Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain and tyranny.
The Declaration of Independence, which is on public display in the Rotunda of the National Archives in Washington, D.C., was primarily authored by Thomas Jefferson, however, he worked with Benjamin Franklin and John Adams to come up with the final document. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4th, 1776, but the actual signing of the document took place August 2nd, 1776.
Now, the Fourth of July holiday is commonly associated with fireworks displays, parades, barbecues and concerts. Some of your favorite country stars take time to remember their Fourth of July traditions, memories and what the holiday really means to them.
Mickey Guyton will host and perform during A Capitol Fourth on the Fourth of July on PBS beginning at 8pm ET. Country star Jake Owen, Grammy Award-winning gospel artist Yolanda Adams, Tony Award winner and Broadway icon Chita Rivera, Grammy Award-winning musician and actor Gloria Gaynor, Blues musician Keb’ Mo’ and many others are also among the stars performing during the special.
To access Fourth of July liners, click here.
AJ (fave 4th of July memory) OC: …very cool. :58
Well, this one is hard to beat. A couple of years ago, maybe longer than that now, I had an old boat in Florida. It’s like an old antique motor yacht, and it was kind of a cool old boat. I had taken that boat, I’ve always wanted to take it up north like to New York and up in that area, up in the northeast where it’s so pretty. So, we took the boat up there and Denise and the girls, we all went up. They like going to New York City, which I don’t really care about going to the city. So, I got to stay in my boat there at the harbor tied up, which was cool anyway. So they spent time in the city a few days and then that was Fourth of July, and we went out in the Hudson River that night and they shot the fireworks off and we were anchored out in front of the Statue of Liberty and New York City was behind us, and the Statue of Liberty and the fireworks were going off sitting on that boat. That was the coolest thing and my girls still talk about that. I mean, that was the coolest thing on Fourth of July I can ever remember. I can’t top that one probably. It was emotional sitting there watching the Statue of Liberty and thinking about all that. It was very cool.”
Billy Currington (4th of July) OC: …of my life. :16
“My best memories would be hanging out with my mom, brother and sister on the beach on Tybee Island right off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. We’d go there every year, and we’d light our own fireworks and watch the ones that they had for us. They were the best times, some of the best times of my life.”
Carrie Underwood (favorite Fourth of July memory) OC: …work out. :51
“I think my favorite Fourth of July memory would be going to the fireworks stand and picking out which fireworks I wanted to do. I must’ve been like 7 or 8, and I came home and made a list of what order I wanted to do them in, because I wanted to put a show on for Mom and Dad, and of course I couldn’t wait until it was dark outside (laughs). So, I made my Mom and Dad get the lawn chairs and come out to the backyard and watch some not very dramatic fireworks at like six o’clock in the evening, but I was so proud of myself, and I was so proud of the show that I put on. So, I feel like that was a little training for what I do now – putting on shows, figuring out how it’s all going to work out.”
Darius Rucker (fireworks) OC: …off once. :15
“Oh, I love fireworks. We had the bottle rocket fights and all that good stuff. I was the typical little crazy kid, you know. In South Carolina, it was always legal, so we shot fireworks when it was legal. We did all that sort of stuff. I almost blew my hand off once.”
Eric Church (4th of July) OC: …freedoms. 1:17
“The Fourth of July for me, growing up we would always go to the lake, we didn’t live on the lake but we would all go to the lake. Had a buddy who had a pontoon and we would always get on the pontoon and you go out and you’d tie all the pontoons together and just have a big time. This was before, I was younger then, the adults were having more fun than we were, you know it was just to go swim in the water and shoot off fireworks. Basically, water tailgating is what it was. And then as we got older, same thing…we would just, us younger kids had our own boat and we had as much fun as the adults.”
Jon Langston (Fourth of July) OC: …either way. :17
“The Fourth of July is usually different every year. We’re usually playing shows, or we’re out on the lake or at the beach, or sometimes I’ve said, ‘I’m staying at home,’ shooting fireworks off the back porch or something. That’s probably not the safest thing, but we have a good time either way.”
Jordan Davis (Fourth of July) 2 OC: …really cool. :17
“Probably baseball games, firework shows at baseball games. We’d go to Shreveport Captains games, so yeah, we’d do that or barbecues and fireworks. I can remember being on the lake for a couple of Fourth of Julys. We’d take the boat out and we’d watch the downtown fireworks show from the boat, which was really cool.”
