First off, if you haven't already been sent this link to enjoy your own fireworks display you should really go play with it for 60 seconds. It's one of those sites that's amusing to visit once a year, and you can make the finale last as long as you want.
So what did you do for the 4th of July? It felt odd to me, having a holiday on Friday.
I had a great day. Martha (adopter of Sam) asked me if I would like to help her host/help with a colleague's July 4th party on the lake, for hire.
I love being a support host. Now and then, Martha calls up to ask if I would be interested in pouring wine at an event (the Finger Lakes Wine Festival, Wine on Ice, Empty Bowls, etc.) when an extra hand is needed. Without exception, they are all a great experience.
I am no social butterfly, and the nice thing about helping with hosting is that you have a clearly defined role (food, drink, setting out, cleaning up), but the pace is so fast you are basically under your own direction after the initial instructions are given. And there are plenty of opportunities to talk to people. Because you--after all--have the food, drink, etc.
Therefore you get to meet a ton of great (new!)people, and everything just rolls along enjoyably.
Yesterday the weather was perfect, the lake was gorgeous, and I had no idea so many people shot off fireworks over the water of Cayuga Lake. It was the first time I'd seen the Flares Around the Lake. It was semi-potluck, and the food was incredible. Even better, there were several friends attending as well.
I rank yesterday up there with them most enjoyable July 4th I've ever had...and the bank account is happy, too, with a little seed money for the 2nd floor entrance I wish to put on the house.
If you have any friends or acquaintances who are "event-involved" type people or are event planners, and you are the type of person who laments that they don't meet new people often, consider putting out the message that you'd be available to help, if needed. In my case, it happens perhaps only once a year, so it's not like its a time drain.
And it does put you right in the middle of a new community.