So P and I wound up tailgating with RS in the parking lot of their place; I'd stopped at Wal-Mart on the way back from Alexandria and picked up bandages, cheese brats, more buns, a portable/one-shot grill, flame source, and wood-tipped El Ropos, which I wound up not needing since the pyrotechnics and grill threw off enough smoke to confuse whatever anopheles were around. Hebrew Nationals and Johnsonvilles were grilled, RS boiled up some sweet corn and cooked up some rice & red beans, stout and Diet Coke were consumed, and stuff was lit off. The sparkle towers were good, the whirligigs (field expedients for Catherine wheels) less so but still kind of neat*. P expressed interest in meeting a friend of one of RS' friends who could possibly get her onto a mortar crew for next Independence Day; as for me, I am far too out of shape to be emplacing and feeding 6" mortars, no matter how beautiful the fireworks they produce are.
So, yeah, pretty good for an extemporized celebration. Next year I think I'll get the Smokey Joe instead; a lot harder to tip over.