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Celebrating July 4th is the holiday event of the summer. Besides getting a day off of work, the Fourth of July represents the birth of a nation – our nation – and that’s a reason to rejoice. It’s a day of backyard barbeques and celebration that culminates in fireworks displays that stretch across the night sky and across the country.

With so many festive July 4th options, it can sometimes be difficult deciding what to do or where to go. This list of events will hopefully make things easier, whether you plan to go out or stay home.

If you’re celebrating outdoors:

  • Perhaps take in one of these supervised fireworks displays in Massachusetts.
    • Heading to the Esplanade to watch the fireworks displays? Be sure to make time for delays on the road due to closures, and don’t bring things with you that aren’t allowed, like glass containers or grills.
    • Remember that fireworks are illegal to purchase, use, or sell in the state of Massachusetts, so leave it to the professionals to make the magic.
    • Fireworks are not toys. They are harmful and sometimes even deadly. You are not only endangering yourself by playing with fireworks; you are putting the health and lives of everyone around you in jeopardy.
    • If your children need extra persuasion to avoid fireworks this Fourth of July, these firework safety videos can help.
  • If fireworks aren’t really your thing, then try any one of these other Independence Day activities that range from road races to parades!
  • Just remember that if you’ve had alcoholic beverages, never drink and drive. Always have a designated driver.

If you’re staying home to grill or cook:

  • Feel like making something American? Try one of these amazing recipes that some of the people who helped shape our country created.
    • Includes classics like macaroni and cheese, crab cakes, and fudge.
    • It even has easy kid-friendly dessert recipes.
  • Grilling is a great way to bring family and friends together on the Fourth of July, but be sure to remember to grill safely.

Still looking for something to do? Entertain family and friends with fun facts about July 4th… Did you know that in July 1776, only 2.5 million people lived in America? Today we have more than 300 million! Talk about growing up quickly.

And while you’re celebrating the independence America grants its citizens, remember that freedom isn’t free. Keep in mind all the brave men and women who have fought and paid a price so we can enjoy the rights set forth in the Declaration of Independence.  Thank our servicemen and servicewomen, support our troops, and remember those who have paid the ultimate price for our great nation.

Join the conversation: What are you doing this Fourth of July? Tweet @massgov a photo of your celebration!

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