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Happy Fourth!

What are your July 4th traditions?  Do you have a certain fireworks show you attend every year?  Or are you a do-it-yourselfer, with your own stash of sparklers and bottle rockets?  Do you host a picnic or party every year?

I have always adored fireworks.  The first really memorable fireworks display I ever saw was in Boston with the Boston Pops when I was in college.  A group of friends and I went downtown for the event, and it was spectacular. 

There were years when I didn’t get to see fireworks, but then for six years we lived in a small town that had a very nice fireworks display, and the best part is, they set them off at the park at the end of our street.  We would sit in our front yard (or a neighbor’s) to watch.  That was always a blast.

Since living here, we have had a young child, and we haven’t made the effort to attend a fireworks show, although one of our neighbors delights in setting off quite an array of what I’m sure are illegal fireworks, so at least that’s SOMEthing.

Tonight we were going to try catch some of the local fireworks, but it’s pretty dreary right now, and news has it that rain and thunderstorms are headed our way.  In fact, this is the 3rd or 4th year in a row that we’ve had a dreary Fourth.  Which really gets on my very last nerve, but whatcanya do?

The one thing we do almost every year, though, is attend the 4th of July parade in my husband’s hometown.  His parents have lived in that town for well over 40 years, and they know E-V-E-R-Y body.  It’s an early morning parade, so it leaves plenty of time in the day to attend fireworks or neighborhood parties later on.  And there’s just something nostalgic and, well, American about attending a parade on the Fourth of July.

I love waiting in anticipation on the sidewalk, as my children stick their necks out into the street to see if they can get a glimpse of the first banner.  I love seeing all the people, from infants to the aged, who come out to wave their flags and celebrate the freedom we all too often take for granted.

When the veterans of foreign wars march past, I have to choke back tears.  When the bands play, I can feel the drum beats reverberating in my chest.  When the firetrucks groan down the street with their sirens blaring, I fight the urge to cover my ears like a child.  When the old cars drive by, I briefly wonder what it would have been like to live in the 30s or 40s or 50s.  Was it really simpler then?  When the floats and kids on bikes come by, decorated to the nines, I’m reminded that this is our now, and they are our future.

My kids?  They’re pretty much there for the candy.  But I hope as they get older, they will look back fondly on these days.

Here are a few pictures I snapped when I could snag the camera away from my son.  Actually, he took a few of these.

"Can I hear it?"

Patiently waiting…

Okay, WHY does my daughter look like she has to pee in the first picture and like she’s constipated in the second?  Sheesh!

Let’s try this one.

Better.  Oh, this is a good one.  No, they’re not related at all.  Ha!

We even got a picture with Uncle Sam, but I don’t know if he would appreciate me plastering his picture on my blog.  I almost asked if I could, and then realize he would have NO clue what I was talking about.

Last but not least — Philly born and bred like his daddy.  And please note his patriotic attire, right down to the lollipop.

I certainly hope you are enjoying your holiday. God bless America!

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18 thoughts on “Happy Fourth!

  1. Happy Fourth!!

    We do a parade in the neighborhood too. Today was the first time the kids tried to walk or bike it and wow, is it a long walk. Lots of whining by the end of it.

    My niece Hattie is a July 4 baby, so our new tradition is her birthday party. She turned 2 today.

    So it is long, fun, EXHAUSTING day!

  2. Happy Fourth!!

    We do a parade in the neighborhood too. Today was the first time the kids tried to walk or bike it and wow, is it a long walk. Lots of whining by the end of it.

    My niece Hattie is a July 4 baby, so our new tradition is her birthday party. She turned 2 today.

    So it is long, fun, EXHAUSTING day!

  3. Happy Fourth!!

    We do a parade in the neighborhood too. Today was the first time the kids tried to walk or bike it and wow, is it a long walk. Lots of whining by the end of it.

    My niece Hattie is a July 4 baby, so our new tradition is her birthday party. She turned 2 today.

    So it is long, fun, EXHAUSTING day!

  4. Happy Fourth!!

    We do a parade in the neighborhood too. Today was the first time the kids tried to walk or bike it and wow, is it a long walk. Lots of whining by the end of it.

    My niece Hattie is a July 4 baby, so our new tradition is her birthday party. She turned 2 today.

    So it is long, fun, EXHAUSTING day!

  5. Actually, I thought C was wringing her hands in anticipation! I thought Oh how cute. In the second, I thought she was at the ‘I’m self-conscious and make funny fake smiles for the camera’ stage. But now, all I can think of are body functions! Ha!

  6. Oh the excitement of a parade! How fun! My sis used to live on the main street that parades were held and we always had good seats! Since then we have chosen to stay away – the boys always seem to need to use the potty!

  7. The last few years, it’s been so hot that we just watch the fireworks on TV, isn’t that pathetic?? It’s just not fun when it’s over 100′ out and there are so many people!

  8. My husband and son went to the local parade in the morning and then we were at our neighbor’s house – kids swimming in the pool, barbecue and visiting.

    In the evening, we all pool together our fireworks and have one big show in the street. We had over an hour solid of fireworks from everybody! Great fun!

  9. Love those pictures. Every year, no matter where we live (because that changes often) We go to I Hop for breakfast on the 4th. And then there is usually some type of cook out. Fireworks vary as my kids are still pretty young.

  10. The fireworks used to be right across the street from my parents’ house when I was growing up. We would eat watermelon and catch fireflies until it was time to watch them. It was the best!

    Now, I LOVE the town parade too! Once the boys are a little older we will go back to fireworks!

  11. Our July 4th family tradition the past few years has been that we all have a rootbeer float for breakfast!
    My girls think this is absolutely awesome, and they are the ones that started it. They talk about it all year.

    I don’t even make them eat anything healthy along with it!

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