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Before you get the party going on the United States of America’s 242nd birthday, let’s all take a moment to go over a simple set of ground rules for the holiday. Many of you don’t need to be reminded of how to have a good time on the 4th, but some of you do.
Here are the DOs and DON’Ts…
DO grill up some tasty burgers, dogs, ribs, chicken and other protein you can get your hands on.
The 4th of July is about America first and binge eating second, so don’t be shy when it comes to grilling out. Buy too much meat. Buy too much charcoal. Get that flame going and then eat until you pass out.
Some simple rules to remember: calories don’t count if it’s meat; silverware and napkins are unnecessary; and a hot dog is a side item. I always pair at least two hot dogs with each burger.
DON’T overcook your burgers.
There is nothing worse than that friend who insists on grilling but always overcooks the burgers at a cookout. Nobody wants your dry, tasteless beef patties. Buy some beef with a little fat (at least 20 percent) and don’t leave it on the grill too long. It’s not that hard.
DO find a large body of water, preferably one with boat access.
There are plenty of options right here in Kentucky, all across the state. I’m a Barkley guy myself, but I grew up on Lake Beshear and have recently spent some quality time on Cumberland and Herrington. You really can’t go wrong anywhere. We’re a great lake state.
DON’T sit inside all weekend.
Can’t find a lake? Surely there is a pool nearby. No pool? Try another outdoor activity like hiking or driving around with the windows down or patio drinking. Just don’t waste a good summer day on the couch. Netflix will be there when you get home. (Watch The Staircase.)
DO wear sunscreen.
“I need a good burn” and “I’ll be in the water the whole time” are some of summer’s most famous last words. Play it safe and wear some sunscreen and save the tough guy attitude for another time.
DON’T drink and drive.
This one is important.
DO work the Red, the White, and the Blue into your holiday wardrobe.
Whether it’s as simple as a U.S.A. t-shirt or as patriotic as an American flag onesie, be sure to include the colors of our flag into your wardrobe. There is no such thing as too much red, white and blue on the 4th of July.
DON’T say ‘Murica or ‘Merica.
We, as a nation, left that to die on the internet back around 2012. This is America.
DO watch fireworks.
Obviously, you’re going to want to watch some fireworks. There are plenty of options wherever you are, but for my fellow Lexingtonians, fireworks will be launched from atop the Lexington Financial Building (the Big Blue building) at 10 pm tonight. There will be free parking in some of the garages downtown.
DON’T share more than one photo/video of the fireworks per social media account.
Easy on the social media, people. Fireworks are pretty and all that — we get it — but we don’t need you to share six minutes of fireworks on Instagram or SnapChat or whatever app is hot in the streets this year. One quick photo or video will do, if you must. We’ve all seen fireworks and they all look the same. This year’s fireworks will look like the fireworks you shared last year and they’ll look the fireworks everyone else is sharing from every corner of America.
DO have a Happy 4th of July.