US independence day

Caroline Cassidy

The Fourth of July is one of the most significant dates on the US calendar. It marks the birth of America and is the day when the country adopted the Declaration of Independence from Britain back in 1776. Like Thanksgiving Day, the Fourth of July is a (Federal) national holiday and most people will have the day off work. Celebrations normally take the form of outdoors activities and end with fireworks displays, as has been done since 1777.

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There will be barbecues on the beach and in gardens. there is usually a Red, White and Blue theme which is extended to food and makes the centrepiece of any Independence Day celebrations. It's not too difficult to find red and white fayre but blue is slightly more tricky. Blueberries are an option but don't expect a gourmet experience. These parties are often simple affairs, it's an eating experience rather than a dining experience. Simplicity is the key, so if you want to lay on a spread for your friends from across the pond think burgers in buns, hotdogs and ketchup. It should be an informal occasion offering a chance for friends and family to get together and celebrate the most important date in their nation's calendar.

If you want to join in the fun then there are a range of events taking place on Sunday 4th July 2010 across London where you can enjoy the opportunity to celebrate in true US style. Try an American themed cocktail at the Eagle Bar and Diner in Soho. What about sampling an American themed menu at Waxy O'Connors in Rupert Street? Alternatively, imbibe some US style tipples at the American Beer festival at the White Horse near Parson's Green tube station.

Celebrations will take place at popular American tourist spots around the world where the locals look to make the most of this special day. Many European cities will have the obligatory US theme bar, alternatively check out the local US Embassy to see where the fun is happening. Wherever you go there will be an opportunity to join in and it will certainly be special to celebrate an American holiday abroad.