As was the case in the past, we celebrate with fireworks displays. Spectacular ones. All paid for voluntarily, of course. But the festival (and it is quite a festival indeed) is so much bigger than that. There are regional differences, obviously, but some things are fairly ubiquitous around Libertopia.
A big draw is always the "shoots". Everyone brings out their favorite guns (or buys the one they've been eyeing for a while now) and enters friendly shooting contests. Some scheduled, but many impromptu. Since the majority of people go about their daily lives armed, it is a simple matter to set up a shoot on the spur of the moment, using what is on your hip or in your pocket. Knowing this is inevitable, ammo salesmen come prepared. A good thing, too! After all, you don't want to use up all your "carry ammo" in a contest for a bottle of whiskey. It's quite a party.
There are also costume contests. You can dress as your favorite historical character, good or bad. The historical liberty-lovers are cheered and the politicians are enthusiastically booed. It is very popular to dress as politicians from the past, as the melodramatic acting can be quite a crowd-pleaser. It's hilarious to see Hitler or Schumer comically recreated to the delight of the crowd. This time it's all in fun, though. You should have seen the friendly debate/wresting match last night between "Lysander Spooner" and "FDR"- hilarious!
The recreational debates, both costumed and not, are a good time, too. You'll have excellent speakers take the absurd position that government is good and let random people from the crowd demolish the contention. Or, they will propose a "reasonable" justification for using coercion for some "good cause", people buy tickets to put their name in a hat, and the person who wins the draw will get to point out why the supposed justification falls flat. It is fun to watch 5-year olds cut through nonsense that back in the era of The State professors promulgated with a straight face. Did anyone ever believe that stuff? I can't really say for sure, but it is so obviously silly now.
And the FOOD and beverages! You've never seen such a delicious variety! All lovingly (or at least skillfully) prepared to be sold or given away. If you want to eat it, drink it, or smoke it, someone has it available.
There are also games of all sorts, and vendors selling anything you might want. People reunite with those they haven't seen for a year or two. Tents and RVs are set up everywhere and anywhere a property owner allows (and few refuse). The bonfires glow all night long as the sound of laughter and music ebbs and flows, along with the sounds you will only hear around true liberty.
I heard a rumor that this year a few neighbors got together and bought a curmudgeonly fellow a couple of days at a luxury hotel far from the celebration. Not everyone enjoys the noise and commotion. Still, there is always a solution if you put the effort into finding it.
It's been years since there was any serious incident around here on Independence Day. People know that they are always responsible for their actions and the consequences of those actions, and that there is no one who will be obligated to protect you from yourself. It's amazing how quickly that simple realization makes a person grow responsible.
Anyway, I hope your Independence Day was as great as mine! Hurry and join me- we have a lot of catching up to do!