Fourth of July Celebrations Outside the U.S.A.

by Doug Mack 
Posted Jul 2nd 2013 04:00 PMUpdated Jul 2nd 2013 07:18 PM


American flag in front of sun

When you can't go home for the holidays, sometimes you have to fake it. For American expats on the 4th of July, that means not just celebrating our nation's independence and history but also creating or seeking out the cherished traditions of the day. It means barbecue and hamburgers and hotdogs. It means music -- a marching band, banjo serenade or gospel rendition of "America the Beautiful." It definitely means fireworks.

Around the world, there are many options for Americans living or traveling abroad to get their fix on this day so evocative of wholesome Americana -- even if the details aren't precisely what they're used to back home; the locally-available fruit in lieu of watermelon, sparklers standing in for fireworks.

These festivities range from informal backyard get-togethers to parties in expat bars to elaborate soirees hosted by U.S. embassies or business associations, some of which would put most municipal celebrations back home to shame. And in all cases, the events are not meant just for homesick expats but also for locals with a taste for Americana -- think of it as unofficial diplomacy fueled by greasy food and rockin' music.

In keeping with our nation's proud, swaggering spirit, three different locales claim to host the largest 4th of July celebrations outside the U.S.A. So let's start with this aspirational trio and then take a look at some more humble but equally interesting Independence Day festivities abroad.
Filed Under: Holidays