• Jonathan Desai

Fun Fourth of July Guide

Updated: Jun 21

Fourth of July is always fun for family get togethers!

Here are some fun and unique recipes to try, with other Holiday fun facts, and local 4th Events.


Firecracker Dogs

It’s not a patriotic cookout without hot dogs, but a plain dog in a bun, or even with a little ketchup and mustard, can be boring when eaten all summer long. These tasty hot dog bread sticks will save your franks from the boring bun, and are much more fun to eat!


  • 1 can refrigerated breadstick dough

  • 16 hot dogs

  • 16 thick slices Colby cheese (about ¼ to 3/8-inches thick)

  • 1 can refrigerated breadstick dough


  1. Stick a skewer all the way through each of your hot dogs, leaving about an inch and a half exposed out of the top of each hot dog.

  2. Take a piece of breadstick dough, and carefully wrap it around the hot dog until you get to the top. Place the wrapped dogs on a silpat (non-stick baking liner) or parchment paper, and bake according to the package directions for the breadstick dough (about 20 minutes at 350ºF).

  3. Using a small star cookie cutter, cut out your stars out of the cheese. (Note: depending on how big or small your cookie cutter is will determine how many stars you get out of each slice of cheese).

  4. After your hot dogs have cooled for 2-3 minutes, stick the star through the skewer at the top.

Red, White, and Blue Ice Cream Sodas

Ice cream is a must all summer long, not to mention on Independence Day. These American flag-inspired ice cream sodas are one of the tastiest ways to show your patriotic pride on the Fourth!


  • ½ cup of club soda

  • 4 tablespoons Torani™ Syrup total (2 red, 2 blue)

  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half

  • 3-4 ice cubes

  • whipped cream and a cherry for the top


  1. Add a few ice cubes to the glass. Pour in red syrup, then measure in about ½ cup of club soda.

  2. Add in half-and-half, followed by the blue syrup.

  3. Top with whipped cream and a cherry.

Seasonal Grilled Zucchini Rolls

Being a vegetarian at a potluck barbecue can be challenging, to say the least. However, consider bringing this healthy zucchini recipe to the next party—and you’ll be surprised at how many meat lovers fall head over heels for this delicious and bite-sized appetizer.


  • 2 medium-sized zucchinis, peeled

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1½ ounce goat cheese

  • ½ roasted red bell pepper, diced

  • 2 teaspoons capers


Cut the zucchini lengthwise into ¼-inch strips, and brush both sides of the pieces with olive oil. Season with salt and ground pepper.

Lay the zucchini pieces on a high-heat grill, and cook on each side for 3 minutes. Remove from the grill, and cool on a wire cooling rack.

Spread 1 tsp. of goat cheese on each zucchini slice. Evenly divide the red peppers and capers between the zucchini.

Gently roll each piece of zucchini, secure with a toothpick, and serve.

Mexican Seven-Layer Dip Cups

Making a dip for a party always seems like a great idea until you have to purchase the tortilla chips. However, this recipe utilizes a tortilla shell as the cup, making it easier for your guests to mingle and munch, while cutting your grocery list in half—a definite win-win!


  • 3 large flour tortillas

  • 1 package taco seasoning

  • 1 (16-oz.) can refried beans

  • 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream

  • 1 cup guacamole

  • 1 cup salsa

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • 2 tomatoes, diced

  • 1 (2.25 oz.) can of sliced black olives

  • ½ cup green onions, sliced


Cut each tortilla shell into 4 squares, and press each circle into a greased muffin cup. Bake for 10 minutes at 375°.

In a small bowl, combine taco seasoning with refried beans.

In each tortilla cup, layer 1 tbsp. of the beans, followed by 1 tbsp. of the sour cream, 1 tbsp. of the guacamole, 1 tbsp. of salsa, and one handful of cheese. Top with a few of tomatoes, olives, and green onions.

Serve immediately.

Liberty Bell Peppers

Celebrate our country’s symbol of freedom at your next patriotic party by cracking open a trio of bell peppers and letting the flavors ring! Stuffed with a Philadelphia-style combination of beef, cheese, and onions, these Liberty Bell peppers are sure to satisfy your guests as they celebrate.


  • 3 bell peppers

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 cup onions, sliced into bite-size strands

  • 1 pound lean ground beef or sandwich steak meat

  • 1 tablespoon steak seasoning

  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella


  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

  2. Cut the tops off the bell peppers below the stems. Scoop out and discard the insides. Then cut each pepper in half, and place all of them onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.

