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'I Love Memphis' blogger talks new book, safe 4th of July celebrations

'I Love Memphis' blogger Holly Whitfield has so many ideas on what to do in Memphis, including this 4th of July, she wrote a whole book about it.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — With the 4th of July weekend upon us, the City of Memphis and 'I Love Memphis' blogger Holly Whitfield are encouraging people to celebrate Independence - independently.

Due to COVID-19, big firework displays and backyard BBQs are mostly off the table this year. The city and Whitfield said there is still plenty to do this holiday weekend.

“Mentally, I would tell [people] to approach it by remembering we’re all in the same boat here," Whitfield said. "We’re all bummed, but if we work together, we can make this summer feel like less of a bummer.”

For starters, Whitfield said this weekend people can participate in the city's Quintessential Summer Celebration, which started on July 1st and promotes outdoor activities in city parks while keeping people socially distant.

“Five days of fun activities on the riverfront like kayaking, paddle boarding, bike share, they have self guided bike tours and activities for kids. They’re doing sunset paddles and they’re lighting up the bridges, the two bridges on the river every night," Whitfield said.

Recently, Whitfield expanded her title from successful blogger to author. Her book Secret Memphis: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure was recently released.

“Secret Memphis is a collection of secrets about the city told through stories and photos based on the research and experience that I’ve had falling in love with the city," Whitfield said. "Hopefully it’s a mix of things that are brand new to people, from lesser known places or stories as well as the story behind places maybe you have heard about your whole life.”

Whitfield said in her book, people can find many ideas on what to do this weekend that will get them outside and exploring the city. One example Whitfield gives from her book is a trip to Chickasaw Heritage Park on Riverfront.

“There are several stories that you can experience in person right there that you can experience in person right there, including the Chickasaw Mounds if you want to get into our Native American history in the city," she said. “The metal museum, which is a beautiful place to be on the Mississippi River to learn about the arts in the city.”

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However people intend to celebrate the weekend, Whitfield says the number one thing they should do is wear a mask and stay distant.

“I would tell people do take advantage of the outdoors. Do take advantage of time with your family or the roommate or friends, the people that live in your household that you’ve been with and around," she said. "Stick with them when you decide on what you’re doing this weekend and whatever you do, don’t get too close to people."

Find how to purchase Whitfield's book at secretmemphis.com.

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