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4th of July Independence Day Party Guide

4th of July Independence Day Party Guide

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A guide to planning a great 4th of July Independence Day party. Guide includes 4th of july recipes, games, history, trivia and more.
A guide to planning a great 4th of July Independence Day party. Guide includes 4th of july recipes, games, history, trivia and more.

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Published by: Favor Affair on Jun 30, 2011
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Table of Contents
Introduction…………………………………… 3 Why We Celebrate!…………………….……… 4 4th of July Quiz…………………………….….. 5 U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt: The Patriot… . 7 4th of July Festivities………………………….10 Decorations…………………………………….16 Favors………………………………………….17 Recipes/Drinks………………………………..18 Grill Safety…………………………………….27 Fireworks Safety………………………………29 4th of July for Kids……………………………..31

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You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.
Erma Bombeck

All Americans celebrate two birthdays every year—the day we came into the world and
our Independence Day, when a new nation was born, promising our inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Our founding fathers and mothers took those first courageous steps toward a country with a government of the people, by the people and for the people and, more than 200 years later, the United States of America is the world leader in democracy and freedom. We‘ve survived wars and depressions, only to grow stronger and more determined to remain free at any cost. As we‘ve shown time and time again, America is truly the land of opportunity for those who have a dream and are willing to do whatever it takes to live their dream.

This E-Guide is dedicated to our patriotic citizens—past, present and future—whose commitment to this nation and everything for which it stands keeps the dream alive.

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Why We Celebrate!
Colonies declared themselves independent of Britain. In a detailed decree, our Declaration of Independence, the colonists expressed their decision to no longer be governed by the kings of England who had been indisputably unjust to them until that moment. Though we often call the holiday simply the 4th of July—the day the United States of America was born—we should also remember it‘s the day we established our independence from tyranny and taxation without representation. The goals and ideas put forth in the Declaration of Independence still stand and are fought for and protected throughout the world, and that document symbolizes all the ideals that we, as Americans believe in—basic freedoms that appear in the declaration as the first 10 amendments, better known as the Bill of Rights. They include freedom of speech, religion and press, the right to bear arms and the right to a trial by jury. Under the command of General George Washington, the courageous colonists fought and defeated a much larger, better-trained, better-equipped British military in this Revolutionary War and won our independence. To this day, we cherish the freedom so many have given their lives to protect and perpetuate for more than two centuries.

On July 4th, 1776, the American

Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.
~Louis D. Brandeis

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Independence Day Trivia Quiz
Here‘s your chance to test yourself, your family and friends on how much you really
know about our country‘s independence! The answers follow the quiz, which was adapted from Riversongs.com:

1. The Declaration of Independence begins with what words? 2. What document was the legal framework of the United States? 3. Who wrote the words of the Star Spangled Banner? 4. How did the Liberty Bell get its crack? 5. How many stars were on the first United States flag? 6. In what year did Congress recognize the Pledge of Allegiance? 7. Where was the first national capitol located? 8. When is the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence? 9. What city was the Liberty Bell located in? 10. What is the official anniversary date of Flag Day? 11. Which two patriots died on July 4, 1826? 12. Who was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence? 13. In July 1776, how many people were living in the colonies? 14. Who do historians believe sewed the first official American flag? 15. Flying a flag upside down is a symbol of what? 16. What is the name of the oldest commissioned U.S. naval vessel? 17. The first 10 amendments to the Constitution are familiarly known as? 18. Whose signature is largest on the Declaration of Independence? 19. Who wrote We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal? 20. Where did immigrants first set foot in the New World to gain entry? 21. Life, liberty, and _________________________________________? 22. What do the colors red, white, and blue stand for? 23. True/False: The signing of the Declaration of Independence took until August 2, 1776. 24. Will Smith starred in this 4th of July movie named? 25. How many people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776? 26. In what state is the largest city of Independence? 27. How many people annually visit the Liberty Bell? 28. How tall is the Statue of Liberty? 29. When the Liberty bell was cast, how much did it weigh?

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Answers: 1. ―When in the course of human events…‖ 2. The Constitution 3. Francis Scott Key 4. The bell cracked on the very first ring 5. The flag had 13 stars and 13 stripes 6. 1942 7. Carpenter‘s Hall, Philadelphia, PA 8. July 4, 1776 9. Philadelphia 10. June 14 11. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson 12. John Hancock 13. 2.5 million 14. Betsy Ross 15. Distress and harm to you and your possessions 16. The Constitution 17. The Bill of Rights 18. John Hancock 19. Thomas Jefferson 20. Ellis Island 21. The pursuit of happiness 22. White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness and valor, and Blue signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice. 23. True 24. Independence Day 25. Two 26. Missouri 27. 1.5 million 28. 151 feet 29. 2080

America is much more than a geographical fact. It is a political and moral fact—the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality.
~Adlai Stevenson

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U.S Representative George Nethercutt on Patriotism
Most Americans consider themselves patriotic, because they
love our country, they fly the American flag on holidays like Memorial Day and the 4th of July and they truly appreciate the freedoms provided by the USA. Others take their patriotism to the limit—they serve in our military and sometimes sacrifice their lives. And some choose to represent the people and govern according to our Constitution on local, state and national levels.

