Participating in 4th of July Celebrations
Blog, English Programs, ESL Studies, International Students

Participating in 4th of July Celebrations

With the beloved American holiday approaching, as an international student, you might wonder what all the excitement is about in participating in the 4th of July celebrations. Before diving into the festivities, let’s understand the reason behind the celebration.

The 4th of July, also known as Independence Day, is a major American holiday that commemorates the Declaration of Independence. This day marks the United States’ freedom from British rule. It is celebrated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, and people often wear red, white, and blue—the colors of the American flag—and enjoy time with family and friends. It’s a day of national pride and a time to reflect on the values of freedom and independence.

Now, let’s get ready to celebrate like a true local!

Why Do People Eat Hot Dogs?

We can thank Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest for this tradition. Nathan’s Famous, an American fast-food company specializing in hot dogs, popularized eating hot dogs on the 4th of July. The annual contest began in Coney Island, New York, on July 4th, 1916, when four immigrants held a hot dog eating competition to determine who was the most patriotic.

Why Are Fireworks Used?

The tradition of using fireworks on the 4th of July started with the first anniversary of American independence in 1777. John Adams, one of the Founding Fathers, envisioned that the day would be celebrated with “pomp and parade… bonfires and illuminations,” referring to fireworks. Fireworks symbolize the excitement and joy of freedom.

Words to Know on 4th of July

Here are some words and phrases that can help international students better understand and participate in 4th of July celebrations:

  • Stars and Stripes: Another term for the American flag.
  • Parade: A public celebration the holiday, often featuring floats, bands, and other entertainment.
  • Patriotism: Love and devotion to one’s country.
  • Declaration of Independence: The document declaring the American colonies’ independence from Britain.
  • Founding Fathers: Leaders who played significant roles in the founding of the United States, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams.
  • Red, White, and Blue: The colors of the American flag, often used in decorations and clothing.
  • Barbecue (BBQ): A common way to cook and celebrate American holidays, often involving grilled meats and other foods.
  • Liberty: Freedom from oppression.
  • National Anthem: A patriotic song officially adopted by a country as a symbol of national identity and unity.
  • Picnic: A meal eaten and enjoyed outdoors.
  • Historical Reenactments: Performances that recreate events from the Revolutionary War era.
  • Colonial: Relating to the period when America was made up of colonies under British rule.
  • Freedom: The state of being free, a central theme of the holiday.
  • Bald Eagle: The national bird and symbol of the United States, often associated with the holiday.
  • Festivities: The celebrations and activities.
  • Unity: The state of being united, an important concept during the celebrations.

Where to Celebrate in Florida

Here are some popular locations where you can watch fireworks in Miami, Aventura, Boca Raton, Orlando, and Tampa:


  • Bayfront Park: Known for its spectacular fireworks display over Biscayne Bay. The park also hosts a large celebration with live music, food, and activities.
  • Miami Beach: Fireworks can be viewed from various locations along the beach, particularly around Ocean Drive and Lummus Park.


  • Founders Park: This park typically hosts a family-friendly event with fireworks, live entertainment, and food vendors.

Boca Raton

  • Spanish River Athletic Facility at de Hoernle Park: Boca Raton’s Fabulous Fourth Celebration usually features fireworks, live music, and kids’ activities.
  • Countess de Hoernle Park/Spanish River Park: Another good spot for viewing fireworks.


  • Lake Eola Park: The “Fireworks at the Fountain” event includes a spectacular fireworks display, live entertainment, and food vendors.
  • Walt Disney World: Disney’s Magic Kingdom has a famous fireworks show, “Happily Ever After,” which is especially grand on the 4th of July.


  • Channelside Bay Plaza: The “Light Up Tampa Bay” event offers a fireworks show, live music, and entertainment.
  • Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park: Another popular spot for viewing fireworks, with a family-friendly atmosphere and plenty of activities.

Want to know all about American football, check out our Guide for International Students.

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