When I was growing up, I LOVED the 4th of July. It was actually the one holiday that our family did not veer from tradition … Ever. I grew up in a small town in Ohio that took the 4th very seriously. We’d wake up early in the morning to head out to the parade, usually stopping at our favorite donut shop, Bill’s Donuts, along the way. This was not your quick little 30 minute parade, either – it was an all out extravaganza of marching bands from all over, dance squads, Shriners, old cars, floats, clowns, and lots of candy being thrown out to the crowds. The streets would be lined 4 or 5 deeps with little kids copping a squat up front, waiving their little American flags.
Immediately following the parade was the “Americana” street festival, chocked full of music, kids activities, craft displays and all the carnival food you can stuff your face with. We’d then head over to our friends’ house for a relaxing afternoon, cookout and then the biggest, wettest water balloon fight you can imagine! We actually started planning and plotting for the water balloon fight weeks in advance! Finally, we’d end the evening with a phenomenal fireworks display at the high school where it seemed the whole town was there.
Ohhh the memories … it’s funny how I had forgotten just how much I looked forward to the 4th and all the activities that ensued until just recently. We were back in Ohio a couple years back and it was so much fun taking my son to the parade and street festival, although I think he was too young to appreciate it. And my mom STILL goes over to the same friends’ house for a cookout before heading to the fireworks.
I have yet to establish such strong 4th of July traditions with my own family now (although we never miss the fireworks), but I think it’s time to start. I believe a water balloon fight is definitely in order! I’d love to hear some of your smarty traditions too! And all of us at CSP would like to wish you and your family a safe, sparkly, and HAPPY 4th of July!