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Friday Family History: 4th of July Traditions



Growing up, I lived a mile away from a park that hosted a festival every 4th of July.  Actually, the festival ran for several days, but the fireworks display occurred on the evening of the 4th.  We spread blankets out on our front lawn, popped popcorn, invited friends over, lit sparklers, and watched the big show from the comfort of our own home.  In the event of inclement weather, we moved the party inside and watched through our big picture-glass window.  (I believe we watched from inside in 1976.  If I remember correctly, it was in that bicentennial year that the huge fireworks display was immediately followed by a huge thunder and lightening show.)

John's 4th of July celebrations were a bit different, usually involving camping, pop-its and other create-your-own-display fireworks, caramel popcorn, and eating seeded olives and watermelon (in order to spit the seeds at the siblings!)

When we got married, we merged our traditions.  We make caramel popcorn (recipe on Monday), light up safe-and-sane fireworks when legal in our neighborhood, and watch professional fireworks displays when we can.  When we moved into this house a couple of years ago, the city had their fireworks display at the local park, and we could watch from our backyard.  I had waves of nostalgia throughout the whole performance.  Unfortunately, the city hasn't hosted a fireworks display there since.  Maybe once the economy turns around. . . .

What are your 4th of July or other summer traditions?

OOH! AHH! Kids captivated by fireworks.



Thanks for fireworks, especially those that make the huge BOOMs and the "squiggly" sounds!



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  1. I grew up on the south side of Chicago, and on the 4th, without fail, my Dad would light a red flare (the kind you put up for car difficulties!) in the tiny 4 foot by 12 foot patch of grass in our front yard, while brother and I had one box of sparklers that was pretty amazing to us. We didn't eat anything special or go anywhere but I guess the traffic would have been awful! Today, I live on a hill and look down two miles to my small town that puts on a fireworks display every year. This year I stood outside with three of my cats and we all watched them in silence. The cats were not sure what to make of them and the small booms like thunder. If you stand in the town square they are huge, out here not too large in size. Sometimes we invite people over to sit & watch them, but most our friends are over 70 & do not go out at night often. My husband is away at work so it was the most quiet of the 4ths I ever had. And it seems to rain 30% of the time and very dry this year, so no rain, just days in the 100s. Normal temps are 85!

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