Former Congressman George R. Nethercutt, Jr. served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2005, sent there by the citizens of Washington state‘s 5th congressional district. He was a member of the House Committee on Appropriations and the House Science Committee. Today, Mr. Nethercutt leads The George Nethercutt Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that exists ―to develop in young adults an understanding of government, business, public policy issues and civics, and to foster leadership qualities that will add value to their communities.‖ Clearly, he believes in the importance of young people learning how our government works and realizing how incredibly fortunate we are to live in this country. We asked him to talk about the meaning of Independence Day—and we also asked him for a favorite holiday recipe, which he happily provided (and it sounds yummy!) Why do you think so many Americans feel compelled to embrace and celebrate our Independence Day?

Independence Day connects Americans to our nation's past and affords us a special day of commemoration to give thanks for those who have sacrificed historically in order that we may enjoy a free country.

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Why do you think it‘s important for Americans to have more than just a passing knowledge of our history?

Knowing the story of the United States gives American citizens the basis for perpetuating the freedoms and principles of liberty for which our country stands.
What do we risk when our citizens lack a basic understanding of our history and how we became who we are?

Unless Americans know how the United States came to exist, they are unprepared to stand up for democracy and representative government, and defend the freedoms our system of government provides.
What‘s the best way to encourage adults to learn more about our history, our Bill of rights and our Constitution?

Reading and knowing about our nation's founding documents will provide Americans with a true sense of our national purpose and endow them with a belief in the enduring principles of liberty. Studying and understanding the principles of democracy will instill civic pride and patriotism, and produce a more civically engaged populace. Using modern media (television and internet) can provide immediate civics information to enhance adult education. Adults should take online the Intercollegiate Studies Institute civic literacy exam (click here) to see how well they know basic American civics, and then study the questions missed in order to have a fresh appreciation for national history and government.
How can schools and educators place more emphasis on American history to help create a more enlightened, more patriotic public?

Schools and educators can embrace the drama and excitement of American history by teaching students the story of the United States. As Americans know the story, they will be curious about and seek further information about an era or event in American history.
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Studying the music of history can also enhance the educational experience for students, and make learning fun.
What can our immigrants do to learn more about America‘s past and, consequently, have greater respect for and take pride in their new home?

Read more biographies of the historic leaders that are part of the American story. Visit historic locations in American cities and towns. Become well versed in the documents of US history in order to understand the concepts of American liberty and independence. Learn the music of American history and then learn about the eras that contain such music.
How do you celebrate Independence Day?

I usually celebrate Independence Day on beautiful Priest Lake, Idaho, watching fireworks displays on the lake, enjoying a meal from the barbecue with family and remembering not to take our country's freedoms for granted.
What are some of your favorite 4th of July memories?

As a former Congressman, I have fond memories of July 4 parades in the towns and cities of Eastern Washington, seeing patriotic American families celebrating our country's independence. I recall my parents not letting me shoot off any fireworks until I explained to them each year my understanding of why our country celebrates July 4. As a child, I know it was an effective way for me to express my patriotic feelings. As a parent, I have held my children to the same standards and practice.
Do you have any ―red, white and blue‖ recipes you‘d like to share with us?

This is a savory marinade for flank steak or any other cut of meat. It is ideal for a July 4 barbecue. Ingredients: 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger 1/3 cup of sherry 1/2 teaspoon of pepper 1 cup of soy sauce 1/2 cup of pineapple juice 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
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1 onion grated 1 garlic clove, minced Combine all ingredients and pour over meat. Refrigerate several hours or overnight in a covered non-metal container. Remove meat from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature at least one hour before barbecuing. Enjoy!

Where liberty dwells, there is my country.
~Benjamin Franklin

4th of July Festivities
As our friend Richard Atkins of Improving Communications suggests, we should ―call the
holiday by its true name—Independence Day. It makes it more meaningful, and causes me to pause and think about the event. When people call events by their date name, they lose focus on what the event is about. After all, we never hear people say things like ―Happy December 31st!‖ or ―Merry December 25th!‖ Excellent point, Richard!
Like Christmas and Thanksgiving, Independence Day is a family holiday brimming with celebratory traditions handed down from generation to generation, yet ever evolving as young families put their own contemporary spin on the commemorations of the past. Here are some options for honoring our past, reaffirming our future and living in the moment: Honor the Military—celebrate your hometown heroes! Whether they‘re veterans or on active duty, you can acknowledge the sacrifices made by our military and their families with a parade, a picnic, a barbecue or by putting together care packages to send overseas for our men and women in service. Visit a local military cemetery and place small American flags on each grave. Attend a Baseball Game—Enjoy our national pastime with all the trimmings, like hot dogs, hamburgers, peanuts, pretzels and all the other goodies that go along with a day at the ballpark. Party at a Picnic—In your own backyard, at a nearby park or state park, by the lake, at the beach or wherever you find a table and benches or a spot to spread out a blanket. Fill a basket full of fried chicken, sandwiches or whatever your heart desires. Eat, drink and be FREE!

