Friendly fairgrounds, family reunions and firework shows are the events we associate with summertime holidays like the Fourth of July. This year, amid the pandemic, July 4th events are getting smaller, going on hiatus or going virtual. If you’re wondering how you’re going to celebrate this day, you are not alone. You may not be able to convene for parades or fireworks, but there are other options for having a festive Fourth.
Fireworks are awe-inspiring and most families want an opportunity to watch the display. While providing your participant’s options for July 4th activities, it’s essential to maintain a sense of normalcy amid the pandemic.
Your city may be among the many municipalities hosting a virtual celebration of family-friendly activities and patriotic-themed events, along with performing artists and local celebrities. Here are some virtual activities your organization can offer:
Virtual Fireworks Watch Party
While many cities have canceled their firework celebrations, some cities are continuing. While nothing can replace the wow factor of seeing fireworks in person, the safest bet is to watch either on a TV or computer screen.
Virtual Movie Party
The most anticipated Independence Day movie has to be “Hamilton,” the acclaimed Broadway musical from the writer and its star Lin-Manuel Miranda, and the director Thomas Kail, arrives on Disney Plus on Friday, July 3.
If you can’t watch “Hamilton,” some other movies to consider:
- 1776 (1972) A musical retelling of the American Revolution's political struggle in the Continental Congress to declare independence.
- The Sandlot (1993) Boys playing baseball, while fireworks light up the sky above them, and "America the Beautiful" plays in the background.
- National Treasure (2004) Nicolas Cage as a historian who must steal the Declaration of Independence to find the hidden treasure before a team of mercenaries beat him to it.
Facebook Photo Contest
Have your families submit a snapshot of family members, dressed in red, white and blue gear or photos of their patriotic porch, door or yard. Have them post the images to your program’s Facebook page. Arrange for winners to be announced on your program’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. If you’re new to sponsoring contests, here’s a guide to starting a Facebook contest.
Families might want to revisit the Declaration of Independence. For the past 50 years, the National Archives in Washington has hosted a reading ceremony of the Declaration on its museum’s steps. This year, the event is moving to its website and Facebook page. Starting at 3 p.m. CDT, the reading is hosted by the broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien.
If you can’t view the National Archives in Washington’s reading, the National Public Radio (NPR) will perform their reading of the Declaration, which will air on “Morning Edition” on Friday at 5:10 a.m. CDT.
Visit Museums and American Historical Sites Virtually:
- George Washington’s Mount Vernon Virtual Tour
- Statue of Liberty Virtual Tour
- Mount Rushmore Virtual Tour
Even with all the cancellations, your community must have an opportunity to celebrate July 4th. With the pandemic continually changing the structure of things, your participants will appreciate a sense of consistency, community and connection.