10 Reasons Why July 4th Is the Most Epic American Holiday

Independence Day has been a day of celebration since 1776. Americans around the world come together to commemorate this momentous day in history --- the day we adopted the Declaration of Independence and proclaimed freedom from Great Britain. If that isn’t enough proof enough that the Fourth of July rocks, here are 10 reasons why Independence Day is the most epic American holiday of all time.

1 | It's Ageless

One of the best parts of Independence Day is that there is something for all ages to enjoy. Celebrating our nation’s freedom never goes out of style, so there’s no age limit on the good times to be had. Invite the kids and invite the grandparents, all are welcome on this timeless holiday!

2 | It's the Perfect Time to Be Around Loved Ones

Spending the day around your favorite people and celebrating the best country on earth? Count us in! Friends and family are the best people to spend this holiday with, which means the goofiness and good times will be plentiful.

3 | The Food

Photo courtesy of Laurie Dieffembacq/AFP/Getty Images.

Americans love to eat, especially classic American food like hot dogs and apple pie. Combine that with the celebrations of the Fourth and you have the most festive and delicious treats of the whole year. Plus, everything tastes better when it’s in the shape of the American flag and covered in red, white and blue.

4 | The Weather

Sure, it’s hot. But something about celebrating makes the summer heat less miserable and more…perfect. It wouldn’t be Fourth of July without kids splashing in the swimming pool and everyone guzzling down beverages like their life depended on it. So, show off those classic American flag shorts in the 90-degree heat! The scorching sun and tan lines leave stripes on your body like a human representation of the stripes on the American flag. What more could you ask for?!

5 | One word: FIREWORKS

Believe it or not, fireworks have been a Fourth of July tradition since the very first Fourth of July in 1776. In a letter from John Adams to his wife Abigail Adams, our country's second president declared that Independence Day should be celebrated with “pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”

You heard him, folks. One of our very own Founding Fathers essentially ordered us to make this a day of epic celebration. Will do, Mr. Adams!

6 | People Go All Out

If you see someone driving down the highway, sticking an American flag out the window with their face covered in red, white and blue face paint, chances are it’s July 4th. Americans hold nothing back on this holiday, letting their patriotic weirdness shine bright. (Side note: We do not recommend driving down the highway with a flag sticking out of the window. We do, however, encourage extreme patriotism.)

7 | Red, White and Blue EVERYTHING

On people’s clothes, on people’s faces, in people’s yards, our nation’s colors are splashed across the entire country for one day straight, and IT IS AWESOME. Nothing instills American pride more than being surrounded by a sea of red, white and blue all day. You might even wake up the next morning forgetting other colors even exist.

8 | The Tunes

Martina McBride sings it best when she belts out the iconic lyric, “Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay, it's Independence Day.” Yes, it is, girl. And we will sing your beautiful tune all day until our voices give out.

9 | You Get the Day Off

What better way to celebrate freedom than being free from stresses and responsibilities for a day? This Fourth of July, run wild, be free and celebrate American independence. Thanks for the Declaration and the day off, Founding Fathers!

10 | Freedom

The Fourth of July equals an entire day devoted to celebrate the birth of our great nation, the day which our Founders officially declared our freedom. Nothing compels Americans to throw a massive party quite like that. We are free and live in the greatest country ever, a beacon of light and hope to the world. Now that's something to celebrate.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

Get tickets and learn more about the event here.

The general sale period will be Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM MDT. Stay tuned to for updates. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with you!