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Host a Barbecue—For dozens or just a few family and friends! It‘s hard to find someone who doesn‘t like fire-grilled steak, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob and the yummy sides that make the meal complete. Organize a Pool Party—In your own backyard (if you have a pool!), at the subdivision swim/tennis facility or a local public pool. Bring snacks, drinks and have fun staying cool under the toasty July sun! Spend the Day on the Lake, at the Beach or in the Mountains—If you‘re lucky enough to live by a large lake or a coastline in the U.S., share the fun and the sun near or on the water, where swimming, boating and waterskiing keep you cool. Hiking along mountain trails is another wonderful way to gain more appreciation for the beauty and the meaning of America. Visit Washington, D.C.—or Philadelphia or Boston! Our liberty and way of life were born and grew strong in these cities teeming with our history— buildings, monuments, museums, documents and more. Every American should be well-acquainted with why and how our founders created the country we call home. Arrange a Community Celebration/Block Party— You don‘t have to go far from home to join other Americans in a patriotic party. Ask your neighbors to join you at your nearby community center, neighborhood swim/tennis or block off an intersection or street in the ‗hood (be sure to ask permission from your Homeowners‘ Association (HOA or local government.) Set out a portable grill and a few tables, ask the participants to bring meat, chicken or fish of their choice for grilling, one side dish to share and a comfy chair for themselves. It‘s a great all-American way to get to know your neighbors! Participate in a 5K/10K Race—Lots of cities have Independence Day Road Races where you can fly through the streets carrying a flag or simply your patriotic spirit. The largest July 4th road race in the country is Atlanta‘s 10K Peachtree Road Race, with more than 50,000 runners. The race starts at 7:30AM and is over for most entrants by 10AM so they can return to their families for more 4th of July fun. March in/Attend a Parade—Independence Day parades have been a part of the American experience almost since the day we won our liberty! If you can find a way to march in the parade—as part of a group, like Girl Scouts, a service club, your favorite political candidate, etc.—

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you‘ll see parades from a different perspective, but sitting along the parade route watching it go by is fun, too, and it saves your energy for the rest of the day. Catch a Fireworks Display—Independence Day simply wouldn‘t be the same without a firework display. Cities, towns and neighborhoods often provide a spectacular, free fireworks show—the perfect way to cap off your 4th of July!

Now let‘s see how a few of our compatriots rally ‗round the flag… Tanya Peila and her family have a fabulous 4th! She even includes some super decoration and favor ideas!

My husband is an ex-Marine and we have LOTS of friends still active in the Army. Every year we have a BIG picnic with our family and friends for the Fourth of July. We often have small fireworks, and the backyard is decked out in our Red, White, and Blue. We have flags, banners, candles, red/white/blue tootsie rolls, red/white/blue candy necklaces, patriotic hats and head bands. I have a 6-yearold and a 1-year-old. We talk with our son about the war in Iraq and what our soldiers or "Army Men" as he calls them are doing over there. When in public, he always thanks men and women in uniform for "protecting us from the bad guys". We have apple pie and the kids play in the yard. Our Independence Day is a great honor for me. Many men and women have lost their lives for me to be where I am today. The United States is a great nation, even though some may not agree, but they have not weighed their options. To celebrate "our" birthday should be an honor. We also have a friend (the local County Fire Marshal) who also throws a HUGE summer "Americana" bash, because we should celebrate our
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freedom all year round! He barbecues ribs, burgers and dogs, does a cake walk and bingo, and also a little karaoke!

Our thanks to Murphy Kulasa for sending us this perfect example of how a retirement community can band together for a day of patriotic fun:
The day begins at 7AM when members of the Robson Ranch Support Our Troops (SOT) place 180 flags in the median from the Front Gate to the Veterans Park. The annual parade begins at 9AM. Participants from outside Robson Ranch include the Denton Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America Honor Guard, US military personnel and vehicles, local political officials, Denton Fire and Rescue, and the Denton Police Department. We will also have a non-military fly-over. But, the heart and soul of our parade are the Robson Ranch residents. They enter floats, vintage cars, motorcycles, decorated golf carts, bikes, and wagons. Clubs, Families, and individuals walk in the parade, some wearing their favorite patriotic costumes. Our Grand Marshall is selected from one of the 400 Veterans that live at Robson Ranch. Robson Ranch residents, along with their grandkids, friends, and families, form the enthusiastic spectators that line the parade route each year. Immediately following the parade, there is a patriotic sing-along in the Club House Ball Room. After the attendees work up their appetites singing, they head for more music and a picnic lunch [on the premises], sponsored by the Robson Ranch Kiwanis Club, and to complete the day of celebration, the Denton Community Band conducts an evening concert in the Club House. Throughout the day, residents and visitors are welcome to browse through the Veterans Park Tribute Book located in the Club House. The Tribute Book contains photos and biographies of the veterans honored in Robson Ranch Veterans Park, where the parade began earlier in the day. Page 14 of 36

The Veterans Park Committee is made up of members of Support Our Troops, Incorporated (SOT). SOT is a Robson Ranch charitable organization that provides material comfort and correspondence support to over 70 family members of Robson Ranch residents as well as to other organizations that provide specialized medical support to Veterans. Their website is supportourtroopstexas.com.