Josh Turner (fireworks) OC: …of money. [laughs] :20
“Yeah, we had fireworks around, especially my Daddy’s family. All the individual families had a lot of competition with each other and tried to outdo each other to try to see who had the biggest and baddest fireworks and all that. [laughs] My daddy, I think, was the smartest one. He just went out and bought maybe $25 worth of fireworks and let everybody else put on the big show, so he saved a lot of money.” [laughs]
Keith Urban (coming to America 1st time) OC: …as I could. :39
“1989 was the first year I came to the States, and it had always been my goal, but I had no plan on how to get here. It was just a case of keep playing, keep getting better at what you do, and then hopefully, somehow, some way I’ll end up over here. The guy who was managing me at the time, we just planned a trip over here – it was actually for the New Music Seminar in New York. And we came over for that, and then we did a trip down to Nashville, and I was shopping my little demo around. I think I humored everybody more than anything else [laughs] with my tragic, ill-fitting demo for the time. So, I left there, but I was just so committed to coming back as quick as I could.”
Luke Bryan (4th of July memories) OC: …we used to. :21
“Some of my favorite Fourth of July memories were spent on Lake Blackshear down in Georgia with my family. I was always kind of in charge of driving home from Tennessee and picking up all the fireworks and my nieces and nephews always got excited when I rolled in because they knew I had all the fireworks. But, it was always a great memory, and I miss not getting to do that as much as we used to.”
Luke Bryan (Fourth of July plans) OC: …on the fourth. :15
“My plans for the Fourth are always to be on the boat somewhere in the water, and buy a few fireworks, send ‘em up in the sky for the boys, but it’s always a boat and water, whether it’s in the Gulf of Mexico, whether it’s in Georgia…we don’t have a total plan yet, but we’ll be having a good time on the fourth.”
Maddie & Tae (Fourth of July) OC: …it’s perfect. :29
TAE: “One of my favorite Fourth of July traditions – I’d say it’s a tradition ‘cause it happens every year, but I’m not always able to make it – is that we go to my grandparents in Oklahoma, and we all line up lawn chairs right in front of their garage and we just light fireworks. We always do it far away and then we light it, and we always run back and watch the fireworks, but that’s probably one of my favorite memories.” MADDIE: “My birthday is July 7th, so I always get built-in fireworks for my birthday, and sometimes we actually celebrate it on the 4th, because there’s fireworks everywhere, so it’s perfect.”
Parker McCollum (Fourth of July) OC: …days of my life. :23
“My favorite Fourth of July memories growing up are actually kind of dangerous now that I think about it, but we used to have fireworks wars where we’d shoot like roman candles and bottle rockets. We’d always go to my grandma’s house, pop fireworks and we’d end up shooting ’em at each other and having wars; no eye protection, no nothing, just shooting bottle rockets at each other’s faces. But it was so fun; some of the best days of my life.”
Priscilla Block (Fourth of July) OC: …we get crazy. :26
“I love Fourth of July. I usually always have a Fourth of July party. It is known that there is a slip-n-slide at my house on Fourth of July. You know, it’s such a great holiday to just bring friends together and, I don’t know, we get wild on the Fourth. We get crazy.”
Sam Hunt (Fourth of July) OC: …good time. :39
“My granddad on the other side of my family, he would always take a lot of pride…fireworks were actually, I’m from Georgia, and most of them were illegal, I’m pretty sure, growing up. But over in Alabama, that’s where all the firework stands were, and we only had to drive 10, 15 minutes to get to the Alabama line, so we could go get a bundle of fireworks pretty easy. But he would always take a lot of pride in going and finding all the good stuff and coming back with a big pile. He’d have his torch out there at the end of the driveway and we’d all eat homemade ice cream and put down towels on the driveway and he’d shoot off fireworks for 30-45 minutes. Such a good time.”
Travis Denning (Fourth of July) OC: …will love. :51
“Fourth of July in Warner Robins, Georgia is an event. It’s something else. In fact, forever they’ve thrown an Independence Day concert, and back in the day, it was huge. It was the biggest thing they did all year. They would actually have the concert in the MAC (McConnell-Talbert Stadium), which was the high school football stadium that Warner Robins and Northside and Houston County shared. I mean, one year they had Wynonna play and then they had Josh Turner one year, Darius Rucker. I mean it was like a big deal, and there’d be 15,000, 20,000 people there, and I think it’s so cool that there’s a little bit of a legacy of people coming together in that town and making something happen, you know? I’ll never forget going to those shows and thinking, I was more proud of what the city had done. I was like, ‘That’s just so cool that they could put together a show like this, an event that everybody will love.”
Tyler Hubbard (Fourth of July) OC: …that freedom. :43