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Independence Day just happens to be one of my favorite holidays of the year and Excelsior, Minnesota is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest places to celebrate it. In fact, I think there's only been one year that I strayed from Excelsior since starting the tradition as a young child with my family. No matter your age, there's something for everyone.
As a child, I used to decorate wagons with friends and walk down Water Street watching the parade. We'd proceed to hang out at the beach or on the playground and run around the commons playing with glow necklaces. As we got older, we'd migrate from activities on Lake Minnewashta to Christmas Lake, ultimately ending up back in the commons on Lake Minnetonka to listen to music and watch the fireworks. And then, a few more years led us to spending the day at Big Island, heading back to the commons for fireworks and reuniting with old friends at Maynards and Bayside, the lakefront bars in Excelsior. The energy in town is always fabulous and makes for a memorable holiday.
Whatever phase I was in, one aspect of my 4th of July remained consistent - an early afternoon grill session with the family. Settling with my husband near family makes me excited for many more years of Independence Day barbecues and holiday fun on and around the lakes. I sincerely hope you have your own fabulous traditions that involve good food and great company, but just in case, I've put together an ultimate 4th of July Recipe Round-up to help you out.
Throw some strawberries and blueberries in a bowl and you have a healthy patriotic snack ready to tide people over until the main event.
Our semi-homemade pasta salad is an easy and delicious make-ahead side dish that's perfectly refreshing on those hot summer days.
If you're firing up the grill anyways, you might as well keep those coals hot and roast up some 'mallows for dessert. Have skewers and the fixings ready and let people make their own s'mores.
We're loving this old campfire hack. Three ingredients and some hot coals are all it takes to create the perfectly sweet ending to your summer bbq. Kids will love helping to make their own!
Raspberry Rosé (Frosé) Popsicles
Three Olives Branch has the adults covered with this frozen treat. Don't forget to buy some regular, non-alcoholic popsicles for kids who get jealous!