Everyone has his or her own traditions for Independence Day. For me, it’s a visit to my hometown of Kingsville, Md. for the Fourth of July Parade. We used to be in it when we were kids…and it was about ten minutes long. Now…thirty (she coughs…) or so years later, we actually have an exciting fly over to start the parade and when it’s all said and done, it’s well over an hour long. That is HUGE. And, everyone comes back – all of the ‘kids’ I grew up with, along with their kids, old neighbors, cousins and more. All-American fun at its best.

My mom tells the funniest story about me, around five or six, coming out of the house dressed in red, white and blue and proclaiming, “Look, Mom! I’m idiotic!” I’m sure she was so proud…

Another thing I love about July 4th is a good barbecue. The smell of food grilling and the laid back vibe of people relaxing, maybe playing some music…flip flops, beers, sparklers…it’s the best.

What do you like to have? Here’s the menu for my ideal July 4th barbecue:

Grilled peaches (obsessed with grilled fruit…)
Asian Cole Slaw (I add purple cabbage to make it prettier…)
A big ‘ol patriotic cake (I like this round version of Ina’s classic)
A nice cold beer (since it’s usually hotter than heck in B’more…)
Oh, and if one of your friends shows up and throws some steamed crabs on the picnic table, that friend is a keeper. Really.
When the barbecue is over and you want to see some great fireworks (and enjoy more great food), head down to Wit & Wisdom at the Four Seasons in Harbor East. They’ll have a live band, plus a great spread…everything from a slow roasted whole pig, a hot dog station and Rappahannock oysters on the half shell, grilled rockfish, lots of side dishes (grilled corn, heirloom tomatoes, etc) and great desserts like housemade popsicles and ice cream sammies. Here is the full menu. AND, of course…there is the fabulous view of the fireworks. One note: only non-alcoholic drinks are included in the ticket price, but they’ll be offering lots of great July 4th inspired drinks, in addition to beer and wine, of course. Tickets are $75 – not bad for a special night in a gorgeous (holy moly, have you seen this place??) setting. Here’s how you get tix: Event Brite.
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