If you hate fireworks, you're practically un-American, right?
Wrong. Plenty of people hate fireworks, and they're some of the best Americans we know: veterans. Now, not all vets hate fireworks, but for those with PTSD, bright explosions can trigger some... horrid memories. So an event not featuring fireworks is one of the most patriotic things we can think of.
Also, dogs. Lots of pooches think the Fourth of July would be best spent in another country — one that isn't setting off so many explosions.
Here's one that's free — and it welcomes your pets (good to know for those fireworks-averse pups). The Red, White & Blue Festival in Tampa has entertainment for all ages, an apple pie-eating contest, giveaways, a food court featuring Southern food, surf and turf and hot dogs and BBQ. There's prizes for the Best Dressed in Red, White & Blue (one prize for kids, one for adults and one for dogs). There will also be a greyhound petting station with adoptable greyhounds (known as the fastest couch potatoes you'll ever meet). It's a festival of American craft, culture and community.
Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park, 601 Old Water St., Tampa | July 4: 5 p.m. | 813-274-8615 | Learn more