Our next contributor, a Staff Sergeant serving in the United States Army, writes songs, stories and poetry from the mind of a soldier. We‘re honored to bring you Staff Sergeant Edward Val‘s thoughts on celebrating Independence Day, along with two of his poems:
I celebrate the 4th of July the only way it should be. My family begins by coming together at a park or someone’s home. We each bring something to eat and drink, and we share in the spoils. We come together because every man in my family for four generations has served in the military. Today. however, only my father, my brother and I are still alive to take part, and my youngest brother will be joining our ranks soon. I’m also a published author and write poems to immortalize the day and what it means to me. I do this so the memory of all the friends I have lost during my three tours to Iraq can live forever, and because I understand that Freedom isn’t free for everyone, that certain individuals have to step up and make the sacrifice to preserve all we know and love.

Essence of Summer
The summer lingers on, yearning As the wind sighs, blowing country grass to and fro The sun shines from up above, As clouds cast their shadows upon the world below And the cycle continues moving slowly So willing eyes can see, embrace life, every breath And its beauty For if not you‘ll wake one day filled with regret At having never tried, at having never met Life and all its wonders, life so wild and free, And above all else you‘ll remain forever blind To the knowledge of me.

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Words
Few words escape those who‘ve already said so much; Wise words come from those who are not far from dust. Many words leave those with youth enough to forever speak; Loving words escape those who seek. My words echo in darkness, heard by but a few because my words are complex – if you only knew…

Thank you, Staff Sergeant Val, for all you do to keep us secure and free. You are a true hero, a loyal patriot and an insightful poet. We wish you a safe and happy homecoming—always!
If you have a unique way of celebrating Independence Day, we‘d love to hear about it! Like this nation, our E-guides are of the people, by the people and for the people, so we welcome your input. Just click here to send us your ideas and suggestions for possible inclusion in this very guide! At the end of the day, what matters most is that you make it a point to remember how fortunate we are to live in this land of self-governance and freedom and what it requires every day— from our military, our leaders, you, me and our fellow citizens— to keep us safe and free.

May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country!
~Daniel Webster

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Decorations
Let‘s start with the good ol‘ red, white and blue! The American flag is, by
far, the most beloved and internationally recognized symbol of our nation, and it‘s common to see Old Glory flying high on public property and private residences throughout the USA on Memorial Day, Flag Day and, of course, Independence Day. Click here to learn all the rules for displaying your American flag properly. Of course, the stars-and-stripes design can be found everywhere from clothing to cars, bandannas to bikinis and thousands of other everyday items sold around the US and around the world. Your decorating options are virtually unlimited—visit Party City, your local party supply store or one of the dozens of online party supply stores for Independence Day decorations, which include tableware, bunting, lanterns, hanging swirls, American flag light sets, streamers, banners, balloons, spray centerpieces and more—just like these!

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Speaking of more, we simply couldn‘t leave out this fabulous red, white and blue tree! It‘s called the Stephen T. Colbert (of Comedy Central‘s The Colbert Report) National Treasure Tree, and as you can see, this patriotic beauty doesn‘t need any decorating. It‘s 6‘ tall, 41‖ wide, and you can display it proudly inside or outside your home. In the chapter on 4th of July for Kids, we‘ll show you some family-fun craft projects to make patriotic decorations for commemorating this exhilarating day!

It is the love of country that has lighted and that keeps glowing the holy fire of patriotism.
~J. Horace McFarland

Favors
Quick quiz…what‘s the ultimate Independence Day favor?
Without question, it‘s the American flag! You can find American flags in every size imaginable, but the smaller ones (6‖ to 18‖) are perfect favor size. Old Glory‘s colors also appear on piñatas, noisemakers, leis, favor boxes, pencils, pom poms, T-shirts, hats, bubbles, candles, key chains, mugs, magnets and, of course, the ever-popular more! The party store where you purchased your decorations is likely to have a variety of favors, too. Think Statue of Liberty, too! For those of you who want to put a little more pizzazz in your patriotic party, Favor Affair has a couple of cool ideas for you from our beach favors category. The first, a mini lantern tea light holder, recalls the famous ride of Paul Revere to alert the American troops to the British invasion:

He said to his friend, "If the British march By land or sea from the town tonight, Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch Of the North Church tower as a signal light— One if by land, and two if by sea; And I on the opposite shore will be, Ready to ride and spread the alarm
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Through every Middlesex village and farm, For the country folk to be up and to arm."
And here‘s a really refreshing favor with a name that conjures up images of mesmerizing fireworks displays! It‘s ―Razzle Dazzle‖ Raspberry Iced Tea Mix, and even the box has a little red, white and blue on it. Scrumptious and summery, this raspberry iced tea mix is an incredible Independence Day delight designed to keep your party guests in patriotic spirit beyond the holiday!

