Gearing Up for Freedom – Independence Day in America
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Gearing up for Freedom Independence Day

Gear + Kits
Gear + Kits
June 1, 2023
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Independence Day is a time to celebrate the birth of a nation, marking the freedom fought for and won from British control. As the fireworks light up the night sky and dads everywhere click their tongs twice before grilling, it's essential to prepare for this patriotic occasion in style. If you’re new to the occasion, or simply new to being the one running the show, follow me down this simple guide to nailing it.

Decorate Your Deck

Start by decorating your surroundings with red, white, and blue. Simple enough, right? Make sure to have some fun with it, though; we’re Americans after all. Hang up American flags, bunting, and patriotic banners, of course, but maybe bust out the old guidon (a military unit flag, typically mounted on a staff) and spear it into your yard. Wear that American flag tank top with your short shorts, it’s going to be hot next to that grill anyway. Nothing says freedom like showing off legs so pale people could confuse you for a lighthouse.

Plan a Menu, and Include the Meats

Independence Day celebrations are synonymous with grilling, and rightly so. Classics include hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, and grilled chicken, and while that might seem run of the mill, you can always kick it up a notch with some new sauces or fancy varieties. (Some butchers even make Wagyu beef hot dogs. They’re phenomenal.) 

The easy answer to absolutely crush it on the grill, smoker, or oven? Low and slow, baby. Keep the heat low, get the meat on there early, and coat with more sauce frequently. Is it over the top to cook ribs for four hours? Hell no. I once made ribs with Modelo left over from a party, three red onions, and Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce. That’s it. Two hours in the oven, four on the grill, and they were gone twenty minutes after they hit the serving table. 

You can say, “but I’m a vegan!” and I will respect your right to make that choice… But your guests don’t want bean sprouts or whatever. Go to your omnivorous friend’s cookout and let it go. 

Obviously, sides are important, so potato salad, coleslaw, watermelon, and the like. Key piece of advice? Keep anything that has easily spoiled ingredients inside; mayonnaise and eggs go bad quickly in the July heat. More importantly… Lean in close now… SEASON YOUR FOOD. Don’t include unnecessary things like raisins. Come on now. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, ask one of your less bland friends, I promise they’ll hook you up.

As for drinks, stick with beer and things beer adjacent, and hydrate frequently. Sure, whiskey is fantastic and scotch pairs perfectly with smoked meat, but it’s a marathon not a sprint. Being toe up at noon is going to spoil the party, and we don’t tap out early on America’s birthday.

Make Sure Guests Have Something to Do

This comes in two parts. The first is fairly simple; have plenty of games for people to play. Cornhole, volleyball, even just having a football to toss around. Here’s the key. Activities need to be geared around drunk people who are eating barbecue. Lawn darts or electronics are probably a bad idea, as is anything inside which could result in a destroyed television or smashed furniture. Board games are only going to get gross and start fights, so unless you live for chaos, move along.

The second part? Fireworks. Explosives, essentially, purchased by people who will likely be drunk by the time they are to be used. Let me begin by saying that I advise you not to operate explosives when altered and follow your local laws as to what types you can use. Virginia for example doesn’t allow aerials, due to fire concerns. Having said that…

Don’t be boring. If you’re going to have fireworks, make sure you plan out how many, how long you want them to last, and what level of spectacle you’re going for. If you don’t feel comfortable… Find a local display. Most areas have public fireworks shows you can attend. 

A word of caution… Have a fire extinguisher handy. Freedom means many things to many people, but few people’s definition includes having your house burned down during a federal holiday. 

Celebrate Freedom Day Your Way

Independence Day is a time for reflection, gratitude, and celebration for the shining city on the hill. By following this guide, you can ensure that your preparations are well-rounded, creating a memorable experience without suffering post-party regret. From good friends to fantastic food, putting on that Uncle Sam outfit and lighting those fireworks, and keeping everyone entertained in ways that don’t trash your house, you can immerse yourself in the patriotic fervor that defines this special day. So, celebrate the freedom and unity that Independence Day represents by making it your own.

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