Having lived in the nation’s capital for the past two years, I’ve grown used to a huge Fourth of July celebration. This year was the first major Fourth of July celebration in Miami since the start of the pandemic and my first Fourth of July in Miami ever. I’m sure it does not come as a surprise that Miami is a fantastic place to be for the Fourth of July.

Of course, I spent the day at the beach…where else would I be? Luckily, Mother Nature blessed Miami with perfect sunny weather and not a cloud in the sky. After a long day in the sun, I eventually made my way to Bayfront Park for the Fireworks. I did not think anything could top the fireworks at the National Mall where the fireworks explode amongst the Capital, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. It turns out that the fireworks in Miami do hold a [roman] candle—huge and dazzling!

As I mentioned, I spent the Fourth on the beach (for the first time in years). This was nostalgic for me because spending the day at the beach was one of my family’s Fourth of July traditions growing up. A few of the other summers weighed in on their favorite Fourth of July traditions:

“One of my favorite Fourth of July traditions is the airboat race held out in the everglades, it’s the best to be out in nature”-Savannah
“I enjoy sitting out by the pool and watching fireworks. The best Fourth food is hotdogs!”-Sarah
“Making s’mores is my favorite Fourth of July tradition” –Ariana
“My favorite thing about the Fourth is that it reminds you to be grateful to have grown up in this country”-Lucas

I’ve learned that the last statement is a sentiment shared by many people in Miami. In most of the country, the Fourth of July is a day about barbeques, sparklers, and fireworks with family and friends. In Miami, the holiday has a unique significance. Many (maybe most) people who live here either immigrated to the United States or have a parent or grandparent who did. It is evident that, here, it’s a holiday about being grateful for the freedom and the opportunity that can be found in this country and about being conscious of those who do not have those same privileges. For that reason, and many others, it’s a special place to be. I’ll never forget my first Fourth of July in Miami!