33 of the Best 4th of July Ideas for 2021 - Food, Cocktails, Decore, & More!

33 of the Best 4th of July Ideas for 2021 – Food, Cocktails, Decor & More!


Independence Day hits different after our collective year+ in isolation. Freedom. We know we love it more than ever this year. So after 2020 rained on our Fourth of July parade, we’re doubling down on the party in 2021. From Brad Paisley to the Blue Angels, we’ve got a list of 9 spectacular pyrotechnic shows in cities from coast to coast celebrating America’s birthday with a bang!

Celebrate in style with festive 4th of July ideas for backyard barbecues, and fireworks watch parties.

If you know what you are looking for click the link to go directly there.
(1-5) Barbecue Ideas
(6-8) The Perfect Sides
(9-11) Cocktail Ideas
(12-14) Dessert Ideas
(15-17) Party Decoration Ideas
(18-25) Music Ideas
(26-33) The Best Places to See Fireworks

33 of the Best 4th of July Ideas for 2021

July 4 Party Ideas

Hot diggity dog! This classic fare’s time to shine is in the 4th of July barbecue parties from sea to shining sea. Millions and millions of wieners meet their makers every year during America’s birthday party.

And if you want to party like Maya Angelou – she gave her doctorly advice here: “I love a Hebrew National hot dog with an ice-cold Corona – no lime. If the phone rings, I won’t answer until I’m done.”

4th of July Barbecue Party Ideas

Man the grill and deliver these dressed-up dogs to delight your company on the fourth.

1. Blue Angel – Spicy Buffalo sauce and bold blue cheese with angel-hair coleslaw on top. Your tastebuds will take flight with this spicy and sweet pairing.

2. Green Beret – Superfood smashed avocado plus salty diced bacon finished with a kick of hot chili flakes to make your tastebuds jump.

3. Thunderbird – Baked beans topped with crispy potato chips. You’ll be bringing the thunder… insert fart jokes here. Fly the bird proudly at anyone who has a problem with it.

Uh, how old do we get before fart jokes aren’t funny? Asking for a friend.

4. Golden Knight – A1-sauteed mushrooms and swirly caramelized onions with yellow mustard floating atop a golden toasted bun. Suns out, buns out!

We all need to remember the rule as stated by the great Clint Eastwood said as Dirty Harry, “nobody, I mean nobody, puts ketchup on a hot dog.”

5. If you prefer a brat, Army Wife Alex on Three Little Ferns has got you covered with Grilled Yuengling Brats and Peppers. “Yuengling infused Smithfield Bratwurst + Yuengling marinated vegetables + a cold Yuengling in hand sounds like a win to me!”

4th of July Recipes

Serving up 4th of July dishes doesn’t have to be complicated. Grill, baby, grill! Add drinks, a couple of sides and a sweet treat — you’ve got a recipe for cookout success.

6. A salad base and a variety of toppings that guests can serve themselves are one of the foods covered in 7 Help Yourself Meals for Easy Entertaining by InDependent Wellness Community for Military Spouses.

7. Potato salad is a staple side when it comes to cookouts. Check out Our Favorite Potato Salad on Cosmopolitan Cornbread by veteran milspouse Constance Smith.

8. Show off just a little with Grilled Corn with Spicy Bacon Butter by the Pioneer Woman.

4th of July Cocktails

Did you know Washington ordered double rum rations and an artillery salute so troops fighting in the American Revolution could observe the Fourth of July in 1778? Channel our founding father and raise a glass to freedom.

We know fitness is an essential part of the military lifestyle, so these fresh-for-summer drink recipes are low in sugar.

9. Margarita Slushie from the Frugal Navy Wife. “SO, what makes the difference in the recipe? Not too much triple sec, using the right tequila and fresh limes juice!”

10. Melon Ball Mojitos nutritionist recommended at Craving Something Healthy! “Garnish with fresh basil and mint and raise a glass to incorporating an extra serving of fruit into your meal plan.”

11. Watermelon Blast from Men’s Health: “The best summer cocktails don’t need a ton of sugar to taste great. In fact, if the quality of your ingredients is high, you rarely need anything beyond a little simple syrup to help balance all the flavors.”

4th of July Dessert Recipes

12. These sweet Bald eagle treats by Howcast are perfect for “Nailed It” fun with the family on the 4th of July!

13. American Cheesecake Squares from Delish: Less than 10 ingredients – this flag looks fresh and fancy with blueberry “stars” and strawberry-jam “stripes.”

14. Patriotic Dessert Board with Smores Dip from Hoosier Homemade: No danger of flying, flaming marshmallows with smores this year! This smores dip has only three ingredients, and you can get creative with fresh fruit and other endless board options.

4th of July Party Decorations

4th of July Party Decorations

Keep decorations simple and let summer – and the barbecue grill – shine.

15. A few fresh flowers is an easy way to make a centerpiece. Let the experts at Martha Stewart help you choose blooms with The Most Patriotic Flowers for the Fourth of July, According to Symbolism.

