Two hundred and forty years ago, a group of our founding fathers declared independence, and that is cause for celebration! The Fourth of July marks the middle of summer and provides a great opportunity to feast on summer treats and parade in the streets. We’re kicking off the festivities with five ways to make your July Fourth truly special.

1. Grill and Chill: There are few things that compare with the smell of meat sizzling on a grill. Whether it’s hot dogs, hamburgers, a marinated chicken breast or some juicy steaks, grilling out can add that extra bit of flavor to your Independence Day. Breaking out those revered family recipes and shaking them up – grill style – is a surefire way to make lasting memories.  

2. Fruits and Veggies: The Fourth of July is the perfect time to try out some of summer’s seasonal offerings. Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables are ripe and packed with flavor. For the month of July these include: cucumbers, tomatoes and corn, as well as watermelon, peaches, strawberries and blueberries (perfect for showing off your love for the red, white and blue).

3. Stay and Play: Chances are your July Fourth celebration is going to be an all-day affair. Gather around with friends and family and enjoy some game time. Young and old can participate in outdoor sports, board games or even fun in the water! Whatever the activity, maximize your chances for fun in the sun. 

4. Crackle and Pop: If we’re honest, the real stars of the Fourth of July show are the fireworks. A rockin’ fireworks show is often the perfect night cap to an eventful day. Cuddle up with the ones you love and watch the rockets’ red glare and the fireworks bursting in air.

5. Land of the Free and Home of the Brave: One of the things that makes July Fourth so special is its cultural significance. Our country’s political, economic and social statuses change by the day, but the history of our nation’s beginning remains constant. Independence Day is a celebration of just that – independence, and now, 240 years later, it also means so much more.