Fireworks, fun, and sometimes freak accidents are what the Fourth of July is all about. (Or maybe it’s our nation’s independence.) As we celebrate, lasting memories are both created and recalled. Many involve booze and beaches, while others hinge on salutes and respects paid.
Our staff shared their favorite Fourth of July adventures. Let’s hear yours in the comments below.
You’re Either A Hurricane Or A Hurrican’t
Days before a Fourth of July camping trip with friends at Maine’s Acadia National Park, I discovered the tropical remnants of Hurricane Arthur would be gifting us with rain. So I did what any responsible adult would do and bought more alcohol. As a result, our party — myself especially — imbibed in just a little bit too much of America’s finest (i.e. worst) beers, ate a lot of crappy food, and spent a solid 24 hours in a rain-soaked tent. We’d left several half-empty bottles on the picnic table, so when a park ranger came to check in on us, we offered him a swig for his troubles. –Andrew Husband
Misguided, Suggestive Hallucinations
Back when I was in high school, my mom was out of town over the 4th, so, trying to mirror my life after so many teen movies, I threw a party. During said party, someone came up with this great idea that before we shot off our fireworks, we should all drop acid.
It didn’t really make the fireworks any more enjoyable, but it sure made handling them a lot more dangerous. After a misguided (but still epic) Roman candle fight, we’d all come to the conclusion that we’d caused significant damage to the exterior of the house. This became a serious concern for me, and too be fair, a few others. I found out the next day that our fears were the result of misguided, suggestive hallucinations. What few scorch marks that we’d left came off with a quick rinse of the hose, destroying all evidence of any activities (illicit or otherwise) before the weekend was over. –Christian Long
Woo! U-S-A! U-S-A! The country that gave us Veronica’s Closet is ready for another birthday bash, eh? As a dirty rotten hoser, I haven’t had much in the way of Fourth of July memories, but I’m going to create one this year when I fly out and watch The Purge: Election Year in American theaters just as our new founding fathers would have wanted. –Dan MacRae
For about the last four or five years running now, my husband and our neighbors climb out the third floor bedroom window onto the second floor roof and then use an extension ladder to climb to the top of the roof of our row home to watch the Philly art museum fireworks, usually in varying states of inebriation. The ladder ends about a foot from the top of the roof, so there’s always some guess work getting up and down. It’s stupid and dangerous and we’re definitely old enough to know better, but we do it anyway. –Stacey Ritzen
One time, on the Fourth of July, my father let me hold a sparkler and it was a very tense experience because I am afraid of pain and fire and apparently sparklers. –Jason Tabrys
Probably my most memorable Fourth of July moment was as a kid in Washington, D.C., when they introduced Dan Quayle, who was making a clown of himself at the time, at some event by playing The Liberty Bell March, better known as the Monty Python theme. The entire audience was dying laughing as Quayle just stood up there, utterly confused. –Dan Seitz
My most patriotic moment came during my service with our nation’s government. I got a chance to show our benevolent hand after an elderly lady twisted her ankle and started showering blood everywhere.
I was first on the scene, in uniform, doing my best to stop the bleeding with some brown towels until the med folks arrived.
Second is that time I drank a bunch of Keystone Light and woke up draped in the flag. AMERICA! –Andrew Roberts
What’s your favorite Fourth of July memory?