If you go out on July 4th, you'll see smoke everywhere because every family or community is having a BBQ at home or in the park. It's an old and beloved tradition. The Independence Day barbecue has a long history in the South. Right after the Revolution the celebrations included public dinners that later turned into open-air barbeques. Back then the festivities started with a procession, a collective prayer, a speech from an honored member of the community, and the singing of patriotic songs. After this, the barbeque began. It was open to everybody and included meals made of produce donated by the local farmers and participants making toasts to liberty and democratic ideas. Today the traditional July 4th barbecue usually includes burgers, brats, hot dogs, ribs, steaks, grilled vegetables, potato salad, and a chocolate dessert. The table also has to be decorated with red, white, and blue!