Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Just Another Smalltown Fourth of July



image: I don’t live in New Jersey, but a small town parade sings across America

Another perk of living in a small town is the Fourth of July celebration. The day starts off with the town parade. It starts at 9 am, rain or shine, and concludes around 10 am, depending on where you are sitting. There are options with this  parade: watch or participate. I’ve done both several times. Both forms are fun. The past couple of years though, watching is much more my style.

In the past, I’ve hauled the kids and bikes to participate in our church’s parade theme entry. I think that year was patriotic. We dressed up in red, white, and blue and I attached the tandem bike trailer so the youngest progeny could ride with his mum. Flag waving, crepe paper streaming, and cycling along made for a great Kodak moment.

Another time (actually a couple of times) I marched with a group of teachers with our signs signifying our thanks to the community. I am blessed to live in a school district where parents and the school board actually love teachers. When I march along with my compadres I usually bring along my bubble wands and make a spectacle of myself. True, I am not the usual English teacher.

After the parade it’s breaking out the BBQ. Past years involve family or church get togethers. Since we are now empty-nesters and the chickadees have flown, a twosome BBQ just doesn’t hold the fun factor like a full out group gaggle. And we admittedly have become rather hermitish in our ways and avoid the big organized ta-dos. I do try to make a special supper, even if it means hauling the plates outside to eat al fresco.

I do love a good pyrotechnics extravaganza so I drag the MEPA out at night for the fireworks down at the beach. Looonnngg ago we would grab our blanket, chairs, and snacks and huddle with our group among the masses. Now as E-nesters we skulk among the secret backsides of buildings and empty lots to feast on the fireworks from afar so we can scoot out before the crowd disperses. The fireworks traffic tangle afterwards always lasts twice as long as the show so making a clean getaway involves strategy.

Somehow once the Fourth of July hits it seems like summer has really begun.

How about y’all? What are your memorable aspects for the Fourth?

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5 thoughts on “Just Another Smalltown Fourth of July

  1. Nothing like the charm of a small-town parade. I still try and find them whenever I can.

    Happy 4th of July, CM!

  2. My most memorable part of the fourth is saying, “It’s midnight and they’re shooting off those damn fireworks?!”

    I guess I lack a certain something in the patriotism department. Or maybe I just hate noise.

    • I’ve been there. There’s that dachshund under the bed syndrome–“yipes, stop that noise!” I try to quell the dachshund and channel the inner child that goes–“ooh, pretty lights!”

  3. Lmao! That reminds me of the time when I was driving with a friend of mine in an Sebring Convertible in Scottsdale, AZ. I had the top down, music up and everything. Well, I took a wrong turn and ended up in the middle of a parade! Everyone was waving and cheering at us… it was great! They just thought we were part of the parade! 😀

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