  3. In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, and onions. Saute until the onions begin to soften, about 1 minute.

  4. Add ground beef to skillet, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Season with steak seasoning before removing skillet from the heat. Add mozzarella to the beef, and stir to combine.

  5. Remove baked peppers from the oven, and divide the meat-cheese mixture among the six pepper halves. Return to the oven to bake for another 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Red, White, and Blue Berries

All of the adults at your next Independence Day get-together will love these sensationally fruity jello shots!

  • 25 strawberries, as large as you can find

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 (3 ounce) package Berry Blue Jell-O™

  • 1 (1.4 ounce) envelope unflavored powdered gelatin

  • ½ cup vodka

  • Whipped cream


  1. Slice off the bottoms of the strawberries, and use a small spoon to hollow them out without cutting through to the bottom.

  2. Pour water in a saucepan, and mix in the Berry Blue Jell-O™, sprinkling the powdered gelatin on top. Let sit for 1 minute. Mix thoroughly, and simmer over medium-high heat.

  3. Pour ½ cup of vodka in a glass, add ½ cup of the blue mixture, and spoon into the strawberries. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or until set.

  4. Slowly slice each strawberry in half from the top down, and top with a dollop of whipped cream.

Stars and Stripes Sangria

Sangria is a delightful way to cool off on a warm summer day, and this patriotic rendition is perfect for any Fourth of July bash!


  • 1 bottle dry white wine

  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced into star shapes

  • 1 cup apple juice

  • 1 bottle champagne or sparkling white wine

  • 3-4 Granny Smith apples, diced

  • Ice


  1. In a large pitcher, stir in the white wine, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and apple juice. Cover, and chill for up to 4 hours.

  2. Slowly stir in the champagne and apples, and add ice. Serve immediately.

Fourth of July Facts

Each year at the beginning of July, American’s don their red, white, and blue in celebration of the United States’ declaration of independence from England. While we might be able to take a guess at how much money American’s spend on fireworks each year or how many hot dogs we eat, there is a handful of other Fourth of July facts and figures that would surprise you.

  • The oldest Independence Day parade in America takes place in Bristol, Rhode Island, which began in 1785.

  • Three former US presidents died on July 4th—Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe.

  • July 2nd is technically the day that America declared official independence from England, but we celebrate on July 4th because that is when the declaration was first signed.

  • The design of the American flag has changed 27 times over the course of the nation’s history.

  • The 4th of July wasn’t made a national holiday until almost 100 years after the country’s founding.

  • Watermelon is the most popular fruit consumed on the Fourth, and American’s will spend more than $150 million on it for the holiday.

  • The Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first paper in the country to publish the official Declaration of Independence.

  • Only two presidents actually signed the declaration on the July 4th—John Hancock and Charles Thompson.

  • The first year that fireworks were used during a 4th of July celebration was in 1777, when they were set off over Philadelphia.

East TN 4th Events

Independence Day Parade - Farragut

The Town of Farragut's annual Independence Day Parade will start at 9:30 a.m. on July 4. The parade begins at Farragut High School

First Independence Day Parade in the Nation - Gatlinburg

The Gatlinburg midnight parade kicks off at 12:01 a.m. on July 4. Parade-goers are encouraged to arrive early on Wednesday, July 3 in order to secure the perfect viewing area along the parade route.

Fourth of July Fireworks Presentation - Gatlinburg

There will be a spectacular 20-minute fireworks finale in downtown Gatlinburg at 10 p.m. on July 4.

July 4th Fireworks - Greenback

The Greenback Community Center is hosting a fun-filled evening on July 4. There will be food trucks, a band and fireworks at the end of the celebration.

10th annual American Downtown Fourth of July celebration - Greenville

This event in Greenville features live music, a nighttime parade, a hot-dog eating contest, a kids-zone, food trucks and a spectacular fireworks show.

Festival on the 4th - Knoxville

Knoxville is hosting its Fourth of July celebration at World's Fair Park. Enjoy good music, food, and fun on July 4 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Anvil Shoots - Norris

The Museum of Appalachia continues its tradition of sending 150-pound anvils barreling into the sky! This anvil shoot will occur at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. There will also be a bell-rining ceremony, flag procession, live music and demonstrations from blacksmiths, spinners, weavers, sawmillers, woodworkers and more.

Powell Lions Club Fourth of July Parade - Powell

Join the Powell community for the Lions Club fourth annual Fourth of July parade. It starts at Powell Middle School at 11 a.m.

Follow this link to see the list continue to be updated!

Courtesy of

Reminder Media, American Lifestyle


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