Things to Do in Abilene on the Fourth of July That Are Easy, Cheap or Free
Independence Day will soon be upon us and with so much going on I have to prioritize my list of Things to do on the Fourth of July. My wife Donna and I raised eight very active kids, with that came the challenge of keeping them fed and entertained. I’ll share some things that have become a tradition in the Fernandez household that are either easy, cheap or free.
Fly your Flag
Proudly display your flag, making sure it’s worthy of flying. Not too faded, not too tattered and not torn. If your flag has seen better days, please retire it properly by contacting the Boy Scouts, Lions Club or the American Legion.
Listening to Patriotic Music
Start the day by playing patriotic music on the Fourth of July. Nothing says Independence Day like the Boston Pops, in fact I can’t imagine a 4th of July without this patriotic medley of songs from Americas leading band. If you start the day with the Boston Pops and their patriotic medley of songs, you will feel a more genuine sense of patriotic pride. Just try it.
Bake a Patriotic Cake
Baking a red, white and blue cake was my daughter Branddy’s patriotic idea. She baked a 9 by 13 cake and simply covered it with whipped cream. She then arranged blueberries and strawberries to create her patriotic themed cake. You should have seen the kids eyes when the saw it for the first time, needless to say there was nothing left at the end of the day.
Back Yard Barbecuing
Barbecuing is where I rule. I am the master of the grill and with eight kiddos I learned early that the best way to please them all (five girls and three boys), I have to cook both hot dogs and hamburgers for the boys, chicken for the girls and plenty of grilled seasonal veggies like corn on the cob, jalapeno poppers, squash and smoked baked potatoes. At last I hear peace and quite while all the children eat.
Watching a Fourth of July Parade
In Abilene we have been very fortunate to have several neighborhood parades through out the years. The one I remember the most is the Amarillo Street Parade. A few years back I was honored to participate in their parade, usually the Fernandez’s are parade watchers. In the past, there have been parades on Jeannette Street, Button Willow Parkway and Mesquite Forrest that I can remember. As recent as last year the Meadow Drive and the Lytle Shores homeowners hosted their own neighborhood parades. No word on any as of yet (6/20), but there’s still time. If you can’t find one, organize your own neighborhood parade.
Make Homemade Ice Cream
We always have leftover strawberries and/or blueberries from the cake making ceremony earlier in the day. What berry’s are left ended up in the ice cream maker. Here’s the Fernandez family “super easy” recipe for fresh berries ice cream, enjoy!
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chopped or mashed fresh strawberries (or other berries)
In a bowl big enough to accommodate all the ingredients, mix the milk, sugar, vanilla, cream, salt and the berries. Pour the mixture into the ice cream makers freezer bowl and start cranking and/or turn on the ice cream maker (following manufacturer’s directions). Enjoy!
Watch a Fireworks display
Finally at the end of a very busy day, gather and/or bring in all your flags, then go take in a fireworks show. Abilene usually has one and so do several surrounding cities. In the past I’ve attended fireworks displays at Lake Brownwood, Clyde Lake, Breckenridge, Tye and Sweetwater. Remember to take a camera, then share your pictures with us on our Facebook page.