What are your plans for the 4th of July?
Do you have special family traditions? My memories of celebrating the 4th go back to my childhood with thoughts of family picnics and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over a bonfire. And through the years, I recall watching plenty of fireworks displays in many different locations.
When our kids were young, they loved working in their uncle’s fireworks stand near Omaha. When they were teenagers, they had their own stand here in York. Getting dirty and being exhausted are my memories from those years!
In recent years, we’ve joined our daughter and son-in-law, Amy and Justin, and their children for their 4th of July neighborhood parade in Lincoln. About 150 people walk the parade route. The band students lead the parade, kids ride their decorated bikes, moms push strollers, some wave flags and everyone is decked out in red, white and blue. It’s such a simple thing, and yet so patriotic. And since it’s with family, it’s especially fun.
This year we’ll spend the holiday with family again and it will be better than ever because our second daughter Lisa and her husband Aaron, who live in Chicago, will also be with us. I know we’ll be making new memories.
A really fun 4th
On a recent Fun Club trip, I asked the travelers to share a memory of a past 4th of July. Marie Brown of Polk wrote: “Growing up our family didn’t shoot off many fireworks. However, after marrying Carl, the fun began especially once our grandkids got old enough to appreciate them. One year we took the five oldest to buy fireworks. I told them they could each choose two. But Carl and the kids filled a bushel basket to overflowing for a ‘really fun’ 4th of July!”
Ardee Rut of Utica shared this memory: “When our kids were in grade school we sold fireworks out of a vacant store in Utica. Our son especially liked the experience. Then on the 4th when we were done selling, the kids took the “leftovers” to our annual neighborhood fireworks party. And there went the profits!”
An extraordinary 4th
Judy Sullivan of Aurora wrote: “My most memorable 4th of July was when my dad and I and my four kids went to Washington D.C. to visit family. My cousin took us to Arlington National Cemetery to watch the fireworks. We stood by the Statue of Iwo Jima while the Carillon Tower played ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic.’ The Washington Monument was in the background. We all watched with tears in our eyes.”
Dogs and fireworks
Rynee Spencer of York said: “Our dog Buddy was obsessed with running up to any firework that was lit and would attack it and try to run off with it. He was crazy over them so I’d have to put him in the kennel until we were done.”
Agnes Loukota of Exeter remembered the time she was at the Geneva Country Club for fireworks. She said: “Everyone was sitting on blankets or lawn chairs enjoying the show. Suddenly, about halfway through, the lawn sprinklers came on and we all got a little wet!”
4th of July Parade
Doyle and Carolyn Frazier of Stromsburg shared this story: “Before we moved to Stromsburg, we lived in Shelton. Both Gibbon and Shelton have nice 4th of July parades. We own a 1957 Ford retractable convertible and our children and grandchildren decided to drive our old car in the parades. We thought it was a great idea until we saw them coming down the street with signs showing a picture of Doyle and the words ‘Doyle Frazier for President.’ “
Deb Figgner of York wrote: “When I was 12 years old, we were spending the 4th of July at my grandparents’ farm near Oxford. My older cousins, who were boys, were lighting fireworks. There were a few that had to be nailed on trees and when they lit them they would spin. One of these fireworks flew off the tree into the dry grass and started a fire. We tried to put it out with no luck and had to call the Oxford Fire Department. My uncle, the father of these boys, was the Fire Chief. Can you imagine his surprise when he learned the fire was at his parents’ farm?”
To Our Readers:
No matter how you spend the day, we wish you a happy and safe 4th of July!