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How Celebrities Celebrate the 4th of July: 5 of Our Covergirls Share Their Favorite Festivities

With the 4th of July on the horizon, we have barbecues and fireworks on the brain, and soon enough, we’ll be celebrating summer and channeling our patriotic spirit. Many of us have beloved Independence Day traditions — perhaps involving a swimming pool, a party with friends and family, a rooftop view, or some combination of the above — and nothing else captures summer fun quite like them.

We’ve also gotten much holiday inspiration from the women who’ve graced the 4th of July covers of our print magazine, as well as those of our sister publication, FIRST for Women. Here, five of our previous covergirls share how they make the day extra special.

1. Joy Bauer: Group singalongs and margaritas

Joy Bauer with a 4th of July treat in 2023
Joy Bauer with a 4th of July treat in 2023@joybauer/Instagram

Celebrity nutritionist and bestselling author Joy Bauer said the 4th of July is about three main things: family, food and fun. “We usually spend it in the Berkshires in Massachusetts, and it’s the most wonderful time!” she told us. “There are sparklers for the kids, fireworks, and, since I come from a musical family, group singalongs. And, of course, BBQ and delicious beverages like blackberry or watermelon margaritas — oh, I can just taste them now!”

MUST-READ: Joy Bauer on the Latest Health Trends and How She Finds ‘Great Joy’ in ‘Nourishing’ Food

2. Melora Hardin: New recipes and crafts

Melora Hardin with her husband Gildart Jackson, and daughters, Piper and Rory in 2024
Melora Hardin with her husband Gildart Jackson, and daughters, Piper and Rory, in 2024Getty

Melora Hardin, a familiar face from shows like The Office, Monk and The Bold Type, shared that she and her husband and two teen daughters “came up with new recipes for baked goods — which we’re looking forward to recreating on Independence Day — and made collages together,” saying, “It’s been uplifting to be able to share those moments and create together.”

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3. Hoda Kotb: Honor history and remember everything is possible

Hoda Kotb holding flag napkin in 2016
Celebrity 4th of July: Hoda Kotb gets in the patriotic spirit in 2016Getty

Today host Hoda Kotb told us that for her, the 4th of July is a celebration of living the American dream, saying, “I’m a kid of immigrants and when my parents came here in the ’60s from Egypt, they taught me that there is no place like the United States. They came here because you could have all the education in the world there and still not succeed — but in America, you could.”

“Think about the chances of me being in this job — it probably would have been a million to one! I was awkward. I had a funny name. I went to a school that had nothing to do with communication. I was struggling throughout, but it worked. Why? Because my parents believed in the American dream and told us it was possible,” she said. “Everything was possible. So what does it mean to me on the 4th of July? It means everything. It’s what I teach my kids.”

MUST-READ: Hoda Kotb Urges Women to Unleash Their True Selves in the New *WEEKLY* Issue of FIRST for Women! (EXCLUSIVE)

4. Dorothy Hamill: Gratitude and goosebumps

Dorothy Hamill wears a Team USA sweater in 2010
Dorothy Hamill wears a Team USA sweater in 2010Getty

Olympic gold medalist Dorothy Hamill shared that her journeys overseas to compete as a figure skater left her with lasting gratitude for America the beautiful.

“When I was competing, we would skate exhibitions in East Germany and the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia,” Hamill recalled. “I remember so well that they just didn’t have the abundance of fruits and vegetables we have here. So every time I returned home to the States and saw this beautiful, wonderful country with our freedom, the abundance of fruits and vegetables and the choice of so many things, I felt more and more proud to be an American.”

These feelings of patriotic pride are still with the skater decades later, and they bubble up on the 4th of July. “It’s such a beautiful and wonderful celebration,” she said. “Sometimes we stay up to watch the fireworks and it’s just chilling. It gives you goosebumps.”

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5. Ree Drummond: The perfect Pioneer Woman barbecue

Ree Drummond with a girl in flag outfit in 2022 celebrity 4th of July
Celebrity 4th of July: Ree Drummond at her celebration in 2022@pwmercantile/Instagram

As the cookbook author and TV personality the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond knows a thing or two about holiday entertaining. “For me, the 4th of July is all about celebrating freedom with family and friends,” she told us, “And what better way to do that than a big backyard barbecue? It’s party time!”

Drummond and her family keep it simple, decorating the property with lots of flags and loading up on fireworks for their annual post-dinner display. But, as always, her delicious all-American cooking is the star.

Drummond told us her favorite things to make for the holiday include loaded burgers, cheesy pasta salad, fresh grilled corn and buttermilk cupcakes. And let’s not forget her signature summer drink: watermelon sangria! After the last burger has been grilled, Ree sits down to enjoy a tall, icy, fruity glass. “Because even when you’re the hostess,” she told us, “you have to take a minute to relax, enjoy the day — and to reflect on how wonderful America is!” We’ll drink to that!

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