The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.
~Benjamin Franklin

Recipes/Drinks
You‘re at liberty to create the Independence Day menu that‘s right for you and your

particular style of celebrating—fried chicken, bratwursts, pizza, steaks, burgers, seafood— it‘s all good! We‘ll start off with a few red, white and blue recipes (literally!) and also provide links to our favorite recipe sites, all with lots of special recipes for Independence Day. Feel free to make your own choices!

Red, White & Blue Burgers
From RecipeZaar.com Ingredients 1 large sweet white onion 1 lb lean ground sirloin 1 teaspoon olive oil 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese Fresh ground black pepper, to taste Hamburger bun Red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and quartered Salt to taste
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Prep: 5 min Cook: 10 min Directions 1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. 2. Using your hands, lightly shape the ground sirloin into four 1/2-inch thick patties. Try to leave some air in the burger and avoid packing them too densely. 3. Season with salt and pepper. 4. Lightly drizzle the red pepper quarters with olive oil. 5. Cook the burgers on both sides over the hot grill for about 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium burgers. 6. At the same time, grill the peppers for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. 7. Lightly toast the buns on the grill. 8. Serve the burgers on toasted buns with grilled red peppers, slices of sweet white onion and crumbled blue cheese. We love the irony of this next red, white and blue recipe—it‘s made with London Broil!

Grilled Balsamic-Marinated London Broil with Red Onions
From Gourmet.com Serves4 Active time: 45 min. Start to finish: 5 1/4 hr. (includes marinating) Ingredients 4 garlic cloves, minced 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 1/2 lb (1 1/4-inch-thick) top round London broil 3 small red onions (3/4 lb total) Special equipment:

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About 24 wooden picks; an instant-read thermometer Marinate steak and prepare onions: Stir together garlic, 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and pour into a 1-quart sealable plastic bag. Add steak to marinade, turning to coat, and marinate, chilled, turning bag occasionally, at least 4 hours. Bring to room temperature, then remove steak from marinade and discard marinade. Trim root ends of onions slightly, leaving them intact, then halve lengthwise and cut halves lengthwise into 3/4-inch-thick wedges. Insert 1 wooden pick horizontally through each wedge (to keep it intact while grilling). Whisk together remaining tablespoon vinegar and 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl and add onions, tossing gently to coat. To cook steak using a charcoal grill: Open vents on bottom of grill. Light a large chimney starter of charcoal (80 to 100 briquettes) and pour lit charcoal onto bottom rack, leaving about one quarter of bottom rack free of charcoal and banking remaining coals across rest of bottom rack so that coals are about 3 times higher on opposite side. Charcoal fire is medium-hot when you can hold your hand 5 inches above thickest layer of coals for 3 to 4 seconds. Sear steak on lightly oiled grill rack over thickest layer of coals, uncovered, 1 minute on each side, then move steak to area over fewer coals and grill, uncovered, turning occasionally and moving to coolest area of grill if browning too quickly, until thermometer inserted horizontally 2 inches into meat registers 120°F, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let stand 10 minutes (steak will continue to cook, reaching mediumrare). To cook steak using a gas grill: Preheat all burners on high, covered, 10 minutes.
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Sear steak on lightly oiled grill rack, uncovered, 1 minute on each side, then reduce heat to moderate. Grill steak, covered, turning occasionally, until thermometer inserted horizontally 2 inches into meat registers 120°F, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let stand 10 minutes (steak will continue to cook, reaching mediumrare). To grill onions by either method: While steak is standing, grill onions (covered only if using a gas grill) over moderate heat, turning over once, until tender, about 6 minutes. Serve onions with steak; cut steak crosswise into thin slices, holding knife at a 45-degree angle. Cooks‘ notes: Steak can marinate up to 1 day. If you aren‘t able to grill outdoors, steak and onions can be cooked, separately, in a hot lightly oiled well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderately high heat, turning once and lowering heat if necessary, about 15 minutes total for steak and 6 minutes for onions. Red, White and Blue Potato Salad From MyRecipes.com Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup) Ingredients 2 cups fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise (about 10 ounces) 2 cups small red potatoes, quartered (about 10 ounces) 2 cups small blue potatoes, halved lengthwise (about 10 ounces) 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives 3 hard-cooked large eggs, finely chopped 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
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2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 garlic clove, minced Directions Place fingerling and red potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool slightly. Place potatoes in a large bowl. Place blue potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool slightly. Add blue potatoes, onion, parsley, dill, chives, and eggs to bowl; toss gently. Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients. Pour over potato mixture; toss gently to combine. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Kitchen Notes Blue potatoes are starchier than the others and tend to bleed, so cook them separately. If you need to, prepare this dish a day ahead, but add the blue potatoes just before serving. If your potatoes are larger than the ones we call for, cut them to a uniform size. American Flag Cake From imommies.com Ingredients 1 package white cake mix 1 (4-serving size) package Strawberry Jell-o 1/2 cup boiling water 1 (4-serving size) package Instant Vanilla Pudding & Pie Filling 1-1/2 cups milk 3 cups whipped topping, divided 1 cup blueberries, divided 1-1/2 cups sliced strawberries 2 bananas, sliced 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows (optional) Directions:

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1.) Prepare cake mix according to package directions in 13×9x2 pan. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely. 2.) Poke holes in cake at 1-inch intervals. 3.) Dissolve Jell-o in boiling water, and slowly drizzle over cake, allowing Jell-o to seep into the cake holes. Refrigerate 1 hour. 4.) Prepare pudding according to package directions using milk. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping and 1/2 cup blueberries. 5.) Split cake horizontally in half. Spread pudding mixture on top of the first cake half, then replace 2nd cake half on top of the mixture. 6.) Spread remaining whipped topping over top and sides of cake. 7.) Arrange remaining blueberries, strawberries and bananas on the cake to resemble a flag. Place marshmallows around the edge (optional).

