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Tanya’s Tips: What to Expect at a July 4th BBQ!
Tanya’s Tips: What to Expect at a July 4th BBQ!

Tanya’s Tips: What to Expect at a July 4th BBQ!

June 5, 2021

5 -min read

From fireworks and parades to baseball games, picnics and beach trips – there are lots of ways to celebrate Independence Day in the U.S.! If you get an invite to a 4th of July barbeque – congratulations! Not only is this one of the best ways to join in the spirit of the holiday, it’s also a great occasion to meet new people! Curious what to expect?

1. Red, White and Blue… Everything!

A common theme for the 4th of July celebrations, including bbqs, is all about the colors of the U.S. flag: white signifies purity and innocence, red – hardiness and valour, and blue stands for vigilance, perseverance and justice.

2. 4th of July Themed Outfits

Americans are big fans of getting dressed in clothes with bold, patriotic colors, stars and stripes. You may also see people wearing Uncle Sam hats or getting dressed in colonial-themed costumes.

3. Chips ‘n’ Dips

A typical appetizer at any barbeque, including July 4th, is a variety of chips and dips. Chip options include potato chips, corn chips, tortilla chips, vegetable chips, pita chips, plantain chips, crackers and others. Dips can be served cold or hot and can be purchased from a store or made from scratch.

4. Burgers and Dogs

Hot dogs and hamburgers are American barbeque staples. A typical way to “dress your dog” or a burger is with mustard and ketchup. Some people like to add mayonnaise, cheese, pickles and onions. There are no strict rules here: anything goes!

5. Grilled Corn on the Cob

Another barbeque party-pleaser — and one of the most consumed foods on the 4th of July — is grilled corn on the cob. In the past, sweet corn was a staple food crop for Native Americans.

6. Fireworks… or Not!

Many cities and towns in the U.S., big and small, host annual 4th of July fireworks shows. Often, these shows are kicked off with free live concerts. New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. – these are just a few of the big cities that compete for the honor of having the best 4th of July fireworks.

7. Cornhole Boards

The goal of this game is to score points by throwing bean bags onto, or through the hole of the cornhole board opposite from you.

8. Patriotic Popsicles

These are not your typical ice cream bars! These frozen pops are made from water, they taste sweet and fruity and will keep you fresh and cool after a full day of grilling and barbequing.

9. S’mores

S’more is a short version of the phrase ‘some more’. This treat is made from graham crackers (cookies), marshmallows and chocolate!

10. Music, Chit Chats, Fun and Laughter

It’s common to start 4th of July barbeque parties in the afternoon and enjoy the festivities all the way into the night. With lots of food to indulge in and special time spent with friends, old and new, your American Independence Day memories will last a lifetime!


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An international exchange alumna originally from Ukraine, Tanya started her career at InterExchange in 2011. Tanya is passionate about travel and cultural exchange and enjoys meeting J-1 exchange participants at InterExchange events.


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