We have some friends who live directly across from their local park district. Every year on July 3 we gather on their driveway to watch their town's Independence Day fireworks display. The fireworks are always fabulous. We ooohhhh and ahhhh and clap like crazy.
When I say it's close, I mean it's really close. When the wind is blowing our way, we can end up with embers floating above us. One year we felt the embers fall on us. The driveway looked like black snowflakes floated down.
Early on July 4 we headed to a local Independence Day parade. We arrived to find a Daisy troop looking for sister scouts. Our girls were Daisies once upon a time, but as I watched the Daisies in their blue tunics it seemed like a long time ago. Additional Girl Scouts showed up in uniform with bags and bags of candy. We found the Boy Scouts and started chatting as we waited for the parade to begin.
We always liked to watch this July 4 parade. It's a community-based parade, so you have everything from the local high school marching band to the local funeral home represented. My favorite "float" this year was an American taxi driving with kids throwing candy out the back window. The bagpipers played patriotic music as the crowd cheered.
The Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts walked in the parade, throwing candy all the way. Our girls decided to throw candy at everyone wearing a Blackhawks shirt. After the parade they told me they saw someone in an LA Kings t-shirt and didn't throw him any candy. As they told the story, the local Jimmy John's franchise cars drove by blaring Chelsea Dagger, which is the song the Blackhawks play when they score a goal. The timing seemed both appropriate and strange.
Grammie joined us for the parade. Daddy found her a space in the shade where she could see everything and cheer for her girls. She added a cheer when the girls' softball league float went by. At the end of the parade, the girls said they had a lot of fun and wanted to do it again next year.
After the crazy summer we've had so far it was a fun, relaxing way to celebrate July 4. I imagine small towns across the United States held fun, community-based parades like ours. It was fun to think that we were now part of the tradition.