Fun July 4th Dessert: Berry Flag Tart

The star of your patriotic menu will be this flag-shape dessert featuring bright red raspberries, tart blueberries, and dough cut in stripes and star shapes. Despite the masterpiece finish, it's actually quite simple to make.

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Easy 4th of July Decorations

Decorate your home in the spirit of Independence Day with our red, white, and blue 4th of July decorations. From flags to fireworks, these easy decorations cover every July 4th theme you can think of -- and they're cute to boot.

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Our Favorite July 4th Recipes

Take the guesswork out of creating a delicious spread of 4th of July food. Our July 4th entrees (hot dogs! ribs!), drinks (punch! sangria!), side dishes (fruit and pasta salads!), and desserts (mmm, pie) make organizing a patriotic potluck a breeze.

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Festive July 4th Desserts

Celebrate Independence Day with these festive 4th of July desserts! With star-shape scones and piecrusts, tempting tarts, colorful shakes, and fresh berries, these recipes for 4th of July desserts are sure to stand out at your patriotic celebration.

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Easy 4th of July Party Ideas

Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. From festive star banners and refreshing watermelon coolers to raveworthy party favors and more, your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig.

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4th of July Cake Recipes

Headed to a 4th of July potluck? Cakes are a dreamy way to end the day (well, that and fireworks), and our collection of berry-topped cakes, lush chocolate cakes, swirled sprinkle cakes, and layered red velvet cakes are worth their own oohs and aahs.

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Coconut Cream Island Punch

Make our DIY party cocktail -- that includes just a few tasty ingredients -- for an adults-only drink everyone can agree on. Cut-up star fruit provides a gorgeous base inside your drink pitcher.

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Organize a Neighborhood 4th of July Parade

A good neighborhood parade has music, costumes, candy, and vehicles, but you don't have to blow your budget to throw one. Follow our eight steps to organize a fun and festive Fourth of July parade that's inexpensive and stress free.

8 Steps to a Fun Fourth of July Parade

Whether you're organizing a neighborhood-wide Fourth of July parade or involving just a few friends, these fun and patriotic ideas will help you get started.

Step 1: Designate the route of your neighborhood parade.

Decide on a location in your neighborhood for your Fourth of July parade. For smaller parades, an alley, driveway, yard, or stretch of sidewalk would work well. For larger parades involving bikes and trucks, you may need to contact your city council to get permission to block off a street. Mark the starting and ending place of your parade using banners or flags. Have a back-up plan in case of bad weather: a garage or gymnasium are great alternatives.

Step 2: Send invites for your Fourth of July parade.

You can't have a parade without guests and participants! Invite the neighborhood to join your Fourth of July festivities, and spread the word to family and friends as well. Let the attendants know what to bring or how to help ahead of time. Remind your guests to dress in red, white, and blue and to bring lawn chairs to sit in for relaxed viewing. Hand out flags, leis, or hats as party favors.

Step 3: Decorate a star-spangled float.

For a large parade, put together a float using a truck and flatbed. Stuff red, white, and blue tissue paper into the holes of a rectangular piece of chicken wire fencing in the shape of the American flag. Attach the flag to the back of the trailer using wire, or staple the piece to a plywood frame. Hang streamers along the edges of the flatbed, and add hay bales for seating. Have the riders of the float wave flags and throw out candy.

Step 4: Make a patriotic sign.

Help the kids make a banner, sign, or flag to hang on the flatbed or to hold while marching in the Fourth of July parade. Decorate a large piece of plywood or poster board with paint, stickers, markers, and glitter. Make a patriotic design, or design your poster in support of a neighborhood baseball team or club.

Step 4: Decorate scooters and bikes.

Invite the neighborhood kids to decorate their scooters, bicycles, or wagons for the parade. Provide streamers, balloons, ribbons, and bells, or instruct them to arrive predecorated. Award the participants with the most creative or patriotic "vehicle."

Step 5: Include a marching band.

Organize a mini marching band with toy or homemade instruments. Make a drum from an oatmeal container, a tambourine from paper plates and jingle bells, a guitar from a shoebox and rubber bands, and horns with paper towel rolls. Add streamers of triangles of felt to 12-inch dowels to make batons for a few kids to twirl. Teach the little musicians to march heel to toe, and make sure to take lots of pictures.

Step 6: Involve the pets.

Get the neighborhood pets involved: Invite guests to bring their furry friends to the Fourth of July parade. Tie bandanas around the pets' necks, and have their owners walk them along the parade path.

Step 7: Organize a July 4th potluck

Ask guests to bring an appetizer or dessert to share for after the Fourth of July parade, or prepare a small table of simple refreshments, such as water, lemonade, iced tea, and cookies. Set the table in the spirit of the Fourth with a red, white, and blue tablecloth, streamers, and flag centerpieces.

Step 8: Sit back and enjoy.

Last, but not least, remember to sit back and enjoy your neighborhood Fourth of July parade, and most importantly, honor Independence Day with friends and family.

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