While your HOA may not be able to provide residents with their very own, personalized fireworks show, there are plenty of fun-filled festivities that you can offer this Independence day, or any day this summer.  

Plan a Parade

Often, when we think of a parade, visions of elaborate floats and helium-filled cartoon characters the size of a single family home come to mind.  However, your neighborhood does not need to rise to the level of Macy’s when it comes to executing an awesome Fourth of July Parade.  A bike parade is simple, requires very little set-up and is an activity that the majority of your residents can take part in.  Pick a convenient time, and plan a route that spans your neighborhood. Be sure to get this information out to residents with plenty of advance notice so that all who wish to may participate, but also so that the roads on your raucous route can be clear of traffic.  Participants can decorate their bikes, wear costumes, or any number of other options that add excitement and levity to the event.  

Ring the Dinner Bell

If there is one thing that is sure to bring people together, it is food.  Set up a neighborhood picnic, by encouraging your residents to pack up a basket and a blanket to meet up at one of your communities green spaces  or parks.  You can take it one step further by suggesting that everyone bring something to share (sharing is caring, you know) and make it a potluck.  If you have the space and the equipment, you can turn this friendly get-together into the quintessential Fourth of July tradition, the barbeque.  Whatever direction you decide to go, bringing your community together with the promise of good food and good conversation is sure to leave everyone feeling connected and well fed.  

Splish Splash

If your community is fortunate enough to boast a community pool, there are few better places to plan a summer soiree.  If possible, consider serving light snacks and filling coolers with drinks.  Refreshments encourage residents to linger a bit longer and spend more time together.  Even if your pool does not typically employ a lifeguard, consider having one on duty for the event.  Odds are that you will have more than the usual crowd in attendance, and it is always a good idea to have an extra layer of safety available when possible.  

Safety First

Okay, we acknowledge that hosting a safety night may not seem like the most exciting or thrilling of community get-togethers, but it is one that can prove indispensable.  According to USA Today, in the time from June 21st, through July 21st of 2020, approximately 15,600 Americans were hospitalized due to firework related injuries.  Looking beyond the fourth, the summer months see an uptick in plenty of other preventable injuries.  Not surprisingly, heat related afflictions, like heat stroke and dehydration see a spike in the summer.  Additionally, water-related injuries become far more common as more and more people seek refuge from the rising temperatures at pools, lakes and reservoirs.  Even bicycle related accidents and injuries go up during the summer months, for children and adults alike.  Invite firefighters, police and/or other first responders to provide guidance and educate your community members as to the best ways to have fun AND stay safe this holiday and all through the summer season.  

Become an Olympic Hopeful

Just because this summer is an off year for the REAL olympics, that does not mean that you cannot instagate some friendly competition amongst your residents.  games like cornhole, badminton, volleyball, bocce ball, spikeball and ladder toss (among MANY others) are simple to set up and can provide hours of entertainment for everyone in your community.  Amp up the competition by pitting “athletes” from each of the streets within your neighborhood to compete against each other, with the winner bringing home the trophy, as well as bragging rights… until next year, at least.