For a super-simple red, white and blue dessert, buy the individual shortcake dessert

shells, fill them with fluffy-white whipped cream and sprinkle generously with blueberries and sliced strawberries. Pure patriotic pleasure! Now let‘s talk about beverages custom-made for the day! We‘ll start with a few nonalcoholic libations:

Summer Delight Punch
6 oz. Can frozen lemonade 6 oz. Can frozen orange juice 2 ½ cups Pineapple juice 12 oz. Can apricot or peach nectar 1 ea. Bottle ginger ale, (2 liter) 1 ea. Lemon, sliced Mix together the lemonade, orange juice, pineapple juice, and nectar and chill. When ready to serve drinks, add the ginger ale. Garnish with lemon slices.

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Red, White, and Blueberry Freezee
1 cup Whipping cream ½ cup Frozen blueberries 1 dash Lemon juice Sugar to taste Small Strawberries for garnish Mix together the whipping cream, blueberries, lemon juice, and sugar in a blender. Top with a few strawberries. This refreshing drink is great on a hot day.

Mock Pink Lady
1 ½ cups Milk 2 tbs. Lemon juice 1 tbs. Grenadine 1 tbs. Sugar, granulated 6 Ice cubes Measure milk, lemon juice, grenadine, sugar and ice cubes into blender. Blend until ice is dissolved. Serve immediately.

4th of July Holiday Punch
6 c Orange juice 20 oz Frozen strawberries in syrup 2 c Cranberry juice cocktail 3 c Ginger ale Blend together the orange juice, strawberries, and cranberry juice cocktail. Add ginger ale immediately before serving drinks. Makes 18 servings For those of you who like a little more ―punch‖ in your beverage, we bring you four fabulous cocktail recipes:

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The American Collins
1 ½ oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin ¾ oz. Simple Syrup ½ oz. Fresh Lemon Juice 4 Bing Cherries, pitted 8 Blueberries In a Collins glass, muddle the blueberries and cherries in the lemon juice and simple syrup. Add Sapphire and ice and stir briefly. Top with club soda. Garnish: One Bing Cherry and one Lemon Wheel

Firecracker
3 ounces Flor de Caña 7 Year Grand Reserve Rum 1 ounce Triple Sec 1 ounce fresh lime juice 1 ounce simple syrup (boil and cool equal parts water and sugar) 4 watermelon chunks ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper Whirl all ingredients together and pour into a glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Broad Stripes and Bright Stars
1/4oz Lucid Absinthe 1oz Blueberry Vodka 1/4oz Simple Syrup Splash of Lemon Juice Drizzle of Raspberry Liqueur Ginger Beer Fresh Blueberries Muddle fresh blueberries and add syrup, Lucid juice and vodka. Add ice and shake and pour into highball glass. Drizzle Liqueur and top with Ginger Beer. Garnish with one sugar cube.

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Independence Sangria
Xanté is the hot new pear liqueur from Sweden that everyone is talking about. This cool cocktail, from The Yard in Santa Monica, CA, features Xanté in a delicious fresh-fruit sangria. 4 x 1.5 Liter bottles of White Wine 1 Bottle of Xante 2 cups Orange Juice 4 cups pear juice Pour all ingredients into a pitcher, and serve into individual glasses and garnish with Sliced apples, oranges, blood oranges, pears, strawberries. And now, more delicious Independence Day food and drink recipes than you can shake a flagpole at: FoodNetwork.com RecipeZaar.com (Red, White and Blue Recipes) RecipeZaar.com (All Independence Day Recipes) FamilyFun.Go.com AllRecipes.com PondPointWines.com (Food and Drink Recipes) GlobalGourmet.com Homecooking.About.com SimplyStated.RealSimple.com Holidays.net WhatsCookingAmerica.net idrink.com PracticalKitchen.com Cocktails.About.com Garvick.com EverythingRachaelRay.com Holidash.com

What is the essence of America? Finding and maintaining that perfect, delicate balance between freedom "to" and freedom "from."
~Marilyn vos Savant

