I celebrate the 4th quietly now, but when I was growing up my Dad threw the best 4th parties ever. He would put a lot of planning into them & everbody came, we would have 40 to 50 people in our suburban backyard. The day would start with my Mom making the crab soup, she would start it in a large soup pot, by the time it was ready and everything added in it would fill a stand alone electric roaster & 2 pots on the stove! She would make German potato salad & shrimp salad, everything else was my father's job. He would have Kosher & regular hotdogs, hamburgers & eye steaks all on the grill. Then there were the crabs, he would get several bushels of them, at first he steamed them himself but as the numbers grew it became easier to get them already steamed.
Before we could eat we would all go to the local parade, my Dad loved the parade. The party would go on into the night & in the evening a group would walk to the nearby school grounds to watch the fireworks.
Life gives us bittersweet moments & the 4th is now that for me. I lost my Dad in '92 on the 6th of July. His last meal was the nursing home's July 4th picnic, all he ate was the ice cream & he drank a beer, his 2 favorite things.
Didn't mean to turn this into a downer but I do still try to keep up a tradition, I usually make a pot of soup over the 4th (gonna take notes this time RubyRose)