About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

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  1. We are planning to have a small gathering of friends and family who will eat well, have good conversation, laugh, sing, run and play and in doing all this-love.

  2. I will probably watch the parade with my family then later I might watch the fireworks with my dad.

  3. Every year we get up early and head to our local blueberry farm. We started this blueberry picking tradition when my son was old enough to walk and pick his own berries. Then we’ll go to the lake and join my in-laws in their cottage for a cookout and fireworks. 🙂

  4. We spend the morning together and then go to the grandparents in the afternoon then we hit the fireworks at night. We love just spending a summer day all together doing whatever we want. It usually involves eating and swimming!

  5. I had not even thought of hosting a fourth of July party, but now that I saw the strawberry/banana blueberry kebab I want too… I though of cute crafts to hang around tables in the backyard… I cant wait for tomorrow to hear more ideas… so excited now…. whoo hoo!!!

  6. We just moved to a new city so we’ll probably go down to the city parade and festival! I wouldn’t be surprised if we run into someone from my husband’s new office either.

  7. This is the first time in four years that my husband will have the 4th of July off. I think maybe I should plan a party -what fun. We could invite some people from church and some neighbors and have a potluck . Love the fruit kabobs. Can’t wait for more ideas.

  8. I will hang my flag bunting, my 13 star flag and the flag I bought at the 911 Memorial site. I live on a golf course that is closed so it’s like living in a park. The neighborhood has been very distressed about our situation and just recently someone has started a restaurant at the old clubhouse. Everyone is starting to feel positive about our neighborhood. I plan on getting the neighbors together, put up canopies, use small flags & flowers for the tables, surround the area with as many flags possible, play John Phillip Suza. Fireworks when the sun goes down, just have a great time celebrating friendships, freedom and our God. Sounds like fun, you’re invited too.

  9. Our family will be at the beach in SC this year for the 4th. We will be spending time together, eating good food and watching the fireworks on the beach. I think we will grill out, eat watermellon, and have some kind of July 4th related dessert. We’ll get the kids to help with decorations. Can’t wait to be there.

  10. Fourth of July starts with the pancake breakfast hosted by the fire department of the town my husband grew up in. We then watch the small town parade with floats, clowns, and a band followed by tractors and semis. Then we progress to the chicken barbeque in the park. Yum! The evening will end with us watching fireworks from the beach as they shoot out over Lake Michigan. Lots of twinkling lights from the boats scattered out in the lake for the best view. Great memories in the makeing!

  11. We are hosting a cookout with my family and my husband’s parents and hopefully fireworks in the evening.

  12. I plan a pool party with red ,white and blue tablecoths…flowers and a jello cake decorated with blueberries and strawberries for the flag..

    fireworks one week later in our twon.. don’t forget the potato salad.. yum.. I can’t wait…

  13. Good tips!! I have learned to consider the venue more carefully since hosting 30 people in our small-ish home a few times and going a bit crazy. 🙂 We did my son’s last b-day party at a park, and it was much more relaxed! I plan to spend the 4th at my grandpa’s annual pool party, just like I have almost every year of my life. 🙂 Now I get to bring my two little boys along for the fun!

  14. We will be traveling to CO this year for the 4th of July to spend it with family. However, with all the wildfires, I’m not sure we will be able to set off any fireworks! But, that’s ok, we will still be with family!!

  15. Our little town has it’s own fireworks the night before the 4th, which are awesome, but every year (even before we moved to this community) we drive out to Hershey Park, set up blankets on the side of the 4 lane road (yes, weird, but vendors even sell things), eat Taco Bell (yes, only Taco Bell), and play board games until the fireworks. We can hear the music from who ever is playing at the stadium. Love it!

  16. I’m not sure we’ll do it for the fourth of July, since we might be camping, but I would like to have a summer party. I think it would be fun to do a hot dog bar, with all sorts of toppings!

  17. We plan on sitting on our front porch and watching all the firework displays that appear all over the sky in the neighborhood quite arbitrarily!! It’s simple. relaxing, fun and beautiful!

  18. I plan on watching the national displays on my 55″ HDTV in my pjs with a bowl of popcorn! 😉

  19. We’ll be going over to a friend’s house party and they live close to where our local fireworks will be going off. Great view!

  20. Normally we BBQ then go out on the boat at the lake. I’m not sure this year but it’ll involve family, water, yummy food and a blanket with fireworks!!