16. Fill water balloons with water and freeze. Place in a cooler or tub and nestle in beers, Cokes and seltzers to keep em’ cold in style.

17. Deck out your party with these easy 4th of July crafts by Hallmark. Printables include patriotic pinwheels, rocket party favors, shooting stars garland, fans, food picks and more.

These ideas will have your guests quoting Jennifer Coolidge as Paulette in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blue, “You look like the Fourth of July! Makes me want a hot dog real bad!”

More like this: 4th of July Deals: 17 Brands You Can’t Miss

4th of July Music Inspiration

Just a bit of recommended listening to inspire you as you put together a party playlist.

18. “America the Beautiful” U.S. Navy Band
19. “The Star-Spangled Banner” Metallica
20. “Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue” Toby Keith
21. “Party in the U.S.A.” Miley Cyrus
22. “Fourth of July Song” (Bye Bye Bye Parody) Sesame Street
23. “Firework” Katy Perry
24. “God Bless the U.S.A.” Lee Greenwood
25. “Battle Hymn of the Republic” w/ the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from West Point Band

Where Can I See the 4th of July Fireworks?

Where Can I See the 4th of July Fireworks?

This year millions of Americans hit the road searching for the best 4th of July celebrations in the country. And millions more will host watch parties and backyard barbecues. We’ve got great options for either. We also make it easy to find deals in these areas if you explore beyond the Independence Days shows.

25. Fort Bragg, N.C.

The annual Fort Bragg July 4th Celebration returns for 2021! This year’s event, presented by USAA, features the music of Foreigner, parachute free-fall demonstrations, flag ceremony, fireworks, and food and beverages. Free and open to the public.

Related Links:

26. Washington, D.C.

A Capitol Fourth honors our country’s birthday with an all-star salute broadcast on PBS with 20 cameras ensuring viewers don’t miss a thing in the nation’s greatest display of fireworks. A Capitol Fourth will also broadcast on NPR and the American Forces Network.

Related Links:

27. Kansas City

The 2021 K.C. Air Show on July 3-4, 2021, at New Century AirCenter will feature the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the U.S. Army Golden Knights, and the U.S. Marine Corps C-130J Super Hercules more. And this year, see Blue Angels transition to the mighty F/A-18E/F Super Hornets from the legacy F/A-18 Hornets.

Related Links:

Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th event in Downtown Nashville

28. Nashville

Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th event in Downtown Nashville with Brad Paisley headlining. Also performing on behalf of Operation Song are singer-songwriter Ian Wagner, a Purple Heart recipient and U.S. Army combat medic, and on guitar, Kyle Frederick, executive director of Operation Song.

The event’s finale features the region’s largest fireworks show — a 27-minute spectacle choreographed to a live performance by the Grammy-winning Nashville Symphony.

Related Links:

29. N.Y.C.

United We Celebrate 2021 Macy’s Fireworks will illuminate the Big Apple’s skyline once again on its 45th annual 4th of July party featuring the U.S. Army Field Band & Soldiers Chorus. #macysfireworks

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30. L.A.

The 95th Annual Americafest happens at the Rose Bowl. Opened in October 1922, the stadium is a National Historic Landmark and a California Historic Civil Engineering landmark. The last time we checked, the website details were still T.D.B., so look for the latest info before you go.

Related Links:

40th Fair Saint Louis’ Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular

31. Saint Louis

The 40th Fair Saint Louis’ Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular backdrop is the Gateway Arch and the Mississippi River. The show’s score features patriotic music and current hits broadcast live on iHeart Radio’s local stations 93.7 The Bull, 103.3 KLOU and Z107.7.

Catch the 138th America’s Birthday Parade on July 3 marching in Downtown St. Louis and broadcast on KMOV Channel 4. Archibald Eagle will make his inaugural flight during the parade. Named after the iconic Gateway Arch, Archie was rescued and raised by the parade team.

And elements from the canceled Annie Malone, PrideFest and St. Patrick’s Day parades are added to America’s Birthday Parade this year, so it is bigger than ever.

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32. Las Vegas

The Las Vegas Strip massive fireworks show features Caesars Palace, The Aria, Planet Hollywood, Treasure Island, The Venetian, The STRAT and the new Resorts World. Before the sky show, Resorts World’s grand opening will include a performance by Miley Cyrus broadcast on the outdoor L.E.D. screen.

Related Links:

33. Chicago

Live music is back, and it’s free on July 4th in Live on the Lake, Navy Pier Beer Garden featuring OSTON, The Shades, and Creedence Revived.

Related Links:

More Like This: Why Do We Celebrate 4th of July?


We hope you have a safe 4th of July whether you throw a backyard bash, travel to one of America’s great cities to watch fireworks or host a watch party. It’s great to be together again!

And to military members and veterans, we are grateful for your service in keeping America safe so we are able to celebrate freedom every year on the 4th of July! Thank you.

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