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We’re headed for another hockey season without hockey.
That is what Pittsburgh’s hockey fans should be thinking about a day after the NHL’s free-agent season opened. Instead, by the end of Day 1, most people were pondering other questions:
Are Jack Johnson and Matt Cullen secret ingredients in the Penguins’ next Stanley Cup formula? (Maybe. But think of them as flavor enhancers; the stew will be heartiest if Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Kris Letang and Matt Murray are able to rest and properly train this summer, stay healthy and — in the cases of Letang and Murray — find their familiar forms heading into the playoffs next spring.)
No Fourth of July would be complete without representing the good ol' stars and stripes. You'll notice many Pittsburghers have flags up year-round, but July 4th is definitely the day to go full on with the Red, White and Blue decor.
Americans love their beef, and Pittsburgh is no exception. Burgers have become a symbol of the American diner, and hotdogs bring to mind good times at the local ballpark or strolls through Kennywood.
On July 4th, we are not about that fine china life. Check your fancy table etiquette at the door. Just don't be an absolute pig—especially if you're at someone else's house. The last thing you need to worry about on July 4th is a bunch of messy dishes. Embrace the casual vibes.
Bless the person that decided to call heaping portions of pasta and potato mixed with mayo a salad. Treat yourself this July 4th. We're not here to worry about carbs or calories. Embrace the excess afforded to you in this pretty awesome country and loosen that belt a notch!
It wouldn't be July 4th without a touch of danger. We all have that one relative (the one that gets a little too excited around matches and gasoline) that comes equipped with fireworks straight from Nowheresville, Ohio. Our national anthem does reference bombs bursting in air. We're just really committed to recreating that on our backyard patio.
What game works best with a bunch of tipsy friends loading up on carbs? Cornhole is that Twilight Zone anomaly where being buzzed is an advantage. There's no sharp objects or rigorous physical activity involved, so it's friendly for young and old.
Achieve that hipster, Instagram-worthy ａｅｓｔｈｅｔｉｃ by throwing up some lights in your backyard. It may be the easiest way to transform your patio into a TJ Maxx commercial. Be the envy of your neighborhood by lighting it up. The electric bill will suffer, but your social life won't. Bonus points for Red, White and Blue lights to show your country pride. #murica
It wouldn't be a Pittsburgh party without a table dedicated to the cookie. Be extra and show your patriotism by throwing a little Red, White, and Blue into your sugar cookie mix. Elegantly place your confections on a platter, and now you're basically Martha Stewart 2.0.
Freeze pops taste like the summers of childhood. I'm talking about the frozen sticks of corn syrup and dye placed in unusually heavy-duty plastic wrapping. (I can still feel the frustration of trying to rip one of these bad boys open.) Hand some out to the kiddies and have one for yourself. Cause you should ride that wave of nostalgia on July 4th. We are lucky to have grown up in a country that gave us pretty amazing childhood memories.
Would it be a July 4th in Pittsburgh if it wasn't ridiculously hot? If you're not near a pool, grab some water balloons and Super Soakers to cool everyone down. The kids will love it, but who says adults can take part in the fun either? It's 2018 and being young-at-heart is completely acceptable. Leave your office-space decorum at the door.
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