As a consolation for neither of their teams qualifying for the World Cup, Canadians and Americans will soon be able to get back into the celebratory spirit for Canada Day (July 1) and U.S. Independence Day, more commonly known as July 4th. For the people among us that don’t know what these days mean to our northern and even farther northern counterparts, here is a little history lesson:

Canada Day

Put simply, Canada Day marks the Confederation of 1867, when the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick unified to form Canada. In the long run, this turned out to be an exceptionally good move, as Canada now enjoys what is widely regarded to be some of the best living standards in the world; plus, they have maple syrup, beavers and spectacular geography and wildlife.

Canada Day is observed as a statutory holiday, which will be officially recognized on July 2 this year, as July 1 falls on a Sunday. Festivities, however, will still take place on the Sunday, and will see thousands of Canadians out to celebrate. The country’s capital, Ottawa, is guaranteed to put on a fine show of parades and fireworks throughout the day, and the same can be expected in major towns and cities across the country.

U.S. Independence Day

In case you don’t already know, July 4 is the anniversary of the United States’ declaration of independence from the wretched British imperialists (ahem). Although it didn’t become a paid federal holiday until 1941, celebrations date back to as early as the American Revolution itself. During these early festivities, concerts, bonfires, parades, and the firing of cannons and muskets took place.

Despite the political significance of the holiday having since waned, July 4 is one of the U.S.’s most important leisure days of the year, and much like Canada Day, parades, fireworks and barbeques can be expected to take place.

Celebrating locally

Despite the World Cup occupying most of the upcoming events schedule, thanks to Cayman’s intrinsically international community there should still be a number of ways you can get out and celebrate both Canada Day and July 4.

On Sunday, the Canadians among us can head to Calico Jack’s on Seven Mile Beach, where they’ll be hosting their very own Canada Day party. Canadian beers will be on special, free T-shirts will be up for grabs, and a Canada-themed dress-up competition will be held, with $500 going to the lucky winner.

Hemingways will also be hosting celebrations for Canada day from 11 a.m. on Sunday, with barbeque food, poutine, and discounted prices on Canadian beer. Accompanying this, classic Canadian music will be played all day, so you’ll have the right to be disappointed if you don’t hear anything from The Tragically Hip. The party will continue into the evening with a firework display at 9 p.m.

If you’re looking to celebrate Independence Day on the Wednesday, the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa will be holding a beachside barbeque with live music at Tiki Beach as part of its Ocean Fest. Fresh seafood can also be enjoyed before the evening ends with s’mores over the bonfire – quite the relaxing way to celebrate July 4.

Likewise, The Ritz-Carlton will be hosting its own beach barbeque by the waves, complete with a scavenger hunt, making it the perfect way to celebrate Independence Day with your family. The barbeque starts at 6:30 p.m. and can be enjoyed to the backdrop of live music performed by JR Douglas Band.