacular.
Town Center, Celebration, Florida
Get in touch with your inner Spock during the Sci-Fi 4th of July celebration where you can come dressed as your favorite space character and then watch the synchronized fireworks spectacular set to a Sci-Fi themed soundtrack.
If you’re feeling like you might be in tip-top running shape, here is your chance to beat Roseville’s Police Chief Daniel Hahn in the annual Run Crime out of Roseville 5k Fun Run followed by carnival games, the Capitol Pops Concert Band and of course fireworks.
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Celebrate the 4th along the Mississippi River at Riverfest, a four day festival of fun and competition. Have you always wanted to be a contestant on American idol, but don’t have the voice for it? Look no further, the Riverfest offers Putting on the Lips, a lip syncing competition. Or maybe you’d rather compete in the big wheel races and eat a fried pickle instead.
New York, New York
So maybe you are more of the historical scholar type and enjoy delving into the origins of the true meaning of independence. In that case you should join famed civil liberties attorney, Norman Siegel for his reading of the Constitution, to be held in Strawberry Fields, Central Park. Hang out with the granny contingent and listen to discussions about our guaranteed rights. Or maybe you’d rather join the hotdog eating contest at Nathan’s in Coney Island.
Mescalero, New Mexico
If you’re looking for something with less of the red, white and blue, join the Mescalero Apache tribe in New Mexico where the festivities include a coming-of-age ceremony for teenage girls. During the first and last days of the public ceremony each girl rounds four times a basket filled with sacred items of the creation, symbolizing the four stages of life set by the White Painted Woman. “Each night, the girls, godmothers and singers enter the Holy Lodge, or Ceremonial Teepee, where the girls dance and singers beat the rhythm with deer-hoof rattles.” The ceremonies are open to the public.
Cedar Key, Florida
If clam chowder is your favorite fare, then Cedar Key is the place for you to celebrate everything clams. You can participate in a clam bag race, watch a blessing of the clams and compete in a clam cook-off. There are also clam shucking and cooking demonstrations and exhibits. What better way to celebrate our independence then gorging on clams and settling down for a waterside firework display.