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Grill Safety
These Grill Safety tips first appeared in our National Hamburger Day E-guide, and we think they‘re worth repeating. The folks at the New England Propane Gas Association sent us these super tips for safe grilling with ever-popular propane gas. To reduce any risk of an unwanted fire or burns from propane, consumers should routinely follow some key tips for the safe operation and maintenance of their grills: Ventilation Always keep the lid open when lighting your grill. Keep the grill in a well-ventilated area, at least ten feet away from the house—and at least three feet away from trees and shrubs. Never use a grill indoors or in any unventilated space. This is both a fire and carbon monoxide poisoning hazard. Always use and store propane cylinders outdoors in an upright position. After filling or exchanging a cylinder, take it home immediately. While transporting the cylinder, keep your vehicle ventilated and the valve closed or capped. Never use, store or transport propane cylinders near high temperatures. Firing Up The Grill Safely Never use matches or lighters to check for leaks. Never use starter fluid with propane grills. Before connecting the cylinder to your grill for the first time, use a leak detection solution (a 50/50 mixture of water and liquid soap) to check connections for leaks. Keep all flammable materials away from the grill. If you detect a leak, immediately turn off gas and do not attempt to light the grill again until the leak is fixed. If the grill does not ignite within ten seconds, turn off the gas, keep the lid open and wait five minutes before trying again. When refilling the cylinder, always have the supplier check for dents, damage, rust, and leaks. Do not smoke while handling a propane cylinder.
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Regularly check the tubes that lead into the burner for blockage from insects or food grease. Use a pipe cleaner or wire to clear blockage, pushing it through to the main part of the burner. General Safety Tips Designate the grilling area a ―No Play Zone,‖ keeping kids and pets away from the equipment. Always have one person in charge of the fire at all times. Never leave a hot grill unattended. When your grill is not in use, cover the disconnected hose-end fittings with plastic bags or protective caps to keep them clean. Always follow grill manufacturer‘s instructions and keep written materials on hand. Never attempt to repair the tank valve or the appliance yourself. See a propane gas dealer or a qualified appliance repair person. Be sure to locate your model number and the manufacturer‘s consumer inquiry phone number and write them on the front page of your manual. If you smell gas and you are able to, safely turn off the cylinder vale, turning it to the right (clockwise). Immediately leave the area and call 911 or your local fire department. Before you use the grill again, have a qualified service technician inspect your cylinder.

And I‘m proud to be an American, where at least I know I‘m free, and I won‘t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

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Fireworks Safety
Fireworks, besides being thrilling to watch, represent ―the bombs bursting in air‖ we sing about in our National Anthem, so they‘ve long been the spectacular finale of most Independence Day celebrations across the country. Our friends at TNT Fireworks, the nation‘s largest distributor of consumer fireworks and novelty items, provided these fireworks-safety tips for sparklers. For more than 50 years, TNT has set the benchmark for safety, customer satisfaction, innovation and quality in the fireworks industry, and we thank them for lighting up our holiday skies safely. Remember to keep children and pets away from all consumer sparklers. By taking the following simple, precautionary steps, we can enjoy the 4th of July in style, while preventing unnecessary injuries: Once you‘ve made your sparkler purchase, keep them in a safe place…out of the reach of children at all times. Young children should not light or handle sparklers. Use good common sense and always read and follow all warnings and instructions that appear on a sparkler item or its packaging. Always keep a hose and a bucket of water nearby in case of emergencies. Used sparklers should be soaked in a bucket of water prior to being discarded. Use sparklers outdoors, only in clear areas, away from houses, buildings, fences, dry grass, and trees. Your sparkler display area should also be smooth, flat, level and swept clean of debris. Never attempt to fix or relight a sparkler – if it fails to light, do not relight it. Place it in a bucket of water and make sure it is fully soaked before discarding it.

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Animals are sometimes frightened by sparklers. To protect your ―best friends,‖ keep them indoors – away from the loud noise – and secure. As with any purchase, check the credibility of the distributor to make sure their sparklers are reliable, legal and come from a licensed source. Remember – not all sparklers are the same. Be sure to purchase products that are manufactured by a trusted, established company that puts safety first. Do not smoke when handling any type of sparkler. Do not use sparklers while under the influence of alcohol. Always use products that are legal in your community. States and local communities regulate the type of products that may be sold and used by consumers. So make sure you follow state laws and local ordinances. If you‘re planning a big fireworks display, please follow these tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety: 1. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS 2. HAVE AN ADULT PRESENT 3. BUY FROM RELIABLE FIREWORKS RETAILERS 4. IGNITE OUTDOORS 5. HAVE WATER NEARBY 6. NEVER EXPERIMENT OR ATTEMPT TO MAKE YOUR OWN FIREWORKS 7. LIGHT ONE AT A TIME 8. NEVER RE-IGNITE MALFUNCTIONING FIREWORKS 9. NEVER GIVE FIREWORKS TO SMALL CHILDREN 10. STORE IN A COOL, DRY PLACE 11. DISPOSE OF PROPERLY 12. NEVER THROW FIREWORKS AT ANOTHER PERSON 13. NEVER CARRY FIREWORKS IN YOUR POCKET 14. NEVER SHOOT FIREWORKS IN METAL OR GLASS CONTAINERS

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Freedom‘s natal day is here. Fire the guns and shout for freedom. See the flag above unfurled! Hail the stars and stripes forever. Dearest flag in all the world.
~Florence A. Jones

4th of July for Kids
Patriotic parents have the perfect opportunity to teach their children more about
America‘s courageous history, our world leadership in democracy and human rights and why many Americans love their country enough to sacrifice their lives to preserve our liberty and way of life. These crafts ideas, recipes, games and activities give you an opportunity to have fun with your kids and, at the same time, inspire love of country!