  21. We have a quiet morning and then off to the parade and festivities. This year our town is taking a panoramic ‘town picture’, pretty neat. Then home for a cookout and to enjoy the fireworks.

  22. We plan to celebrate my daughter’s birthdays! Born in June and August, the weekend of the fourth seemed the perfect time for out-of-state family to join us for a celebration.

  23. This post is very timely for me as I have been scrambling to plan a “perfect” July 4th get together for friends at MY HOUSE! Our small town has a band that plays for several hours and then we have an awesome fireworks display. I am looking forward to the party, but not the prepping. Thanks for the ideas!

  24. My husband and I are taking a few people out on our party barge to shoot fireworks off a sandbar. We are going to serve Chicken, coleslaw, potato salad on red, white and blue decor and serve cake with Declaration of Indeependance on it and let everybody write their names on it before we eat it. We are down to very little amily so we take those we consider family. The kids love it too.

  25. Every year we have a “pre” 4th party, usually on the 2nd or 3rd. We have a BBQ and light off TONS of fireworks. Each year, it gets bigger and bigger – we play croquet in the back yard while it still light out, let the little kids play in some kind of water toy in the front yard, eat eat and EAT and then, when it’s dark, have the best fireworks show in the area! My husband never really was able to have fireworks as a kid and he is just a big kid at heart. This is where most of our entertainment budget for the year goes and it is wonderful! The people who come in and out of our lives, if for a season or a lifetime, all seem to enjoy this event and we look forward to next year’s before this one is even over!

  26. Just family time. Maybe we’ll get some outside work done and then play in the sand and water while supper cooks on the grill. 🙂

  27. I am planning to spend time with my family this 4th of July. Having splash day, BBQ, crafts, and sharing what 4th of July is about. Just having fun with my family..

  28. Unfortunately…NO, Fortunately I’ll be celebrating the 4th of July with 30 of my coworkers as we take care of premie babies in the NICU. We’ll try to plan a potluck and if it’s not too busy that day hopefully get to the lounge to enjoy our goddies!

  29. Every year on the Fourth of July I try to keep things simple. I like to get out my patriotic linens and decorations saved from prior years including some lego coasters my sons made ten years ago that look like the flag… and many other of their creations over the years. I have lots of patriotic music that I like to play… we usually watch Revolutionary War movies like The Patriot or some we have from The History Channel… and we try to go to see the fireworks or watch them on TV if the weather is not so good. We usually have something on the barbeque and what it is depends on the budget. We usually have corn on the cob and I make a special sheet cake that looks like the flag with colored frosting that I make with the paste colors that make great deep colors. How many people we have depends on what friends are able to come as we have no close family nearby. This year might be different as we live close to the shore and have some cousins nearby so… maybe some new traditions. I would so love to get a book of party ideas.

  30. We will be going to the park for a fabulous display of fireworks. We’ll go early and invite anyone who wants to join us to come spend the afternoon and evening playing, eating, and laughing with us!

  31. Nothing planned – no company coming that I know of – we are a real spur of the moment clan!

  32. I don’t think we’ll be doing much of anything. We can’t travel anywhere since the 4th is stuck in the middle of the week this year.

  33. We are going to spend time with family we don’t get to see often, arbque of course and swim and best of all cat h up!

  34. We’re having a small group of 10 this year. Using all white serve platters and bowls with cute red plastic serving utensils I picked up at the .99 cent store. Using 2 patriotic kitchen towels I got on clearance from Sur La Table for 3. each and using them as a table runner. The towels are so big it looks perfect! I re-use all my stash of flags in all sorts of sizes which makes it so easy to pop in the little jars (old spaghetti sauce jars!) of daisies from my yard (they grow like weeds!) and Aside from making some strawberry ice cream, choc fudge sauce on-the-side :’) and a huge fresh veggie salad ~ That’s it!!! Everyone is bringing a side to share and their own “grill-ready protein”… With a big pitcher of lemonade and iced tea and fresh mint at the beverage station ~ we are set for an eve of fun and fireworks! (They’re still legal in our town) … Love your ideas, thank you!!! Hope it is a blessed 4th of July for you :’)

  35. Marinated beef kabobs on a charcoal grill. A trip up the Hudson Valley to West Point to hear their band concert. Cheer as LOUDLY for the Navy as my strong voice will allow & watch fireworks in a red, white & blue outfit!