When I was a kid, it wasn't like this. The Fourth meant that there would be a huge family get together, with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, fresh corn on the cob, hamburgers, bratwurst, crudites, salads, watermelon, beer. There was always a lot of beer at these events, yet I don't remember anyone acting like an obnoxious drunk. They played frisbee and drinking games, card games, Scrabble, ping pong, just goofed around....it was fun. I miss my family at times like this.
I know, people will say that the ball's in my court, it's up to me to recreate and start such traditions here. But it isn't the same without extended family and without intending to offend anyone here, having a holiday with exes is probably beneficial for the children but is acutely awkward for me and makes me feel defensive.