Fourth of July barbecue (and, ok fine, drinking) games

Looking to get a little silly at your Fourth of July cookout? Try out some of these pastimes that are sure to give you plenty of opportunities to patriotically/obnoxiously chant “USA! USA! USA!”

I can already hear the cashiers at illegal firework shops ringing with pubescent delight. Most Americans are big fans of the upcoming Fourth of July festivities, but the Fourth has just recently become my new favorite holiday. Being a corporate failure up until recently, I never knew what it was like to forfeit your summer vacation. Then I got a job. I guess I just assumed everyone got two full months of sunbathing, day drinking and going to random baseball games. I never noticed the people who actually went to work each day.

Now being a voluntary slave to the 8 to 5, I’ve quickly learned how the business community copes with this “working” lifestyle: The invention of the federal holiday. Have you ever noticed most excused absences from the office fall in the summer months? Our Forefathers were really thinking when they wanted to take a day break from signing important documents so they could ditch their favorite powdered wigs and swan dive into the town watering hole. They just made it sound official. And Independence Day seems like the obvious front runner. Yes, technically it’s a time to celebrate our freedom from those bloody British (back when they were being super bossy) but more importantly, it’s a time to allow us corporate folk to have an extended mental health weekend — accessorized with hot dogs, stars and stripes, and of course, Budweiser.

Since this mid-summer, no, you keep your vacation day, celebration is so cherished, it’s important to utilize your time and capture the highest revenue of fun. Therefore, there is this important little phenomenon known as the “Fourth of July Games”. So with your once-a-year tribute to Bruce Springsteen playlist on full blast, here are some exuberant ways to capitalize on your much anticipated Fourth of July vacation. Red, white and blue has never looked so good.

1. Horseshoes

Ok, now I know the basic concept of horseshoes, though I’ve never actually played. You essentially take a big horseshoe and try to wrap it around a pole sticking out of the ground… sometimes in a weird little pit, in teams? Just add beer and an experienced horseshoer. It just felt un-American not to include it.

2. Cornhole

Though the name might get a mean mug from your grandparents, this simple backyard/tailgate/pool side/parking lot trend has taken America by storm in the last several years. And it’s as literal as it sounds. You basically throw bags of corn through a hole in a platform. Played usually in teams of two, you collect points up to 21 depending on whether you make it through the hole, hit the board or miss completely. However, it’s the boards, ranging from college mascots to Hannah Montana (no joke), that make this game exciting. You can be creative and construct your own, or now that marketing is on board, literally, you can simply go out and purchase a set.

3. Watermelon Toss

Who doesn’t like to watch amped-up, testosterone driven men fight over a piece of fruit? Now, don’t get me wrong, ladies can play too, but it’s so much more entertaining to watch the male ego battle over greased up produce. This Fourth of July favorite never fails in amusement or some spontaneous back yard brawling. Don’t want to compete over one object? Turn it into a beer toss, so everyone wins. Swimming pool and/or lake required.

4. Pick-up Sports

Here you have a wide range of options depending on your crowd, experience … blood pressure. But after those mid-morning bloody marys wear off, you might enjoy an impulsive game of touch football to really feel patriotic. Other team activities like pick-up soccer, volleyball, Frisbee, etc., also work great as an afternoon activity. Right before daiquiri hour.

2. Beer Olympics

As impulsive as the previous activity is, this one takes a little planning and lots of friends. Ideally you want to break up in teams of about four with ten or so events. Because this will depend on your location, resources and associates, you will need to cater the events accordingly. Some fun suggestions include: Liberty beer pong, Forefathers Flip Cup, Paul Revere Relays, etc. Hey, if you figure out how to play, throw some Freedom Horseshoes in there as well. All you need to do is set up a point system, make a score board and get your crazy aunt to be the referee. Game on!

Note: Since everyone will obviously want to be Team America, you can create other fun team names like “The Boss is back in Town” or “America F*ck Yea!”. Bedazzled, puffy painted uniforms required.

Another note: While RVANews understands that you might imbibe this Fourth of July, please be safe. Don’t get drunk and then get behind the wheel of a car. Or make an ass out of yourself. But, if you opt for the latter, we’ll be happy to see pictures. Just saying.

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Keri Lynch

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