On the 4th of July, 1776, The United States of America declared independence from Great Britain by adopting the Declaration of Independence. Traditionally the holiday celebrates America becoming an independent nation, but today it’s more commonly just a celebration of being American and of all things American. For expats, it can be a chance to indulge in shared memories.
Americana / 4th of July Party Costumes
- Costume Box are a Sydney-based online store with delivery to Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Flat fee delivery within Australia. Use their site search for “America” and you’ll find lots of costumes.
Americana / 4th of July Food Ideas
Banana splits are an easy to make American favorite. Peel a banana and slice it in half lengthwise, placing the two halves spread apart in a bowl. Add a few scoops of ice cream in between the banana halves, decoratively pour/drizzle chocolate syrup over the ice cream and garnish with whipped cream and a cherry or three.
- Have a BBQ. Hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, devilled eggs, corn on the cob, watermelon, freshly squeezed lemonade and apple pie are some “all-American” foods to include.
- Don’t want to BBQ? Then just make chili dogs. Cook some hot dogs and place them in buns, pour on some hot chili (Stagg’s canned chili works well) and top with tasty cheese.
- Make an American flag cake. You can use food colouring or, for a slightly healthier option, strawberries and blueberries on white icing.
- If you can get your hands on some root beer then root beer floats are a must! Just put a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream into glasses of root beer and top with whipped cream to make this American classic.
- Add some red and blue food colouring to some water and make red, white (clear) and blue ice cubes to add to drinks.
Americana / 4th of July Party Ideas
- Traditionally, fireworks have played a big part in 4th of July celebrations in America. However, fireworks are illegal in Australia, so we have to find our fun in other ways. Throw streamers or confetti, and use noise makers like party blowouts and party poppers
- Give the kids some sparklers and glow sticks to run around with.
- Instead of hosting a party AND making all of the food, have a potluck. Ask everyone who attends in advance to bring one of their favorite dishes to go with your American dishes.
- Celebrate American popular culture by watching American shows or movies – you could choose your favourite and make it the theme.
- Play American music. For example, The American National Anthem (The Star-Spangled Banner), God Bless America, The 1812 Overture (associated with 4th of July thanks to the Boston Pops), Stars and Stripes Forever, Yankee Doodle.
Other Patriotic American Party Dates
Of course there are many occasions other than the 4th of July to celebrate all things American
- Third Monday of January – Martin Luther King Jr Day.
- 20 January – Inauguration Day, every fourth year at the beginning of each new presidential term.
- First Sunday in February – Super Bowl Sunday.
- Third Monday in February – Presidents’ Day, in honour of George Washington’s birthday on 22 February.
- 2 February – Groundhog Day.
- Last Monday in May – Memorial Day for members of the US armed forces.
- 19 June – Juneteenth, marking the abolition of slavery in Texas.
- First Monday in September – Labor Day, usually marked by a local parade and barbecues or picnics.
- 17 September – Citizenship Day or Constitution Day, to celebrate the adoption of the US Constitution.
- Second Monday in October – Columbus Day, marking the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas.
- November – American Presidential Election
- Fourth Thursday in November – Thanksgiving.