USAGov's Guide to the Fourth of July

June 25, 2018
Fireworks behind Mount Rushmore

This July 4 marks the 242nd anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States. The declaration announced the colonies’ separation from Britain in 1776, but celebrating Independence Day every year became popular after the War of 1812. In 1870 Congress officially made it a federal holiday.

Every year, Americans celebrate what many call the “nation's birthday” with firework shows, parades, and patriotic ceremonies.

Here’s USAGov’s list of ways to celebrate Independence Day:

  1. Visit a park or historical site. Many parks and sites hold Fourth of July events. Search for a park near you and make a plan to visit on the holiday.
  2. Display Old Glory. There’s no better way to celebrate America’s birthday than to display the Stars and Stripes. Hang it on the porch or clamp it on the car, just remember to follow the U.S. Flag Code when displaying and caring for the flag. Check out USAGov’s How to Display the American Flag infographic and download a free copy to keep at home.
  3. Traveling or living abroad? No problem. U.S. consulates and embassies across the world celebrate Independence Day too. Find an embassy and see if staff have events planned for the Fourth of July.
  4. Go to a naturalization ceremony. Every year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services marks Independence Day by holding naturalization ceremonies across the country from late June through July 4.  Check if there’s a ceremony near you and share the moment with new Americans.
  5. Participate in a local celebration. Many cities and towns across the country have their own celebrations. From symphonic concerts to parades and marches, America always celebrates its birthday with fun. Find out how your community is commemorating Independence Day and plan to join in.
  6. Grill with friends and family. Spending time with friends and family is a good option for any holiday. Whether you’re headed to a picnic or displaying the flag at a barbecue, make sure the food you’re cooking is well prepared and ready to eat. Learn tips to make sure any meats are cooked safely and how to wash vegetables appropriately at

Back to Top

You might also like …

  • The Gettysburg Address, 155 Years Later

    On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech during a ceremony to dedicate a cemetery to Union soldiers killed at the Battle of Gettysburg.

  • Find Veterans Day Volunteer Ideas

    Veterans are a major part of any American community and it's important to make sure they're not left behind. Volunteers help vets every day, and Veterans Day is the perfect occasion to give back.

  • USAGov’s Guide for Voters with a Disability

    This Election Day, millions of Americans will visit a polling location to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

  • Recovery after Hurricane Florence

    Hurricane Florence has brought heavy wind and rain to large parts of the East Coast. Stay informed on the latest warnings, advisories, and the path of Florence with bulletins from the National Weather Service.

  • Want to Become a Federal Government Contractor? Here are 3 Tips

    Bidding on and winning federal contracts can be a great way to expand and grow your small business. Check out these tips from to help you perform market research, find helpful resources, and more.

Share This Page: Facebook Twitter Email

Back to Top

What you think matters!