Things to Do on the 4th of July That Are Easy, Cheap or Free
Independence Day will soon be upon us and with the coronavirus affecting what we can and cannot do, I have to prioritize my list of things to do on this Fourth of July.
My wife Donna and I raised eight very active kids, with that came the challenge of keeping them fed and entertained.
I'll share with you some things that have become a Fernandez family favorite that is either easy, cheap, or free.
Fly your Flag
Proudly display your flag, we fly the flags our family members have served under. We make sure they're worthy of flying. Not too faded, not too tattered and not torn. If your flag has seen better days, please retire it properly by contacting the Boy Scouts, Lions Club or the American Legion.
Listening to Patriotic Music
Start the day by playing patriotic music on the Fourth of July. Nothing screams Independence Day like Lee Greenwood and the Boston Pops. If you'll start the day with Lee or the Boston Pops patriotic medley of songs, you'll feel a more genuine sense of patriotic pride. Just try it.
Bake a Patriotic Cake
Baking a red, white and blue cake has been my daughter Branddy's patriotic idea. She bakes a 9 by 13 cake and simply covered it with whipped cream. She then arranges blueberries and strawberries to create her patriotic themed cake. You should see the kids eyes when the cake comes out.
Back Yard Barbecuing
Barbecuing is my domain. I learned at an early age, the best way to please my family is with hot dogs and hamburgers for the boys, chicken for the girls and plenty of grilled seasonal veggies like corn on the cob, jalapeno poppers, squash and smoked baked potatoes. At least I know I'll hear peace and quite while the children eat.
Watching a Fourth of July Parade
Abilene is very fortunate to have several neighborhood parades. Some of the ones I recall were on Amarillo Street, Jeannette Street, Button Willow Parkway and Mesquite Forrest neighborhoods.
Take in the sights and sounds of the Abilene Freedom Festival, complete with fireworks at the end of the day.
Make Homemade Ice Cream
We always have leftover strawberries and/or blueberries from the cake making ceremony earlier in the day. What berry's are left ended up in the ice cream maker. Here's the Fernandez family "super easy" recipe for fresh berries ice cream, enjoy!
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chopped or mashed fresh strawberries (and/or other berries)
In a bowl big enough to accommodate all the ingredients, mix the milk, sugar, vanilla, cream, salt and the berries. Pour the mixture into the ice cream makers freezer bowl and start cranking and/or turn on the ice cream maker (following manufacturer's directions). Enjoy!
Watch a Fireworks display
Finally at the end of a very busy 4th of July, gather up your flags, then go watch the fireworks show. Abilene will have a fireworks show and the Abilene Freedom Festival at the Taylor County Expo Center this year.
Remember to take a camera, then share your pictures with us on our Facebook page.