Independence Day: Eight ways to celebrate 4th July in the UK

The Fourth of July is one of the most significant fixtures of the year for many Americans, commemorating the events which led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

While the celebrations which surround Independence Day in the US remember how the American people were liberated from the rule of the British Empire, more than two centuries later, many Brits enjoy taking part in the annual festivities.

Some people in the UK may choose to pay tribute to the land of stars and stripes by enjoying traditional American dishes, while others may choose to make a cultural visit to the ancestral home of George Washington, the first president of the United States.

From an outdoor cinema screening to a visit to the American Museum, here are eight ways to celebrate US Independence Day in the UK:

1. Test your rib-eating skills

For the 28th year running, American chain Big Easy Bar.B.Q and Crabshack is hosting its annual rib-eating competition on Thursday 4 July.

Those who believe they have what it takes will battle it out to eat as many ribs as possible at the Big Easy restaurants in Chelsea, Covent Garden and Canary Wharf.

First prize winners will be award two VIP tickets to Jack Daniel’s Presents Secret Gig on Thursday 17 October.

So, are you up for the challenge? Register for free by emailing ribeating@bigeasy.co.uk.

For more information, click here.

2. Explore American culture

In commemoration of Independence Day, the American Museum and Gardens in Bath – the “only museum of American decorative and folk art outside the United States” – is hosting a special day of celebration on Saturday 6 July.

Taking place from 11am until 4pm, the event will include a barbecue, live music and a workshop from American bluegrass band Man without a Horse.

Normal admission fees for the museum will apply on the day of the event.

Standard admission for the museum, exhibition and gardens costs £13 for an adult and £7 for a child, while standard admission for access to the gardens costs £7.50 for an adult and £5 for a child.

For more information, click here.

3. Enjoy the silver screen

What better way to celebrate US Independence Day than by watching the 1996 classic of the same name on the big screen?

This summer, Everyman Cinema is hosting its second annual Summer Love Festival in Granary Square, King’s Cross, London.

As part of the festival, Independence Day, starring Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, is being screened at Granary Square’s outdoor cinema on Thursday 4 July.

Starting at 5pm and ending at around 6.30pm, admission to the event is free.

While tickets are no longer available online, if you head to the screening early enough, you should still be able to get your hands on a bean bag and enjoy the film in a prime spot.

For more information, click here.

4. Observe a patriotic tradition

Every year on the Fourth of July, the Washington Old Hall in Tyne and Wear hosts a traditional flag-raising ceremony.

The manor house, which is overseen by the National Trust, is one of the ancestral homes of George Washington located in the UK.

The house, which was first built in the 12th Century before being renovated in the 17th Century, was the home of the Washington family before they moved to Sulgrave Manor in 1613.

This year’s flag-raising ceremony is due to take place at 11am, with a day of celebrations being hosted at the house from 10.30am until 3pm.

Standard admission to Washington Old Hall costs £6.70 for an adult and £3.35 for a child.

For more information, click here.

5. Join in the revelry with Benjamin Franklin

Yet another UK site with links to an American founding father, the Benjamin Franklin House is the only surviving former residence of Benjamin Franklin.

The house is listed as a Grade I building on the National Heritage List for England, and is located near Trafalgar Square in London.

On Thursday 4 July, visitors venturing to the house can enjoy a 30-minute tour of the residence with cake and a glass of bubbly.

It costs £10 per person to attend the event, and the time slots available on the day are 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3.15pm and 4.15pm.

For more information, click here.

6. Indulge in customary American cuisine

Are you ready for the ultimate American foodie celebration? 

On Thursday 4 July, American sauce companies French’s and Frank’s RedHot are taking over Dinerama, the street food market located in Shoreditch Market, east London.

Be prepared to eat your body weight in Buffalo chicken strips, vegan burritos, chicken wings and much more, while taking part in conventional American games including beer pong and foosball.

Tickets for standard entry, which include a free Goose Island American Pale Ale upon entry, cost £12.

For more information, click here.

7. Paint the town red, white and blue

Join in the eighth annual Independence Day pub crawl with London Party Pub Crawl, joining hundreds as you make your way to four venues across the capital.

Taking place on Thursday 4 July and starting between 7pm and 8pm, taking part in this pub Fourth of July-themed bar crawl will grant you free access to bars, free shots and the chance to compete against your friends in heated matches of beer pong.

Tickets cost between £12.50 and £25 and the event begins at Tiger Tiger in Haymarket, London.

For more information, click here.

8. Visit the ancestral home of a founding father

While most will be aware of George Washington as the first president of the United States, few may know that the founding father can trace his history back to England.

Born in 1731 on the Popes Creek Estate in Virginia, Washington’s great-grandfather had immigrated to the US 75 years prior from Sulgrave, England.

Sulgrave Manor and Garden was built by Washington’s five-times great grandfather in the mid-1500s.

To discover more about Washington, head to the Tudor estate for an educational experience.

The standard price for entry to the house and garden costs £7.20 for adults and £3.60 for children.

For more information, click here.

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For all the latest news on Independence Day in the US, click here.

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