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Things to Do on the 4th of July That Are Easy, Cheap or Free

Fourth of July
Fourth of July Facebook photo

Independence Day will soon be upon us and with so much going on, 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 tradition that are either easy, cheap or free.

Neighborhood Independence Parade Facebook photo
Neighborhood Independence Parade Facebook photo


Fly your Flag



Proudly display your flag, making sure it’s 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.


Boston Pops Facebook photo
Boston Pops Facebook photo


Listening to Patriotic Music



Start the day by playing patriotic music on the Fourth of July. Nothing screams Independence Day like the Boston Pops. If you’ll start the day with the Boston Pops patriotic medley of songs, you’ll feel a more genuine sense of patriotic pride. Just try it.


Cool Whip Facebook photo
Cool Whip Facebook photo


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.


Kingsford Charcoal Facebook photo
Kingsford Charcoal Facebook photo


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.


Neighborhood Independence Day Parade Facebook photo
Neighborhood Independence Day Parade Facebook photo


Watching a Fourth of July Parade



Abilene is very fortunate to have several neighborhood parades. The ones I recall are the Amarillo Street Parade, Hillcrest, Jeannette Street, Button Willow Parkway and Mesquite Forrest neighborhood parades. Recently the Meadow Drive and the Lytle Shores homeowners hosted their own neighborhood parades. If you can’t find one to participate in or watch, organize your own neighborhood parade. Then let us know!


Homemade Ice Cream Facebook photo
Homemade Ice Cream Facebook photo


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!


Fireworks Facebook photo
Fireworks Facebook photo


Watch a Fireworks display



Finally at the end of a very busy 4th of July weekend, gather up  your flags, then go watch the fireworks show. While Abilene will not have fireworks this year. Several surrounding cities will have fireworks, like: Lake Brownwood, Clyde Lake and Breckenridge. Remember to take a camera, then share your pictures with us on our Facebook page.


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