Summer is here and once again it's time to break out the stars and stripes and honor the nation. This year, Kansas and Nebraska are the perfect places for patriots to celebrate the land of the free and the home of the brave.
There's no better place for traditional Independence Day fun than Seward, Nebraska, recognized as “America’s Small Town 4th of July City.” Since 1979, Seward has claimed Independence Day as its official theme; today it’s the country's premiere destination for all things red, white and blue. Here the Annual Old-Fashioned, Small-Town Fourth of July Celebration helps the community live up to its reputation. And this year, the festival's 143rd anniversary, will be bursting with patriotic pride: an antique car show, aerobatics show, traditional firing of the colonial anvil and Boy Scout color guard take you back to the Cornhusker state's roots. Every year this humble town of 6,500 swells to 40,000 people joining in the celebration. Enjoy the grand parade and one of the largest firework shows in the country. The event begins Sunday, July 3 and runs through Monday, July 4, rain or shine. Nothing can put a damper on Seward's Fourth of July fun. Visit www.julyfourthseward.com for more information.
For family fun, get into the festivities at world-renowned Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. Saturday, July 2 through Monday, July 4 the zoo hosts its annual Red, White, and Zoo!
event, featuring a range of musical entertainment and animal activities. The zoo is an American treasure and it’s no wonder--with over 20 exhibits including Expedition Madagascar, Scott Aquarium, Hubbard Orangutan Forest and Hubbard Gorilla Valley. Heat things up in the Desert Dome (the world’s largest indoor desert), or cool down in the zoo’s unique indoor rainforest. Bring the whole family to enjoy a special tour and see how many exotic red, white and blue animals you can spot. For additional information, visit www.omahazoo.com.
If you're in the mood for food, Topeka, Kansas is home to Bobo's Drive In--an American classic. Established in 1948, Bobo's is a Kansas icon and a true slice of Americana, recently featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Just flash your headlights for car hop service and enjoy the legendary onion rings, juicy cheeseburgers, fries and pork tenderloin. The “Spanish Burger” is the house specialty and helped to make Bobo's a Topeka tradition. Be sure to save room for dessert; chocolate malts and homemade apple pie are local favorites. Bobo’s is open Monday-Saturday, 11am to 8pm. Visit www.food.topeka.net/food/bobos-drive for more information.
Whether you take part in a revered July 4th festival in the country's Independence Day capital, grab a piece of Americana at a classic drive-in restaurant, or take a walk on the wild side at one of the nation's best zoos, Nebraska and Kansas have all you need for a July full of USA flair.