In case you are not in touch with reality or are not American, here's a list of essentials for this patriotic holiday.
1. Some chalk for the poop circles
Poop circles for the horses in parades, to be exact. If your family does not participate in this tradition, you are not worthy of participating in this holiday. Basically, you draw (a pre-agreed upon amount of) chalk circles, write your name in them, and pray that a horse's poop lands gracefully in your beloved circle during the course of the parade. If, at the end of the parade, you find a Stallion's droppings in your circle, you win. Some people play for money (my family has never gotten that far so I would't know how much the winner should receive.) But mostly, it's just for the joy and thrill of it all. Of course, nothing ever happens nowadays because they've gotten all high-tech with those poop bags strapped to the horse's butts, preventing any joy for the kids. Oh well, we're still out there with our chalk circles, discussing in-depth the strategy behind picking the perfect spot.
2. A lawn chair or buns of steel
Going off of the first essential, you obviously have to bring a lawn chair to your Fourth of July festivities, which usually includes a parade (sometimes multiple parades,) a cookout of some sort in which people sit around in lawn chairs eating assorted grilled meats and chatting away, and of course, a bonfire. If you opt for the "I don't need a chair, I'm tough" option, then you better have buns of steel. Your butt will endure many hours on the cemented curb for parades (even if you sit on grass, paralysis still sets in regardless.) Even for the most seasoned parade goers, they are soon looking with disdain at their grandma, who's perched on her luxurious lawn chair.
3. A sick tricked out bike
If you are the age of ten or younger, you are obligated to have a tricked out bike with all the coolest and most gaudy patriotic decor. Red, white, and blue just threw up on your bike, whether you like it or not. You got the little streamers hanging from the handlebars and woven throughout the wheel spokes. Mmm, so patriotic. So American, it hurts.
No matter who you are, now is not the time to be classy with your red, white, and blue themed outfit. When in doubt, it's always best to find the most god-awful sparkly american flag shirt with matching shorts and headpiece, even though you'll never wear it again, Right?! This is the time when you desperately and frantically search your house for anything that has stars and stripes on it, to somehow plaster on your body. It's also perfectly acceptable to re-use the same gaudy outfit every year since you gotta get the most bang for your buck.
5. A belly ready for various fruit trifles
Because using any other red or blue colored food to celebrate this day is just illogical. Blueberry pies, layered jellos, cakes and trifles decorated with blueberries, whipped cream, and either raspberries or strawberries will consume your desert intake. Nothing else should be or would be served.
6. An able arm for bags
There's nothing more classic than a Fourth of July cookout with the fam, brat in hand, music faintly playing, jokes and jargon in the air, while enjoying a healthy competition of bags or "cornhole." You've been practicing and icing your arm all week for this face-off with uncle Tom. Losing is not an option, since you got creamed last time by him and have never heard the end of it. But not this time. This time you'll show him who's boss. All those late nights spent perfecting that arm swing for the bag to reach a perfect arch... it all comes down to this. You've never been more ready to crush uncle Tom's hopes and dreams. And actually, uncle Tom isn't your uncle, he's your cousin Tommy. And Tommy is six years younger than you. And Tommy has arthritis so it's hard for him to throw the bags. But you will still crush him, no matter what.
7. A heart for fireworks
Even if your family doesn't put on it's own personal (and probably illegal) firework show in your backyard, there are always plenty of public legal firework shows to find. And even if you're one of the poor, unfortunate souls who doesn't care for fireworks, you're bound to hear them at some point in the night. They're everywhere on this day, so there's no avoiding these loud bursts of happiness. You can't run or hide from them, nor should you (unless your life is in danger, in which case, run.)
All these things must be encapsulated by a patriotic spirit, of course, since it's America's Independence Day! Happy Fourth, everyone!