Being a Brit in the USA – my first 4th of July

Living in a different country to the one you grew up in often means coming across the new and unfamiliar and I seem to write a lot in this blog about the experience of being a Brit living in America.

So I thought I’d share another “first” that I experienced recently…

My first 4th of July

Although I’ve lived in the US for 2 years, last year I was on the road touring and didn’t get to truly have the authentic 4th of July celebration. So, wanting to do things right, I went onto my Facebook Page and asked people how this holiday was best celebrated. The consensus was that it should contain lots of grilling, drinking, and blowing things up. I think I followed that advice pretty closely and spent the evening with some friends eating burgers, drinking good beer and watching a very impressive firework display.

One thing I’ve noticed since living here is that this country has some great holidays, and 4th of July is definitely one of them. Like Thanksgiving, it’s a chance to get together with friends and family, eat good food and have a good time without any of the pressures or commercial aspects that other holidays can bring.

Of course, I know there is also historic tradition and story behind these festivities, and I’m learning more about American history which I find really interesting (particularly since I’ve been tracking the story of my great-great-great Uncle who moved to the States in the 1800s). Being a Brit there were a few gags from people about red coats and historic butt kickin’s, but it was all in good spirits, and some people were surprised to learn that the revolutionaries had attracted many supporters in Britain.

In the Facebook discussion I had many people also said the 4th is an opportunity to pause and be thankful for the place in which you live. So, Happy Birthday to the USA, and thanks for giving me such a lovely home.

I’ll just finish by quoting one Facebook fan, a Brit who has lived here for a while, who made me smile:

“If someone asks you whether you have the 4th of July in the UK, just reply and say “Yes we do, it comes after the 3rd and before the 5th”

I celebrated my 4th in Tennessee this year…I wonder if the celebrations are the same across the USA? Let me know what you think and I can start preparing for next year!

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2 thoughts on “Being a Brit in the USA – my first 4th of July

  1. elbear1 says:

    I read your article with some interest. I’m a Brit living briefly outside Boston, MA with my girlfriend’s family and it was my first 4th of July too. One thing that struck me was that it is actually illegal to buy fireworks in this state, but at the same time it’s legal to buy guns!
    It was also eerily quiet in the suburbs (where we were) and my perception prior to coming here was an abundance of fireworks along with a castration of a Brit, but nothing of the sort.
    I’d be interested to read any other differences you come across in Tennessee. You can find my blog at the link below.
    http://brownbeartrip.wordpress.com/

    • Hi there, thanks for checking out my blog. I’ve just been reading yours – you’ve definitely had some adventures! Sounds like you’re really getting to see the country. Someone was telling me about the greyhound bus the other day and was joking that I should ride it coast to coast and write my next album on the way from the stories I hear. Sounds like from your blog there might be some interesting characters on them!

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