June 24, 2024

What do you do to celebrate the Fourth of July? Do you have a family picnic? Spend it with friends? Do you wear the colors of the Flag – Red, White and Blue?  Attend a parade? There are so many activities around this country that if you are interested in finding out what’s going on in your area, all you have to do is check whichever search engine you use.

I was fortunate to grow up in a suburb of Washington, D.C. There were a great number of kids on my street and we always had some type of game going on outside during the summer. One of the fathers was a fireman, so every 4th of July he would arrange to have one of the fire trucks available for a parade on our street and around the block nearby. I’m aging myself a bit, but all the kids on our street would decorate their bikes with red, white and blue strips of crepe paper and then ride our bikes with all our decorations on the wheels and handlebars. We would all line up and parade down the street while the Fire Engine blew its horn and our parents clapped and cheered! After we went all the way around the block, we stopped at the largest house on the street for drinks and cookies while one of the men in the neighborhood read the Declaration of Independence.

If you haven’t experienced something like that, maybe it’s time to start some sort of event in your town. I’m sure there are many cities around the country that have parades and other special events to celebrate Independence Day. One year, a friend of mine decided he wanted to have a costume made in the fashion of 1776. He convinced me to make a dress of the same vintage! We spent the afternoon walking around some of the monuments in DC while people clapped and cheered for us! It was an exciting afternoon and I think we entertained a great number of people. What a fun way it was to celebrate our Independence Day!

If you live in the Washington, DC area, do you go to the program on the East Lawn of the Capitol Building to attend the “A Capitol Fourth” production? If you aren’t familiar with that, it’s a wonderful patriotic program that began over 40 years ago and is broadcast every year to our country on PBS as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network. For many years, I attended with a group of my friends. We would take blankets, drinks in small coolers, snacks and sandwiches and head for the National Mall to have a great afternoon and score superb seats. We always had such a great time! If you watch the production this year, notice how much fun the people in the audience have.

People from all over the DC area and the suburbs start showing up in the early morning because the lawn would fill up very quickly. It seemed like everyone was happy and having a wonderful time! Each person wanted to be up close to the stage to see all the celebrities perform. In addition to a whole host of celebrities, there are performances by the National Symphony Orchestra, Choral Arts Society of Washington, US Army Band “Pershing’s Own”, US Army Chorus, US Army Herald Trumpets and US Army Presidential Salute Battery which ends the concert with a 21-gun salute while the National Symphony Orchestra plays the “1812 Overture”. The final number of the evening is usually John Phillips Sousa’s  march “The Stars and Stripes Forever”. Then the amazing display of fireworks begins! “A Capitol Fourth” is a top-rated extravaganza featuring coverage from 20 cameras positioned around Washington, D.C., guaranteeing viewers are front and center for the foremost display of fireworks in the nation.

I’m grateful to live in the greatest nation in the world, the United States of America! This year, I’ll also be celebrating the 4th of July by watching one of my favorite movies, “1776”. It’s an oldie but a goodie. If you want or need any holiday paraphernalia, check out the “Amazing Deals” link under the logo at the top of this page. Have a great holiday!