June 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm #165052
I really wanted to write a post about Independence Day next week, but everything I thought of wound up being either really corny or already an article on Huffington Post, like what’s the connection between mattress sales and July 4, how do other countries celebrate their Independence Day without buying new lawn furniture on special, etc….
Then I thought about how I’ve celebrated July 4 in the past…free of home goods specials, limited time auto lease rates, and cell phones.
The internet tells me that most July 4 celebrations haven’t changed since the first official observance in 1777…patriotic speeches, fireworks and red, white and blue bunting. There’s something quaint about that kind of consistency.
As a child in summer camp in upstate New York we wore red, white and blue for the day, had a special hot dog and hamburger picnic cookout with those awesome rocket pops, and watched fireworks from the shore of the camp’s lake. In 2000 I was in London for the summer, and my traveling companion and I bonded with other Americans while we toured the home William Shakespeare may-or-may-not-have-lived-in. Two years ago I camped over night on the Appalachian Trail in a national park and feared the bears that probably were more afraid of me. Last year I watched at least 6 sets of fireworks with my neighbors from the roof of my new building right outside of DC.
(Fireworks on the right from the second of my obligatory 4th on the National Mall experiences in 2007)
Is there a “right” way to celebrate?
What are some of your favorite memories of July 4th celebrations from your past?
June 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm #165092
Being at Rocky Point beach on Long Island with family and friends, having a couple cold ones and watching the fireworks! I’m hoping I can find something fun to do in DC.
June 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm #165090
The Mall is always a fun option with a group for a picnic…the only downsides are no glass (NONE…they go through your stuff at the security check in) and porta potties.
June 27, 2012 at 9:07 pm #165088
One of the things which made 4th of July more fun when I was younger was not having to go through security theater to get onto the Mall. Of course I am old enough to remember what DC was like before it became the type of city we used to believe only existed behind the Iron Curtain. Everything we used to teach children about what separated us from the totalitarian regimes is never more in evidence than when we celebrate our “freedom”.
June 28, 2012 at 1:19 pm #165086
I agree the 4th of July is all about sporting the red, white and blue (already bought a red and white striped t-shirt) to be truly patriotic and watching the fireworks. This year, I am looking forward to not only watching them but setting some fireworks off. I am originally from California where fireworks are prohibited, so this year should be more exciting!
June 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm #165084
Be very careful and never 1) investigate why a fire cracker has not gone off, throw some water on it instead 2) hold onto a firecracker after you have lit it, throw it immediately 3) point bottle rockets or other launchers any direction but streight up. Fireworks can be a lot of fun if deployed safely and a life changing event if they are not.
June 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm #165082
Our neghborhood always has a Fourth of July parade (complete with a band of local residents and their kids) and we have a group of people over to watch it on our lawn. Then, we just head over to a relatives house for food, fireworks and family. The best thing is just being with the family and being free to celebrate it. My dad and oldest brother were both in the military and I really enjoy celebrating the country on this day.
June 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm #165080
June 28, 2012 at 4:38 pm #165078
May I suggest the Air Force Memorial near the Pentagon? It’s walking distance from the Pentagon City metro, no security gauntlet, they usually have a band playing, and lots of lawn area to spread out and picnic on. And you can see the fireworks over the Mall with the memorials.
June 28, 2012 at 6:29 pm #165076
David B. GrinbergParticipant
Best fireworks memories: watching the fireworks over the National Mall from the White House South Lawn. Second, watching from the roof of the Dept. of Labor HQ overlooking the Mall. Third, watching the NYC fireworks over the East River from the 35th floor of a high rise apt building a few blocks away. Fourth, watching fireworks from the beach being shot off a pier in South Florida steps from the ocean.
July 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm #165074
A few that come to mind:
– In Hood River, Oregon, overlooking the Columbia River
– In Duluth, Minnesota, sitting along the shore of Lake Superior
– In San Diego, California on the campus of USD where we could see 4-5 displays at once from Coronado to La Jolla
July 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm #165072
I read the above article on GOVERNING.com and thought about this discussion we’re having about the 4th. A environmental organization in California offered three of San Joaquin Valley’s towns up to $10,000 to put on a lazer-light show instead of doing a traditional fireworks display. There were no takers for the grant.
“The fourth of July isn’t the fourth of July if you don’t have fireworks,” was the overarching message.
July 2, 2012 at 7:40 pm #165070
Fireworks are definitely the way to go for the fourth, though I do love lazers
July 2, 2012 at 9:23 pm #165068
No fireworks OR lasers!
July 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm #165066
I’ve always been a huge 4th of July Fan. Probably because my parents had me in 4th of July parades and going to watch fireworks since I was a baby. In between, the day always featured things like angel food cake with fresh strawberries, Cool Whip and Blueberries. blueberry & raspberry lemonade and of course, firecrackers!
At age 12, I started riding my unicycle in the longest continuously held neighborhood 4th of July parade in the State of Michigan, the Hollyhock Lane Parade. This year marks my 39th year riding in the parade.
I would hope that all Americans, regardless of their political affiliation, would take time to celebrate the birthday of our great Republic and use the 4th to instill a sense of pride for our country in their children & grandchildren. God Bless the United States and long live the Republic!
July 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm #165064
Gary C InfingerParticipant
The parades were my favorite and I loved watching the Military members, (past and present) march by. However, the firewords were awsome too.
July 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm #165062
I lived in a house on the Kentucky side of the Ohio river and on the 4th my husband and I would sit on the bluff looking over at Cincinnati and see all along the horizon fireworks shooting up from every little community for miles. It was the coolest thing to watch 20 different fireworks shows all at once.
July 3, 2012 at 6:22 pm #165060
It brings tears to my eye and I salute as the parade of veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf wars ride by. They I go to our community’s July 4th celebration and eat and chat with friends. After that I go home and watch the Capitol 4th on tv in the comfort of air conditioning.
When the neighborhood fireworks start, I comfort my dog who is afraid of them and remember my childhood dog Love. Like most dogs, Love was deathly afraid of fireworks and would tremble at the noise. My family learned to SING LOUDLY whenever fireworks (or thunderstorms burst out.) It is a happy family memory including remembering that we shocked visitors by seemingly bursting into showtunes spontaneously.
The only thing I miss is toasting that perfect marshmellow…
July 4, 2012 at 2:39 am #165058
Charles Lewis DriggersParticipant
Simply and nothing more than being with my family….being proud of what my kids were going to become.
July 4, 2012 at 3:42 pm #165056
I grew up in small town USA, and loved the parades that involve mostly kids and volunteers from local clubs. Today I’m taking my son to Dupont, WA, just outside Joint Base Lewis McChord, where we will be enjoying the same with several military friends and family.
July 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm #165054
One year we spent the day hiking and picnicking in Shenandoah National Park with another family. As twilight descended into darkness, we were driving north on Skyline Drive to exit at Front Royal on our way home. Pulling off for a moment at one of the west-facing overlooks to see the lights down in Shenandoah Valley, we were amazed that we could look down on the fireworks displays going on in several different little towns up and down the valley. We got out and sat on the stone wall for a magical hour, enjoying the view from aloft of the colorful starbursts and streamers, with their softened booms sound-delayed by the great height and distance between us and them.
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