GOTG Do America

4th of July is one of those low pressure, no gift holidays that is magical all around. The food, smell of fireworks and hot summer nights make it one of our favorite summer celebrations. Some of us are heading out of town and others will stay local – here is how GOTG Do America this year.

Yessenia Anderson: I am spending the 4th of July with Mr. and Mrs. America, otherwise known as my two good friends who were born on this festive holiday. The morning will consist of something ‘waffley’ with blueberries and strawberries for a patriotic color pop. Then potentially off to some community event like a parade or nearby celebration that will keep my toddler entertained for more than 5 minutes, followed by a birthday and BBQ fun with all my close friends. This will be made up of small children running amuck, fatty appetizers, booze (for adults) and BBQ delicacies – if there is such a thing. It’s usually a jam packed day for us, but the ‘fillings’ are my favorite thing in the world – good food and even better people. Happy Fourth!

Laura Braden: I love hitting the road for the 4th. Last year, we grabbed the pups and drove up to Crescent City to explore the redwoods and Lost Coast. From there, we clocked nearly 230 miles on the PCH making our way down to Mendocino. The picture of relaxation. This year, we’re hitting our somewhat-regular trip to TAHOE. With a home within walking distance to Chambers, I’m ready for a long weekend filled with sun, friends, naps and plenty of Chambers Punch – a drink I normally wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole, but it just screams summer. Whatever your plans, stay cool and stay safe!

Kelly Conroy: My favorite part of July 4th in Sacramento is the collection of neighborhood parades. I love strolling over to the Fabulous 40s to watch everything from fire trucks to wagons full of kiddos fill the streets. There are lemonade stands, sparkler sections, and all around good vibes. Plus, the holiday weekend is a great excuse to get out and have a good old fashioned American adventure. I’ll be heading to Point Reyes National Seashore after the parade to search out some new hikes and take in the sights of America the Great.

Chantel Elder: Usually I am a keep-it-local type of girl for the 4th – I typically break out my red (lipstick) white (t-shirt) and blue (eyeliner) best and decide last minute to head to a bbq/pool party after attending my local neighborhood parade. This year , however, some friends decided to organize a camping trip to North Fork Campgrounds. A long weekend of white wine spritzers, water hole play and food that is cooked over an open grill is on the books for the 4th.  If you are thinking of a last minute camping trip, look here for a couple places that book on a first come first serve basis.

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Chantel Elder’s all American campsite!

Kristen Flowers: Luckily, I found someone who moved into a new house and wants to break it in so I don’t have to trash mine! I’m keeping it local this year and partying in a neighborhood in Sac. Not only will there be many burgers, hotdogs and beer consumed, my friends can always count on me to bring the finest of sparklers but be too scared of blowing off my hands to light them myself.

Kelli Gould: This is the first Fourth of July in several years that I won’t be in South Lake Tahoe with the family. I will definitely miss being there since it is one of my favorite places, but I can’t say I will miss sharing a one bathroom cabin with 12 people, waiting in line for a cold shower or interrogating others to find out who used the last of my coffee creamer that clearly had my name written all over it in sharpie. Instead, I will be in my hometown of Modesto, splitting my time between sleeping in, seeing my longtime childhood friends and lounging poolside at my mom’s house. Luckily, when I come home my dear mother still gets excited and generally ends up waiting on me the whole time. (Hi mom! Love you. Keep doing what you’re doing!) Since I am in love with history, could roll around in history books all day and have a particular fondness for the Revolutionary War, I’ll keep with my tradition of spending a late night watching my favorite patriotic movies a couple times in a row – Born on the Fourth of July and The Patriot. (Don’t judge on that last one; I can’t help but love that movie. Even with allllll the inaccuracies.) Whatever you end up doing and whoever you are with, I hope you have a fun, relaxing and spirited Fourth! Cheers!

