For most Americans, the 4th of July is one of their favorite holidays. Maybe not as popular as Christmas, but close. It is usually the perfect time of year for being outside and letting it all hang out. We here in western Montana take our 4th of July celebrations seriously. And, no matter how we choose to spend the 4th, we all experience the same five stages of celebration...

  • 1

    Spending Too Much on Fireworks

    With tons of fireworks stands on just about every corner, and reservation fireworks only a short drive from Missoula, sometimes we can get a little carried away when it comes to purchasing fireworks. It is almost like going grocery shopping while hungry... To the point where you might consider taking out a second mortgage.

  • 2

    Arguing Over Venues

    One of the best parts of living in western Montana is all the choices we have for outdoor recreation. Sometimes that can create some stress when it comes to having to decide where to post up for the celebration. Do you pack the family up and go to the lake? Do you head to the hills and pitch a tent? Or, do you post up in your own back yard and cremate hot dogs?

  • 3

    Drowning in Beverage Choices

    Have you seen how crazy we get celebrating Cinco de Mayo? When we celebrate our OWN independence, we go harder still. But now that we've had our fill of tequila, the 4th of July is all about BEER. You may find yourself staring into the beer fridge for hours trying to figure out what frosty beverage to take to your BBQ. Local or National? Imported or Domestic? (You're celebrating AMERICA. The choice should be clear.)

  • 4

    Studying Your Health Insurance

    With the promise of gallons of beer and booze at your disposal, not to mention tons of incendiary devices, this is a perfect time of year for us to get re-acquainted with the limits of our health insurance policies. That way we know exactly how long we can hold the lit firecracker before we throw it.

  • 5

    Being a Patriot

    At the end of the day, the 4th of July is all about AMERICA. Even when the bottles are empty and the bottle rockets spent, when it comes to showing our patriotism, we don't hold back. Whether you are wearing a star-spangled Speedo while floating down the Blackfoot, or just posing for photos with your red-white-and-blue AR-15, you know what to do: us proud.