Steve Harper
4th of July

You don’t have to hit the road to find a festive 4th of July bash. Why not throw your own star-spangled shindig in your apartment?


You might find that sticking close to home and hosting a memorable celebration of freedom with neighbors, friends and family can be even more fun than hitting the road!

Here are some tips for a stellar day!

Dress to impress
Admit it! You love costume parties — so do your friends – and there’s no reason to limit them to Halloween. Add some sparkle to your July 4th party by inviting your friends to dress up in the spirit of the holiday. Spark clever costume ideas by announcing the contest categories ahead of time. Challenge your guests to find a July 4th-themed costume that’s the Most Patriotic or Most Star-Spangled, or a get-up that honors the Coolest Signer of the Declaration of Independence or Most Creative U.S. State. Award prizes to honor the most upstanding or most outrageous examples.

Focus on the food
You’ve likely attended the classic July 4th potluck with burgers, hot dogs and potato salad. This time, stir things up a bit. Choose one favorite all-American food and let it be the star of the day. Serve up a custom hot dog or get creative with a build-your-own-burger bar. You can still make it a potluck by asking guests to bring their favorite, tastiest toppings. Why not host a bake off and let your partygoers vie for the title of best all-American dessert? You could even hold an eating competition, like the famous Nathan's hot dog eating contest. Invite your pals to chow down on corn-on-the-cob in record time. It doesn’t matter which treat you choose, just make sure your approach is over-the-top and focused on the fun of sharing food.

Honor your founding fathers
If your friends are as smart as the fellas who signed the Declaration of Independence, then invite them to show off their Independence Day knowledge with a friendly July 4th trivia game. Divide your guests into teams and see who knows the most Constitutional trivia. (Here’s an online Jeopardy-style game you might try for practice.) Let the winner have the honor of leading the parade around your community.

Music for celebration and contemplation
Every patriotic party needs the right music — either to get everyone up on their feet or thinking about what freedom means to them. For a pop "Party in the U.S.A.," cue up Miley's hit song. Bruce Springsteen celebrated "4th of July, Asbury Park," honoring his hometown with an iconic portrait of freedom and escape. For a darker look at the challenges of freedom, check out the Boss' live acoustic rendition of "Born in the U.S.A." or John Fogerty's "Fortunate Son."  Ray Charles' impassioned take on "America the Beautiful" remains transcendent. With Americana on the mind, don't forget folk classics like Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land." And, of course, John Philip Sousa provides the perennial patriotic march music of choice, backing up practically every fireworks display in the country!

Flaunt your freedom
Celebrate your independence by honoring the intent of the holiday. Instead of standing around sweating at a cookout and watching fireworks until the wee hours, do your own thing. Sleep late, go see a movie in an air-conditioned theater, and end the night toasting under a brilliant sky of fireworks.

However you choose to celebrate your freedom, remember that it’s your party. Have as much mid-week fun as you can muster, but remember: even the most independent of us will be back at work soon!

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Andrej Vodolazhskyi




About The Author

Steve Harper enjoys seeking out and writing about topics that matter to renters for the Apartment Guide Blog. He hails from Atlanta, Georgia. Find Steve on Google.