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Kelli Gould’s late night movie picks for the 4th

Chelsea Irvine: I’ve never really had a tradition for 4th of July, but since it is always spent with friends, it always ends up amazing. Last year five of my best girlfriends and I rented a condo on the beach in San Diego and it was heaven. It also coincided with the final matches of the Men’s World Cup, which brought an inspiring air of celebration to everywhere we went. This year, we get to celebrate our ladies on #TeamUSA by watching them compete in the Women’s World Cup finals on Sunday at 4:00p. Shoutout to the staff at Orchid Thai for always hooking up the happy hour for us! Can’t wait to watch our gals take it all the way. Hope to see some of you out and about celebrating everything that is great about our country.

Side Safety Note: One 4th of July when I was a in Jr. High we were celebrating with neighbors in our court in the burbs of Foothill Farms, lighting fireworks – out of nowhere my dad let out a yelp of pain. Much to our shock, he had just been hit BY A BULLET. Like, a bullet fell out of the sky and landed in his leg. No joke. Had he been leaning forward, or had my mom been sitting where he was (which she had been five minutes earlier), they could have been killed. Don’t be one of those people who shoots guns into the air to celebrate your freedom. Because it can land miles away. Like that one did.

Leia Ostermann: July 4th is my favorite holiday of the year. I love the fireworks, the BBQ, the beer and our personal tradition, homemade, red-white-and-blue tie-dye (shorts, shirts, dresses, shoes, everything)! While I typically hang out by a pool with a large group of friends, this year I am hiking into Granite Chief with a few of my girl-team and sleeping out under the stars. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate our nation’s holiday than hanging out by an alpine lake, rocking some tie-dye, listening to some Grateful Dead, eating some trout and watching the mountains turn purple as daylight fades to dusk. AMERICA!

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Leia Ostermann rocking her 4th of July traditional tie dye!

Rachel Smith: Don’t hate the playa, hate the game. And by playa I mean me, and by game I mean the metal frame pool selection on Amazon. I love this holiday because…America. And my ideal way to celebrate Freedom is to spend roughly 5 to 10 minutes at the East Sac parade while I wave a flag around and hug some babies, and then promptly return to my home where I float around in my pool with friends, music, and some fancy American fare like Cool Ranch Doritos.  Try it.

Rachel Smith
Rachel Smith loving her Amazon pool!

Michelle Sweezey: This Fourth of July I’m heading south, dodging this triple digit fun and heading straight for eighty degrees and an ocean breeze. However, although I may be enjoying my fireworks holding a cold beverage on a warm beach, I gotta say, I’m actually kind of sad we won’t be in Sacramento, because East Sac Fourth of July Fun is cracking! If you’re home and want something to do check out the fabulous forties for a parade (or three), and cruise day or night through some competitively patriotic blocks on your bike— lights recommended, flare encouraged.

Amy Thoma: I always run the free 4th of July 5-miler in River Park. There’s something so sweet about starting the day with a (badly) sung national anthem in the middle of a neighborhood and running our hearts out. Plus, burning a few calories before the BBQs start is never a bad idea. And, it’s corny, but I always, always wear red, white and blue. All day. I’m also a big fan of the Land Park bike parade, because nothing says America more than darling children on decorated bikes.

Jamee Villa: Before I had a babe, My hubs and I used to love to bike ride around the East Sac neighborhood, watch the parade, drink a few beers and end up celebrating on a friends porch. For the past 3 years, my in laws have been going to Maui for a few weeks and urge us to use their pool while they are gone. Umm..okay! We typically BBQ, swim and I of course, drink my fair share of Chardonnay. It’s a win for the whole family and just a 10 minute drive from our house. This year after swimming we are having a celebration on our new porch with family and neighbors while we light a few fireworks. I am really looking forward to seeing my daughter, experience the excitement of 4th of July. It’s one of my favorites – especially if there are sparklers involved. PS: Please be safe.

Staying in Sacramento? Local Love Bonus! Here are our  Top 3 suggested events around town for viewing a great firework display. Need more options? Check out this round up of all of Northern California’s best celebrations by Capitol Public Radio here.

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