4th of July Salt Dough Pins
What you'll need: ½ cup salt 1 cup flour ½ cup water Acrylic paint: red, white and blue Pin backs White craft glue Small cookie cutters: heart, star, number 4 Acrylic sealer spray How to make it: 1. Mix together the salt, flour, and water. If dough is sticky, add additional tablespoons of flour one at a time until the mixture is smooth a pliable. Be careful not to add too much or your projects will crack. 2. Roll out or press dough with your hand and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Place shapes on cookie sheet and heat oven to 250 degrees F. 3. Place cookie sheet in oven and bake for 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours, or until items are dry. Remove from oven and let cool. 4. Paint all the shapes white and let dry.
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5. Use a small paintbrush to ad red stripes and a medium paintbrush to add solid blue to the heart and the star. You may need a second coat of blue. Let dry. Use a toothpick dipped in paint to write ―JULY‖ down the side of the number 4 pin. Write ―I love (draw a heart share) USA) on the heart pin. Use the handle end of a paintbrush dipped in paint to add polka dots onto the number 4 and the top of the star. 6. Let them all dry and have an adult spray them with acrylic sealer. 7. Turn pins over and glue on pin backs. Use a generous amount of glue and let them dry completely before wearing. Tips: Salt dough can be kept in a covered container for a couple of days. It is not necessary to dry out salt dough in the oven, you can air dry it, but the oven is faster. Personalize a pin by writing your name instead of a suggested phrase. Flag Tag Relay What You Need Buckets of sand Small American flags Instructions 1. To set up the race, divide the group into 2 teams. For each team, place a bucket of sand filled with small American flags (1 per teammate) on the far side of the yard. 2. On cue, the first kid from each team races to the appropriate bucket, plucks a flag, and marches back to his team as quickly as possible (no running allowed!) to tag the next person. 3. The game continues in this way until all the members of one team have returned to the starting line with a flag in hand. At day's end, make everyone a winner by letting all the kids take home their flags as favors.

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Pretzel Sparklers (FamilyCorner.com) (From FamilyCorner.com) You‘ll Need: Long rod pretzels White chocolate, melted Sprinkles (red, white and blue) or star cake decorations Melt the white chocolate. Dip the pretzel rod halfway into the melted chocolate then sprinkle the sprinkles over the wet chocolate. Lay on waxed paper or place in a cup to dry. The links below will take you to dozens of Independence Day crafts and activities for kids of all ages: http://resources.kaboose.com/games/july4.html (Games) http://familyfun.go.com/4th-of-july/4th-of-july-crafts/ (Crafts) http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/july4/ (Crafts) http://holidays.kaboose.com/july4-books.html (Books) http://printables.kaboose.com/holidays/july-4/july4color.html (Coloring) http://familycrafts.about.com/od/independenceday/Indepe ndence_Day_Crafts.htm (Crafts) http://www.independencedayfun.com/party/ http://familyfun.go.com/4th-of-july/4th-of-july-recipes/ http://kids.cdkitchen.com/recipes/cat/566/ Sing Patriotic Songs with your kids!

Just one more activity for kids, and we think it‘s both fun and meaningful for every American family! Imagine having a dad or mom or brother or sister in the military, doing an important job for our country in a faraway place. Kids in military families feels scared, lonely and separate from other kids living ―normal lives and having ―normal‖ worries.

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My Friendship Bracelet Maker is asking kids around the country to make a Red, White and Blue friendship bracelet (any pattern) to send to a boy or girl in a military family. The MYFBM Friendship Club hopes to collect 14,000 Red, White and Blue friendship bracelets by July 4th. These bracelets will be distributed to kids at camps around the country that help military children and their families develop and maintain healthy and connected relationships. Please mail bracelets to: MYFBM, PO Box 380482 Clinton Twp., MI 48038. Because of the great success of this campaign, the company is extending it to August 1, 2010 (which is National Friendship Day), and they plan to make it an annual event, so you can participate every year! Friendship bracelets, made by knotting embroidery thread into various patterns, have long been a symbol of support and friendship. For instructions on how to create these bracelets, to find a store near you that sells the friendship bracelet kits or to join My Friendship Bracelet Maker's Friendship Club, go to My Friendship Bracelet Maker.

On this Independence Day, let us remember the sacrifices that have been made for our freedom. Let us also remember that America is not defined by the politicians who run it, but the people who love it. Patriotism in America does not mean following blindly, but rather it means holding to the ideals that gave birth to this great nation. ~Noel Jameson

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Editor‘s Note: All pictures have been gathered from various sources around the internet. Some were submitted by their original photographers. If any of the images are copyrighted, and you are the owner of these pictures, please do not hesitate to contact me. They will be removed or Page 36credited, if you so desire. of 36

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