I didn't do a very good job of taking pictures to document what the Fourth of July looks like in the little village I grew up in, a place famous for their Fourth of July celebrations. A project for next year perhaps...but I will say it was wonderful, as it always is. The night before felt a bit like Christmas eve, an overwhelming sense of excitement for something that is always good fun and always produces good memories. Then on the morning of, I woke up just past 5:00 with a fear I had missed it. An hour or two of restless sleep and I was up ready to start celebrating.
There was the Firecracker 5k Road Race (in which I was and probably always will be a spectator), followed by the parade. In our village the parade is always a mix of fife and drums, livestock (Zoe the sheep made her 15th showing!!), antique cars and fire engines, the local bell ringers and string band, morris dancers, local craft organizations, local families, farms, and orchards, the farmers market throwing fresh peas and carrotts instead of candy, and always a surprise (last year it was a woman in a red sequin dress and platform shoes with a whistle and umbrella doing a dance that would make even the most outgoing among us blush, this year it was a float by an area sewage company centered around a port-a-potty with people dressed up in hawaiian attire, singing passionately a popular song with rewritten lyrics about sewage...).
After the parade we walk up and down Main Street where there are vendors, performances, games, water polo, and mingling. When the sun is hottest, the first of many baseball games begin, and the party moves up to the Rec area where there are games, swimming in the pond, music, and a cookout until dusk when the fireworks start. My family always has a cookout of their own before heading up for fireworks and a favorite memory of mine was the year when we hand churned blueberry ice cream with all my aunts, uncles, and cousins.
This year I skipped out on the late afternoon and evening festivities due to a headache and general exhaustion, but it was a happy day nonetheless, filled with family, friends, and fun. I can't wait for next year.
P.S. Blogger has been giving me a hard time lately...when I try to reply to comments, it sends me in an endless cycle of signing in and retyping my comment, never allowing me to publish a comment...has anyone else had this problem?